As you know, travelling is a big part of my life and I absolutely love it. A big thing that I do while travelling is walking all over the new city I am visiting. I love to walk for HOURS just seeing places and documenting everything. I also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and walking up trails. Unfortunately, on my last two trips to Portugal and Montenegro, I felt a little embarrassed because I could not keep up with everyone. I got really out of breath, tired and flustered. The same thing happened to me on a local country walk too when everyone was breezing through and I was half dead going up the hill. I didn't like feeling like that at all, so I decided I have to build up my stamina and my level of activity because I want to be able to do all of these things without my own body holding me back.
Although I want to be fit, but I have to confess, I have a love/hate relationship with the gym. Even with my inner motivation, I always have to spend a while to convince myself to go and workout. When the convincing works and I go, I always feel SO GOOD. I am trying to be more consistent with being active, but I am also trying to mix it up with some gym, outdoors activities and even cycling now! Additionally, I am trying to be aware of what I eat too. Saying that, I still eat cake and have lazy days, but it's all about balance!
In this post, I want to give you some reasons that can motivate your to stay fit (for travel's sake at least if anything), some possible ways for you to keep fit WHILE travelling and lastly some good gym related reads that you might find helpful too!
Why do you need to workout and stay fit?
We all know the short answer to this, which is to stay healthy, but let's go a little more into the reasoning because when my head is convinced, my body usually follows:
Reason 1: You are preparing for your next adventure
A while back when I went on my Atlas Mountain adventure, I got tired after few minutes of climbing and I just dragged myself. I didn't get to enjoy it as much because I was so tired and my body was aching. I don't want the lack of my fitness and stamina stop me from enjoying physical activities on my travels. So, while I workout, I imagine endless hilly walks and fun hikes. That usually gets me going.
Reason 2: You are giving yourself a break
With the amount of blogging, photo editing and writing I do, I could easily spend my whole day and night in the same posture staring at my laptop. I am not even kidding, I will even eat at my laptop sometimes. Getting up to hit the gym or workout gives me a much needed break.
Reason 3: Better immunity for better travelling experiences
Working out builds your immunity and makes you stronger, which leads to better travelling experiences. Getting sick while travelling is the absolute worst.
Reason 4: More Energy for longer productivity
I don't know if you feel this too, but some days I wake up with such low energy levels. I noticed that working out increases my energy. I always feel so awake and alert after a workout, which is win win because I get to be productive for longer.
Reason 5: Great body
l mean hello? Who wouldn't want that and workout does help tone you up. Though a healthy diet is also needed.
How to keep fit while travelling?
If you have a gym or workout routine before you travel, try to keep some of it up when you are travelling. I have a few tips that you might find useful to stay fit when you are travelling:
- Have a workout session in your hotel or room
Some of the hotels have gyms and it makes it so easy to stay fit by working out in the morning. Websites like Booking.com can even allow you to choose the "gym" feature while you are looking for a hotel. Unfortunately, most mid budget hotels and guest houses don't have that option. The other alternative is to bring the workout to your hotel room by either downloading workout apps or by just downloading a set of workout videos to have at hand offline. I find this really helpful because so many places don't have a wifi connection!
- Find a sporty class in the new location
When I was in Lagos, Portugal earlier this year, I happened to find myself stuck for things to do because the weather was very rainy in April, so I found a near by Yoga class and it really lifted my spirit instantly and I want to keep this a habit if time allows when I visit a new city. The great thing is, you don't really need to pack anything up with. I had leggings and trainers anyway, so that was sufficient. You can pack a travel yoga mat if you are funny about these things as well and it shouldn't take that much space.
- Include active ideas in your travel itinerary
One of my first things that I do in a new city is a free city walk and I LOVE IT! That's at least two hours of walking and it's usually at the start of the day, so that's a good way to get some exercise in. Another idea is to go see a city from the top of hill or get up the stairs of an old building to the city scape like I did all over Prague. I think it's a good way to see the city and keep fit. There are so many tours that offer cycling around the city and that can also be a great option to burn some unneeded calories.
- Be aware of what you are eating on your trip
I get it food is amazing! I don't even disagree and when you are away on a holiday, I know it gets even more tempting to indulge. I hear this sentence a lot: "oh go on you are on holiday." The problem is that you pay for that moment when you are back from that holiday. Like my Portugal trip clothes from last summer don't even fit anymore. It must be the three Pastel De Natas a day. oops. I should have only one! It's good to try new things but there are common no nos like fried, overly creamy and sugary food. Don't say no to everything, but try to make it balanced. I like to actually have desserts in the morning because I know I will burn them during the day at least.
- Don't Forget Your Greens
When I am travelling and having meals at restaurants, I don't always remember eating my greens and getting enough amount of veggies. I don't even make it restaurants and end up surviving on carb loaded street food! A good way to make sure your greens are topped up is to go to the grocery store and just grab some fresh vegetable and cut them up to snack on. If that's not possible, take some vitamins with you at least.
Good Health Reads
I find reading about fitness and food really useful especially to understand everything logically instead of guilt tripping ourselves all the time! Flat Belly Kitchen is one of the books I started reading on this subject and I found it really helpful because it talks about the sad reality of food and it does not talk about carbs like something evil. They tell you what is good and bad based on their own research then give you alternative. Another good food book is Women Code because it talks about food and hormones, which is something so many women overlook in their daily lives. Roar was my first fitness book that I read and I just love that it was written by a female athlete and it discusses a lot of women issues like working out during a period and the various stages of the cycle and how it affects the performance. It is a heavey read and packed up with research, so it takes time to digest, but it's a good one. The last book "Thiner Leaner Stronger" is the latest book I got and I am still making my way through it. A little skeptical because it was written by a man for women, but he gives a lot of good examples and steps in there.
I hope you found these tips useful and please comment any more tips you might have!