7 Exercises to Stay Fit while Travelling
by James Norwick
When you're travelling the world, it can be difficult to maintain a fitness regime. You leave your gym membership back at home and don't want to fit tons of exercise equipment into your bag. Then, because your time is taken up with flights, sightseeing and socialising, exercise is sometimes forced to take a backseat.
But there's no reason to neglect your usual health and fitness while you travel. If you eat a healthy diet at home, find healthy snacks and meals in whichever country you're visiting. If you regularly see a physiotherapist at home, find one whilst you're away. And when it comes to staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight, there are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your trip. Here are a few ideas:
As long as you have your running shoes, you can keep fit anywhere in the world. You could even try running barefoot down a beach for a little extra resistance and a tougher workout. If you're staying somewhere hot, time your run for the cooler parts of the day and remember to keep hydrated.
2. Bodyweight Exercises
Love spending time doing weights at the gym back home? There's no reason to neglect your muscle strengthening exercises whilst you're away. Many big city parks have fitness equipment designed for bodyweight exercises. And if you can't find any, improvise. A park swing set, a strong tree branch or even just a sturdy chair will all work too.
3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The great thing about HIIT is it requires no equipment and minimal time. Do as many push ups as you can for 50 seconds and then take a 10 second break. Do as many lunges as you can for 50 seconds then take a 10 second break. Do as many sit ups as you can for 50 seconds and then take a 10 second break. Do the plank for 50 seconds and then break. Then repeat all stations another three times for a great mini workout.
Requiring very little equipment and available in lakes, seas and swimming pools the world over, swimming is a great all-body exercise. Challenge yourself to swim a certain distance or a number of lengths. And just be sure that it's safe to swim in the place you've chosen. Tides and wildlife can sometimes pose a threat.
5. Stair Exercises
Find yourself a flight of stairs and you have a readymade workout. Run up and down the stairs or take the stairs two at a time. Do lunges and triceps dips on the bottom few steps. And, whatever you do, whether you're in workout mode or not, always say 'no' to the lift.
Pilates is a perfect form of exercise for people on the go. You can do poses in your hostel, down at a local park or even in the airport while you wait for your flight. All you need is a clear space and a good understanding of a few key Pilates moves.
7. Cultural Experiences
Wherever in the world you find yourself, there are experiences to try that will give you some cultural insight and a great workout too. Learn to dance the tango in Argentina, try boxing in Thailand or enjoy an early morning yoga class in India, the country in which it originated. And find more original ways to explore your destination. Hike around a city, kayak down a river or go rock climbing in a local peak. You'll be working out without even realising it.
Staying fit while travelling is easier than you think. Choose exercises that don't require lots of equipment and set yourself targets to avoid getting complacent. You could go home fitter and healthier than when you departed.
About the author
James Norwick is a sports enthusiast, fitness lover and a healthy lifestyle promoter. He is also a blogger and a part of the team behind Bend + Mend - Physiotherapy and Pilates Studio.
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