As readers will know, we are on a bit of a fitness kick at the moment. We started to feel pretty rubbish after 6 months of paying little to no attention to our health, and decided at the beginning of the year it was time for a change. While we’re fairly active and like to eat pretty healthily, we definitely weren’t in the best shape. When it comes to staying fit when travelling, it’s not always easy but there are plenty of ways to stay on top of things.
Whether you already have a fitness regime and are just looking for some new ideas or whether you’re want a better understanding of how to stay fit when travelling, we’ve broken down our top tips. It’s always easier if you can fit healthy habits into a sustainable routine so we try and find ways to make it easy to stay consistent when it comes to health and fitness. Travelling adds extra complications like how to work out when you might not be in the most ideal environment as well as working around busy days exploring and sightseeing.
I think I’ll write a post in itself about healthy eating while travelling so this one is just focusing in on techniques to help you keep your fitness levels up. Also a disclaimer that I’m by no means an expert – I’m not a personal trainer / doctor / fitness guru, this is just what we like to try and do to stay fit when we’re travelling.
I really love yoga and always find that I have more energy and just feel generally better when I’m practicing consistently. This one can be a little tricky, but many places now have yoga classes if you want to fit in a proper practice. If you’re looking for something simpler, the best thing about yoga is that even just 10 minutes a day is going to help. There are lots of simple stretches and practices online, and spending a little time in the morning or evening will soon help with flexibility, balance and toning.
My absolute favourite way to do yoga while travelling is to use the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel. Adriene is a bit of a yoga legend and has put hundreds of videos online, completely free, to help everyone from complete beginners to experienced Yogis. The best way to start is the 30 days of yoga series as it helps you to get into good habits and contains a real mix of different styles and practices. We’re doing this for the second time at the moment and really enjoying it.
Hotel Room Friendly Workouts
For a more intensive workout you can’t do better than a good HIIT session. Joe Wicks (The Bodycoach), has an awesome YouTube channel that’s full of workout videos. I used a lot of his recipe books back home and found that his balance of diet and exercise really worked for us, so we’ve tried to keep up some of the workouts.
A massive benefit of this kind of workout is that it’s easy to do in a limited space and can be done pretty much everywhere – from in your hostel room to on the beach. This channel is great as it has everything from 10 minute sessions that target specific areas of the body (hello abs), up to 20 minute very energetic videos. There are also plenty of beginner and low impact workouts as well which are a little easier as a starting point in your travel fitness journey.
When it comes to question of how to stay fit when travelling, the absolute easiest way we’ve found is to do loads of walking. We walk pretty much everywhere and particularly if we’re exploring a city then we can rack up miles in a day. I think walking is a massively underestimated form of exercise. It’s low impact, takes little effort, can be done anywhere and means that you’re out in the fresh air which I always think is beneficial in itself.
If you can walk at a slightly faster pace than usual and take in some hills on your route then that’s all the better!
Another travel fitness favourite is hiking. I know I keep going on about this, but it’s one of my new favourite things and is an amazing way to stay fit when you’re travelling. It’s also free which is great if a budget traveller like us. We’ve done amazing hiking all over the world and there are very few countries where I think you’d struggle to find hiking opportunities. It’s the perfect combination of exercise and sightseeing with a little more added rigour than just walking.
There’s nothing better than challenging yourself to a decent hiking route and just surrounding yourself with amazing scenery and enjoying the fresh air and taking some time alone with your thoughts. Obviously hiking can be social as well, I’m just an introvert!
Stay Somewhere With A Gym
A more recent one for us, and I acknowledge this is a lot easier if you’re travelling with someone else or as part of a group, is to invest in accommodation with gym facilities. It’s often more cost effective than you’d think to get an apartment that has a gym in the complex or a hotel with fitness facilities. Both AirBnB and Booking.com have the ability to filter searches to include results that have a gym and if there’s one onsite you almost feel like you have to use it to get your money’s worth!
It doesn’t even have to be that much more expensive – In Thailand we spent a month in a modern one bed apartment with an onsite gym which was really well kitted out. This worked out at £11 per night between us which is cheaper than a hostel or a hotel. Both of us visited for a workout at least 3-4 times per week and it made staying fit when travelling a lot easier.
So there you have it – some hopefully simple tips to help out when it comes to how to stay fit when travelling. Some are easier than others but I think fundamentally you have to commit to making time to workout and work out how it’s going to best fit into your routine.