Travel is unhealthy! The one thing that my friends in the gym complain the most is ‘travel’ and how it comes in the way of their fitness. All the effort that we put in the city (in the gym, outdoor activities or exercise classes) is nullified during our travels. Is that what we want to hear? Wouldn’t it be nice to travel and ensure out fitness and shape doesn’t get affected? Wouldn’t it be great to know secrets to nullify the effects of too many beers or delicious desserts.
Be it business travel or a leisurely holiday, most of us blame ‘travel’ for gaining weight, losing fitness, losing muscle mass, losing stamina and even losing flexibility. Travel is an integral part of our lives these days and hence we have to find a solution instead of giving excuses. I used to be one of them too till I decided that I couldn’t keep complaining, but had to find a solid solution if I wanted to continue traveling the way that I have been traveling.
Whether you are going on a short relaxing holiday, a business trip, a work assignment, a long backpacking trip, a gap year or any other types of travels, you will discover in the below pointers based on personal experience and experiences from fellow traveler friends, 5 easy ways to stay fit during your travels.
1) Get Cardio in any form
Be it your hotel swimming pool, open ocean, lake or river, you can swim absolutely any where. It is refreshing, fun and helps you increase your work output.
The one thing we do more while traveling is walking. With so much to discover and explore, we invariably walk a good bit and this is good.
If you are staying at a place for more than 2 days with no access to a gym or a swimming pool, it is best to find the closest park where you can go for a run or a jog. All you need is your running shoes with you. And it is a great way to make friends and live like a local.
Personally, I like running and walking to cycling, but I am sure a lot of you out there like to be on 2 wheels. Exploring the world from on a cycle is also special and it definitely gives you a good solid workout.
Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Mountain Climbing, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Trekking or any other adventure activity is high on burning calories. With such activities you address 3 needs at once: adrenaline rush, loads of fun and increasing physical output.
You can still burn lots of calories even inside your hotel room. Sex feels great and is a great full body workout.
Yoga is one of my absolute favorites to stay fit while traveling. There was a time when different forms of travel (flight,train, bus, etc.) and sleeping on different hotel beds would have a bad effect on my back. But, once I took to Yoga all that disappeared. Instead, my back and should I say my core started strengthening and all that travel stiffness vanished.
Just 5 minutes of yoga every day in the confines of your hotel room goes a long way in keeping you fit. My favorite yoga asanas are Adho Mukha Svanasana, Ardha Navasana, Spinal Twists (all types), Ardha Matsyendrasana, Balasana, Bhekasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanuasana, Paripurnanavasana, Rajakapotasana, Salabhasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, Simhasana, Suptavirasana and Urdhvamukhacvanasana. These are easy to learn and practice yoga positions and help with strengthening your core, increasing body flexibility and burning calories. If you are comfortable with these, you could even move to the advanced yoga positions for say 5 to 10 minutes every day.
You could do your yoga indoors or in any beautiful outdoor location. You could join a yoga class if you are staying in a place for long, especially if you are headed to yoga focused destinations such as Rishikesh, which offer those 200 hour Yoga teacher training classes that you will take your knowledge to the advanced and super experienced level.
3) Push Ups
After yoga, push ups are my next best way of staying fit. They help keep my upper body strong and are a great workout in themselves. The best part is that we can do it absolutely anywhere as it doesn’t need any special accessory. The floor and your bed is good enough to do a variety of push up exercises.
4) Those Strong and Beautiful Abs
It is this part of the body that most of us are worried about as all our sins (drinking and eating) seem to reflect here. More than the fat sitting on the waistline, it is the abdominal core that is more important as those abdominal muscles are an integral part of our body’s core strength. I follow an abdominal exercise routine that includes 3 broad exercises. You could do all of it in 5 to 10 minutes or you could simply alternate exercises every day.
These can be done on the floor. Help in core strengthening, workout the upper and the lower Abs and even the obliques. A great workout that can be done almost everywhere.
A great exercise to prevent your stomach from distending outwards. It is great for core strengthening too.
I totally recommend the Ab wheel if you are traveling for more than 2 weeks. You could either carry your own Ab wheel or buy it at your destination. Either ways, it is a super small accessory. It is a solid Abdomen and core workout and its effects are amazing.
5) Dancing and Partying
The best tip has been saved for the last. While the above 4 were great ways of staying fit, dancing and partying is possibly the most joyous. It helps you burn the ill effects of beer, helps you bond with the people around and basically allows you to let your hair down and enjoy.
In addition to the above 5 ways of staying fit, you could always join a local gym, a local training environment (dance studio, yoga studio, etc.) or join an outdoor activity group (like trekkers, cyclists, mountaineers, etc.).
I hope you find these tips helpful and are able to enjoy your travels while staying fit and healthy. No more complaining about how travel is unhealthy!