10 Ways to Stay Fit While Travelling
Don't leave your healthy habits at home when you travel. These tips will keep you focused.
When you travel, do you leave your healthy lifestyle at home? It's easy to overdo it with carb-fest lunches & late nights, clubing or at the hotel bar. But do you really want to return home feeling worse than when you left?
A far more satisfying way to travel is to stay active & fuel your body & mind with all the things that keep it running at its best.
1. Upload fitness DVDs to your laptop or smart phone before you go
If you're on the road, then you're probably got a laptop or smart phone. Throw a fitness DVD on first thing each morning. Do a quick workout early & notice how much easier it is to resist the temptations of the breakfast buffet.
2. Explore the resort on foot
If you really want to get to see the resort the best way is by walking. If you're on a business trip, try to schedule it so that you can walk to at least some of your meetings.
Skip the taxi unless you're late, it's raining like crazy or your destination is more than a mile or two away. And steer clear of tour buses unless there is really no other way to visit a particular attraction.
Also, avoid the hotel dining room in the morning. Instead, walk to a nearby breakfast place. You'll probably get a more satisfying meal at half the cost. You'll also see some street life on the way.
3. Use the hotel gym
Some people thrive on routine. If you have a regular gym schedule that's working for you, then continue it while you're away. Keep your healthy lifestyle going, and it won't be a struggle to get back to it when you return home. Most hotels have some sort of gym or exercise facility. Even if it's just a basement room with a couple of stationary bikes - use it!
At the other extreme, you may find that your hotel has a big, glamorous gym with machines you've never used before. Schedule an induction to learn how to use the machines & experience your workout as a novelty. The hotel might also have a sauna or steam room, maybe they offer spa services that are new to you. Bodywork is definitely a part of keeping fit and healthy. Schedule a massage or some other kind of therapy.
Travel is about experiencing the new. Apply this attitude to your exercise routine as well & you'll find that even your same workout in a new setting can be a treat.
4. Take the stairs
This one's easy. Never take the lift, unless you really need to. It doesn't matter how many flights up your room is. In fact, book a high floor. Better views from the room and more calories burned to get there!
5. Discover local fitness activities
Wherever your destination, there's probably some kind of sport or physical activity that's popular in the resort; skiing, hiking or climbing if you're in the mountains. At the beach, take a surfing, body-board lesson or at least get off your beach towel and actually swim in the ocean. Near a river or lake? Spend an afternoon canoeing, sailing or rafting. Those are the obvious ones…
In parks, there are inevitably pick-up games of football & basketball. Big cities are also rife with climbing gyms, martial arts dojos, yoga centres & dance studios. Think how much more fun your museum day would be if you capped it off with a salsa lesson!
6. Rent a bike
Most major cities - have "smart bike" systems, with checkout stations throughout the city that allow users to pick up a bicycle in one location & drop it off in another. These are great for urban commuters but are also ideal for tourists, since the services tend to be located in the busiest core of cities. Get around town on a bike & you're sure to see more of it.
Beaches and other tourist destinations almost always have rental services that allow you to take out a bike by the hour or by the day. Have you ever been curious to try a recumbent bicycle or tandem? Rent one & take it for a spin up and down the beach!.
If you're traveling by car, load up the bike rack & vow to leave the car parked once you arrive. In crowded resort towns you'll be happy when you pedal past people stuck in their cars in high-season traffic.
7. Keep one habit, no matter what
Holidays are notorious for undoing months of diet and exercise. This may have a little something to do with a holiday diet of fried food and piña coladas. However, what really derails a healthy fitness routine is an interruption to it.
But it's a holiday! It's time for a break! True, but consider keeping just one healthy lifestyle habit while you’re away to keep your momentum going. eg, go to bed at your normal time or wake up at your normal time. Or, if you're used to a specific healthy breakfast keep eating it every day. Make a promise to keep one good thing going & then follow through on that commitment. This will create a powerful sense of control and continuity that will make it easier to get back on your health & fitness track when you return home.
8. Have a Indulge Day
Early in your trip pick one day to totally overindulge. Eat & drink like you mean it. Stay up late. Make an ass of yourself. Seriously: You have been dreaming about this holiday for months. You are livin' la vida loca!
When you wake up the next morning, notice how you feel. Don't gulp down your usual hangover remedies whatever they may be & don't have a big guilt trip. Simply notice what is going on with your body. Let yourself feel it. Your head is pounding, right? Your stomach feels sour. You have no energy. Everything feels awful. You want to go back to bed. It’s time to ask yourself, ‘do I want to feel like this every morning of my holiday. Do I really have that kind of time to spare’?
Later in the day when you're thinking of having a fourth beer or a second dessert think about what it was like when you woke up. No judgment, no worries. Just remember how you physically felt. Then make a conscious decision about whether or not you want to feel that way again in the morning. If you do this on day one or two, maybe the lesson will be learnt.
9. Slow down
With our fast-paced, frenetic & stressful lifestyles it can be hard to slow down into holiday mode. That go-go-go attitude can cause you to miss what's right in front of you.
Are you back for a third helping at the all-you-can-eat buffet and you can't remember what was on your first or second plate? Relax. There's more than enough food for everyone & no rush for you to finish eating. Remember, you're on holiday. Slow down & enjoy whatever you're eating, whether it's "healthy" or not. Relish it. If you focus on & savour your food, you won't eat as much. That's not the reason to slow down, though. Go slow so that you can truly enjoy every single, delicious bite.
10. Make your holiday an adventure
Do you really just want to sit on the beach for a week & drink? (Wait. Don't answer that.) The best way to stay fit when you're on holiday is to get out and do stuff. Tips number one through nine will help you focus a little bit of healthiness into your trip. But this last tip is the biggie & doing this one means you won't need to bother with the others.
If you have been taking good care of yourself - working out, eating right, getting enough sleep - then you have been in training for a real-life adventure. Reward yourself on your next holiday. Pick a fun, physically active adventure & build a trip around it.
Cycle from Saigon to Angkor Wat or through New England. Dive or snorkel in the blue waters of the Caribbean, Pacific or the Indian Ocean. Refine your yoga practice at an ashram in India or Costa Rica. Go climbing in the Alps, Utah or Kentucky. Take a rafting trip down the Colorado River or through the French countryside where you'll float past vineyards & villages.
Are these just pipe dreams that are too expensive or complicated to be considered? Think again. If you can afford a family holiday to Disney World, a Caribbean cruise or a high-season week at any seaside resort then you can afford something better. You can do something much more memorable, interesting & active. Before you go on autopilot & book the usual beach holiday, think for a minute.
What's your dream? Do you want to charter a sailboat in the Mediterranean? Have you always talked about wanting to cross-country ski in Vermont? Then do it. Go! Why else have you been working hard & clocking all those hours at the gym?
Do some Internet research & book a trip that excites you & makes you a little nervous. These are the eyes wide open, active experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life. As an added bonus (not that you need one), you'll return from an adventure holiday looking & feeling exhilarated, recharged, inspired & even more fit & fabulous than when you left home.
Will six days of an all-you-can-eat buffets & lounging round the pool do all that? I don’t think so.