Our Personal Methods of Staying in Shape on the Road
Traveling and fitness don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. Getting a workout done is usually something you do when you have free time and can go to the gym and make your own protein shake or smoothie. When you’re on the road, you won’t always have access to a gym. You may not have access to the usual foods and drinks that you’re used to having. You may not have proper workout wear or running shoes. Heck, you may not think you even have time to exercise.
These are some of the biggest and most common demotivators!
But they don’t need to be. There are plenty of great ways to stay in shape while traveling in foreign lands!
This one is probably the easiest and best way to keep yourself in good shape while abroad. You can run virtually anywhere, whether you have proper running shoes or not. If need be, go barefoot and run around on grass or sand. There’s no excuse why you can’t do this ANYWHERE you go. As long as you get tired and work up a sweat!
Every time you pass a bar or ledge, challenge yourself to do some lifts. Not just 1 though, do a set (whatever is an appropriate challenge for you). If you do a couple sets throughout your days, you’ll start strengthening and developing your back muscles. As an added bonus, it will improve your posture (important!). Frankly any workouts that involve lifting and supporting your body weight are called calisthenics, and are an incredible way to keep your body strong.
Swimming is a full-body cardiovascular exercise and it’s good for you! It’s also fun, so that’s nice. If you’ve got a river, lake, ocean, or pool nearby, use it. How can you travel without swimming? That’s crazy talk. Unless you travel to a desert… I guess there wouldn’t be swimming there. Man, imagine if there was though….
Maybe you brought your laptop/tablet, maybe you didn’t, but you’ve got a phone right? If you can get access to wifi, you’re set. There are hundreds of short workout videos on YouTube that will easily fit any time constraint you might have, and they’re usually pretty solid workouts. Five minutes, 15 minutes, an hour? It’s all there. It’s YouTube! The only thing is you may be uncomfortable having people see/watch you doing YouTube workouts, in which I would quote the popular catchphrase: “Dance like nobody’s watching”.
We always take our laptops with us anywhere we go. I personally enjoy doing Tony Horton’s P90X videos. They are professional, full-body workouts, that cover every aspect of fitness from muscle building, to cardiovascular/calorie-burning, to breathing & flexibility. I find it to be the greatest fitness tool in my life. I would absolutely recommend buying a copy for yourself. (Some workouts require a chin-up bar or workout bands, but many of them do not. Also: workout bands are super easy to take traveling, so no excuses there.)
So I don’t recall when/where we first heard of this game, but it’s a fun game to challenge your friends with. Basically you must refrain from saying “Ten” or “Mine”, the result being that you have to do 10 pushups on the spot. You’ll end up doing a bunch of pushups every day and it’ll be a fun way to go about it. It also promotes more laughter, which is good and healthy for you. If you’re traveling longer than a week or two, it gets to be surprisingly difficult. You’ll start finding clever ways to trick your friends into saying it, it’s really funny.
Let’s be honest, this should probably be number 1 on any fitness list. Yeah you can work out a ton, but if you indulge in all the delicious offerings of every new restaurant or marketplace you go to, it’ll become quite difficult to keep your beach body where you want it. EAT HEALTHY, PEOPLE! This one’s a no-brainer. Fruits and vegetables, often! I know there are blueberry ice cream flavoured Oreo’s out there but it doesn’t mean you have to eat them (that was my mistake, they weren’t very good). Be conscious of eating well and you’re already halfway there.
*Important Note: Beer is high in calories. It’s easy to drink a looooot of it. Drink more water. Even if you drink a lot… drink more.
I’ll leave it at that, I’m not going to get any deeper into what you should and shouldn’t eat. Just take note of the importance of your diet while you’re traveling.
When it’s all said and done, at the end of the day, you need to want it. Don’t just arbitrarily do a couple jogs and eat some fruit and expect to be fit. You need to challenge yourself. You need to push yourself physically every day, and that comes down to your willpower to spend a portion of your time on personal gain. If you don’t truly want it, you won’t be successful. Simple as that. Write down some goals. Make a deal with your friends (or just yourself) that you will perform a certain exercise every day. If you put your integrity on the line, you’ll increase the likeliness of achieving your goals.
That’s pretty much everything when it comes to our travel fitness secrets. Well, also handstands and flips, naturally. But we won’t recommend that to everyone. We would hate to see any harm come to anybody, should anything go wrong.