I’ll admit the “Stay in Shape When You Travel” title is cringeworthy. While it feels like a subpar women’s magazine article, it gets the point across. Disclaimer, this is no “beach bod” or “get slim” how to guide, although I’ll be sharing how I stay fit (ahem, relatively fit) when I travel.
DEFINE YOUR REASONS TO STAY FIT
Take a few moments and think about why you want to stay fit. Maybe it’s to feel good, look good, lose weight, stress relief, to tone up, for health reasons, etc. The list can go on. And your reasons might change from day to day as well. Figuring out why you want to exercise is good motivation for getting off the couch.
I pretty much want to fit into my jeans so I don’t have to buy new ones and I know I’m a happier person if I do something active most days of the week. In all seriousness, it sure helps to have some type of reason to get your butt moving.
If it weren’t for Yoga With Adriene I wouldn’t be practicing yoga nearly everyday when I’m on the road. There’s a ton of unpaid or paid options online depending on the type of exercise instruction you’re looking for. Do Yoga With Me is another free yoga resource. There are even YouTube videos that walk you through an indoor cardio session. High intensity interval training is awesome when you’re limited on time . I’ve compiled a few workout resources on the Making Hey Way Pinterest page as well.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
You can exercise in so many different ways, hiking, biking, walking, swimming, playing sports, going dancing, running for a train (that counts), and the list goes on. Exercising doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. There’s plenty of activities you can integrate into your day so that it doesn’t feel like work. Lise Cartwright‘s No Gym Needed E-Books are great for staying fit on the road, whether you’re a guy or a gal. I use many of the exercises from her book on a weekly basis to stay in shape.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
When I was in Greece a few years ago I went sea kayaking for the first time and boy was that an arm workout. I also felt like I was going to be seasick, but I sure tried something new! And trying a new activity like sea kayaking might lead to a bonus activity such as cliff jumping. Get ready!
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
If you say you’re going to exercise or do something active, you’ll be more likely to do it by setting yourself up for success. Something that keeps me committed to going running is setting out my clothes and shoes the night before. I sort of feel like a kid getting ready for school, but I’m far less likely to ditch out when I see my gear waiting for me.
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Now that I’m journaling nearly ever night I’ll write down how long I exercised and what I did. This keeps me on track and helps me feel good about moving. Other ways to hold yourself accountable? Get an accountability buddy. This could be your travel partner or someone at home you keep in touch with on a regular basis. Set a goal and keep each other to it.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT GEAR
Not having a yoga mat, weights, or other typical exercise equipment doesn’t have to be a barrier. You can practice yoga without a mat and do body weight exercises like push ups, sit ups, and lunges without any equipment. Just do a quick Google search for body weight exercises and you’ll be on your way to breaking a sweat.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
It really doesn’t matter how much you “move it, move it” – exercise is only part of the equation. Food and drink is typically a big part of the travel experience, but that doesn’t mean healthy eating habits need to go off the rail. One way I’ve figured out to stay relatively slim and fit? A plant based diet. Seriously. By eliminating all animal flesh and animal secretions from my diet, I don’t worry too much about my weight. By eating loads of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and grains – I’m good to go.
And not only do I stay slim, so does my budget – as meat and dairy can be quite expensive. I met two German girls in New Zealand who were on a campervan trip who gave up meat for 6 months during their travels, just to save money.
The No Meat Athlete is a wonderful resource for being an active vegan. Even if you’re not vegan, check out the site for great recipes and training guides.
So that’s that, a few tips from yours truly on how to stay in shape when you travel. I hope these ideas help you stay happy and healthy on the road, but you can also use them at home too. What did I miss? Feel free to add your ideas and comments below!
Written in: Rathfriland, Northern Ireland