One challenge of traveling is staying fit and healthy. When we lose the consistency of our daily routine, as we do on the road, we tend to live in the moment -- which is great for having unique adventures but not so great for our bodies, especially when eating three slices of cake suddenly becomes a good idea. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself in shape. To help you stay fit on the road, here are some suggestions.
The easiest way to stay fit while traveling is to stay active. While you may think adding a run or gym session into your day will waste precious time, walking and biking to your destination isn’t really adding anything extra into your day; it’s simply transporting you through the city in a more budget-friendly, eco-friendly and waistline-friendly manner. Moreover, walking and biking your way around a city as opposed to taking cabs, trains and buses allows you more opportunities to notice cultural exchanges between locals, artisanal markets, quirky shops and other sightings that help you know a destination on a deeper level.
While sightseeing bus tours can be a relaxing way to see the sites, think about incorporating more active experiences into your trip. Walking tours and bike tours are great options, as are sports like hiking, standup paddle boarding, windsurfing and climbing. Depending on where you are, you may also be able to do a culturally relevant active class, for example, karate in Okinawa, yoga in India, tango in Argentina, samba in Brazil and tai chi in China.
The tendency when traveling is to fall into an “I’m on vacation” mindset, meaning you overindulge without a care because you’re taking a break from real life. Unfortunately, while you’re not counting how many pastries you ate for breakfast your body is. This doesn't mean you shouldn't sample the local cuisine, but do so in moderation. Try portioning out your meals, and when it comes to snacks and sweets only take a taste. You may also want to opt for an accommodation with a kitchen so you can cook some of your own meals, which has the added bonus of saving you money.
One vacation trend that’s been picking up speed -- literally -- in the past couple years is sightrunning. Instead of leisurely sightseeing, you see a destination by running through it. Most major cities have guided sightrunning tours so you can also learn about where you are from a knowledgeable guide.
Exploring local markets is a fun way of getting to know a local culture, as you get to interact with locals, browse local handicrafts and sample the freshest made-from-scratch foods. While not everything you’ll find at a market is healthy, there is almost always fresh produce as well as dishes made from fresh, local ingredients without any unhealthy additives.
Don’t think of working out as something you’ll do if you have time, but instead incorporate it into your itinerary as something you must get done. Try to book a hotel with a gym, or if you prefer the outdoors, an accommodation near a park. You can also workout in your room doing weight-free exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, burpees, squats and planks, or pack a thera-band for resistance exercises, as they take up virtually no space.
What do you do to stay fit while on vacation?
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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