Whenever I hit the road, one worry weighs heavily on my mind, I’m going to lose my six pack abs…
For many travellers, staying fit and healthy are two things that are, more often than not, forgotten once you hit the road. Your on the road – you’re partying hard, you’re sleeping little, you’re not in the right state of mind to go looking for a new gym to join twice a week; exercise is a pain in the ass.
While traveling is a great opportunity for you to explore new places, cultures and vibes it can be really bad news for your health. It is, however, actually relatively easy to maintain some level of fitness whilst on the road. This means that even if you are on the road, trekking through the jungles of the Amazon, exploring Southeast Asian caves or conquering perilous peaks, you should make keeping fit and healthy a priority… Luckily, there are 5 easy ways to keep fit whilst traveling the world.
1. Stay Active and Exercise
Finding a gym on the road can be really inconvenient but always keep an eye out for hostels that have gyms attached; there’s a few out there. One thing you can do pretty much anywhere is go for a swift 5km run. You don’t require much equipment for running, some basic gear such as running shoes, a water bottle and maybe a running backpack. There is one other thing I would definitely recommend for running and that is some hi-vis safety equipment. Particularly important for running in environments you may be unfamiliar with, it can also help you be visible while hitching, especially at night!
Try to keep active by kayaking, trekking, climbing and mountain biking – the more adventurous the activity, the better your fitness levels. Whenever I am in the middle of nowhere, I aim to find some rocks to work out with…. I’m not kidding. You can find plenty of bodyweight workouts online to keep you busy.
2. Drink green juices and smoothies
Juices and smoothies – possibly one of my favourite things about travelling! Juices are crazy expensive in the UK so to hit the open road and be able to afford a mango shake every day – well, that makes me pretty stoked! More importantly, fresh juices are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Green juices in particular are a great way to stay healthy and to keep your skin in good condition; pretty important if your heading out on the pull! Also check out some protein powders to keep your energy up!
3. Don’t party tooooo much
Speaking of going out on the pull… Partying, crazed sex with beautiful strangers and drinking are definitely a part of travelling. However, drinking every day, especially when you hit the ‘morning beer’ routine, can be a really great way to screw yourself over. You’ll get fat, sleep badly and will feel sluggish… Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit of a party animal, but when it comes to drinking I do try not to drink excessively three days on the trot… that might sound like common sense but you would be surprised; simply head to the wild bars of Vang Vieng and you’ll meet people who have been stuck there for months.
4. Stay hydrated
Coconut water! Need I say more? This stuff is damn delicious and the main reason I carry a machete around with me… It’s also extremely hydrating. Hydration is important, I’m an expert when it comes to travelling and yet even I, every now and again, get sick simply because I didn’t drink enough water and I spent all day in the sun – use your head, drink water not beer.
5. Peel it, boil it, skin it or forget it
If you don’t want to get sick this is the mantra you should follow; peel it, boil it, skin it or forget it… This sounds pretty obvious but it’s a great way to avoid the kind of food which can make you incredible sick if you end up getting it wrong.
So thats that folks – stay healthy, stay hydrated, eat well and heck, throw some rocks around every once in a while – I like to pretend a horde of Amazon women are secretly watching me from the jungle, prepping at any moment to drag me away from my rocks and back to their tribe so that I can father a race of super-human Amazon backpackers….
6. Know critical diet information in the local language
For those traveling with a serious allergy or a restriction like celiac disease (where even crumbs of gluten can make them sick for days), taking care ahead of time is really important.
In those cases, I suggest picking up a translation card. There are many on the web, but for gluten-free travelers, I recommend fellow travel blogger Jodi Ettenberg’s gluten-free restaurant cards. She has traveled with celiac disease for over a decade, and has really detailed restaurant cards using local food names, and making sure to communicate the issue with cross-contamination. They’re the most detailed cards I’ve seen on the web and you have your pick of a dozen languages (so far).