When you’re travelling, it can easy to slip out of a healthy lifestyle. You’re away from your gym and your regular exercise routines – no Sunday morning football or mid-week spin class to keep you in check; you don’t have a well-stocked kitchen to prepare proper meals so you’re surviving on street food, or worse, pure junk food, and the temptation to spend days lazing on the beach instead of walking around can be irresistible.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to keep fit on the road though, if you follow these simple tips:
When booking a hotel, try and get one with some open land nearby, so you can go for a run in the mornings. The reception desk may even offer a trail map. At a push, a car park might do, but it’s not really a great idea doing circuits in an area with lots of traffic, so accommodation close to a river, a forest, or a park, is ideal. Low-hanging, sturdy tree branches or goal-posts on playing fields can double as pull-up bars.
So long as you can get online, you have instant access to hundreds of free exercise resources on sites such as YouTube, for instruction on yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and much more. Sticking with a favourite routine or discovering a new one is easy if you have Wifi at your fingertips.
Bring Your Kit
There are many pieces of exercise equipment that are compact and light enough to take away with you, which can do you the world of good, from skipping ropes to stretch bands and hand resistance strengtheners. Only the truly hardcore pack a medicine ball though.
Use What You’ve Got
You may be lucky enough to find a hotel with a pool or a fitness suite available that you can use on the house. If not, and you didn’t pack any equipment, then you’ll need to make do with whatever you can find in your room. You can do a variety of exercises using the furniture, and even do some weight training if your bag is heavy enough. If there’s a children’s play area at the hotel, it may seem weird but what’s to stop you popping down late at night after all the kids are in bed and doing some chin-ups on the swing bar?
Prioritise Good Eating
When you’re travelling you’re usually confined to a strict budget, which makes it easy to find excuses for not eating well – pasta and rice are cheap and filling, as is fast food which you really want to avoid. So if you’re really focused on keeping in shape, you need to spend more money on eating food that’s going to help you achieve that goal, and cut out other stuff. And that can work in your favour too, if you’re not drinking so much alcohol, or walking more instead of taking the bus or a taxi.
Unless you’re really into it, maybe you don’t want to go through a whole exercise routine every day; you’ve gone away to have fun after all, and for most of us, exercise isn’t all that exciting, more of a necessary chore. But try to do at least one active thing every day, be that a half-hour swim in the sea, a walk along the beach, or a 15 minute jog up and down the hotel stairwells.
Free Gym Try-Outs
A bit naughty, but a common practise – if you’re visiting a city and find yourself with a day free, why not call a local gym, pretend you’ve recently moved to the area, and wondered if you could experience their facilities? You’ll have to sit through a half-hour sales pitch, but stick with it and you should be able to then spend the rest of the day in the gym, the pool or the spa free of charge.
The best way to explore a new destination – cheap, carbon-free and healthy. Many hotels rent bicycles to guests for very little cost, and if yours doesn’t then chances are there’s a business nearby that will. If you’re staying for a while you may be able to negotiate a cheaper rate as well.