STAYING FIT WHILE TRAVELLING9 min read

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STAYING FIT WHILE TRAVELLING

Most people I know (including myself) make a point of packing their fitness gear with the best of intentions of using them. Easy said but not so easy done.

STAYING FIT WHILE ON THE ROAD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A CHORE

Yes, holidays are generally for relaxing by the pool and having a beer or 5 at night so who has time for a workout? But if like me you like to enjoy your holiday without fear of falling off the rails then this is for you.

People at the beach in Florida, USA. Staying fit while travelling

GET INTO ROUTINE

The main reason I am able to maintain my fitness at home is mostly down to routine. Going to the gym is just as important to me as going to work and although few and far between I struggle during those days I can’t go.

Holidays shouldn’t be any different, set aside the same time everyday whether it’s the morning, before lunch or before you go out to dinner. My times vary, depending on the type of holiday I’m on. If it’s chilled then it suits me to go first thing in the morning before breakfast. Otherwise, going early afternoon gives me enough time to clear my head and develop an appetite. It also means I have plenty of time before dinner for that all important nap in the afternoon sun!

People exercising in a sunny day. Staying fit while travelling

KEEP IT SHORT AND INTENSE

Lets be realistic, you’ll have plenty of other things you’ll want to do on holiday besides going to the gym for 90mins. Keep the session short and the heartrate high. Doing a 30minute workout when it normally takes you 60 will not only free up valuable time but also make it easier to go in the first place.

I tend to up my intensity by mixing in drop sets, tri sets and giant sets. This will also concentrate my exercises into a shorter time frame and get that all important heartrate pushed up.

TIPS….

  • Wear a Fitbit to track your activity and always aim to achieve your daily target. I normally set out to achieve 10,000 – 15,000 steps.
  • Going for a walk is one of the best things you can do on holiday. Not only will you reap the benefits of Vit D but it’s also a good excuse to get out and explore.
  • Drink water, lots of water!
  • For weight training, stick to bodyweight and compound exercises.

NO GYM, NO PROBLEM

If you are keen on weightlifting and don’t have access to a gym you can incorporate plenty of shorter and more intense workouts using compound exercises and a bit of imagination. Everything from a towel to your luggage can be used in a variety of ways and soon the options become endless.

I have done it all when out on the road and used everything from my bed to a tree branch to get even a short workout done. You aren’t always going to come across a fully equipped gym or a hotel room which allows you the space, so do your best and use your imagination.

A perfect ample of using available resources.

COMPOUND/BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES….

  • Press ups
  • Pull ups
  • Squats, Lunges, Step ups
  • Dips

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW OPPORTUNITIES

There is a terrible stigma with getting fit. People seem to think you always have to bust a gut in order to maintain some fitness. Yes you can go down that line of high intensity but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Going to a new country and environment brings a host of other opportunities and possibly some new ones. Everything from going for a beach walk to having a splash in the sea can be enough to take the edge off last nights chocolate fondant.

David Simpson walking by the beach. Staying fit while travelling

Some hotels or resorts might have facilities for guests such as tennis courts, golf courses and water sports among others. It’s amazing how many calories can be burnt without having to bust yourself in the gym. Beyond the realms of the resort the options then become endless with everything from swimming to beach volleyball.

Specialist activities or active excursions might also be an option, such as rock climbing, hiking or a walking tour. The great thing about these is that not only are you benefitting from the fitness aspect but you are also trying something new and possibly learning in the process.

David Simpson rock climbing. Staying fit while travelling

FIND A NEW PASSION

Trying new things in another country is also a way of uncovering a new passion. If my trip allows me the time I’m always keen to try something new, whether it be a cookery school or something activity based. After spending a bit of time in Bangkok I gave Muay Thai a shot. I love my fitness but never tried much in the way of combat sports but ended up loving it and something I do every time I revisit.

David Simpson and local Muay Thai training partner. Staying fit while travelling

Another example has to be scuba diving. I tried this for the first time at The Great Barrier Reef and have since dived all around the world. There is really no way to describe the experience and is one of the most rewarding activities I have ever done.

ACTIVITIES….

  • Walking, running, cycling.
  • Gym classes; Yoga, Pilates etc
  • Tennis, volleyball, squash
  • Swimming, surfing or Scuba Diving.
  • Something native such as Muay Thai.
  • Just try and be active and if you can, build up a sweat

Sweat it out

GYMS & CLASSES

As the fitness industry continues to boom, it comes as no surprise that more and more hostels and hotels are incorporating their own gyms or setting up affiliate programs with a local gym. But doing an intense weights session isn’t going to be for everyone.

Yoga and Pilates are only two examples of classes that will challenge you without having to do 30 minutes on a treadmill or a 200kg squat. Working out doesn’t always need to be super intense, all you need to do is increase your heart rate for around 30 minutes.

There are also workout stations cropping up in every major city and can be found along popular parks, trails and beaches. This is one I used in Rio’s Copacabana Beach where they are positioned every few hundred metres so users can add in a run or a walk between each workout.

People exercising in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Staying fit while travelling

FINAL THOUGHTS

So whether you take your fitness seriously or not, it’s always good to maintain some form of balance. It doesn’t need involve the gym or be intense, a simple walk down the beach can suffice. Just be active. See all, 5 tips on how to stay healthy while travelling.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x

Question Time

  • Do you enjoy working out??
  • What exercises do you do, any tips?
  • What’s your diet like on the road?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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