Is it really possible to stay fit and healthy while travelling? Of course it is! Will it take any time out of my busy itinerary? No! If my hotel doesn’t have a gym, how can I still stay fit? These are probably just some of the questions you are asking yourself, when you think of staying fit while travelling. We simplify this, with tips and advice on how to stay fit while travelling.
It is easy for exercise to fall at the wayside while you go off on holiday. But it really doesn’t have to be! It is much easier to gain weight than to lose weight and going on holiday and not maintaining your fitness, could result in you putting on a few extra kilograms. So, do you want to stay fit while travelling?
Disclaimer: Please note, we are not qualified personal trainers or nutritionist. Our tips are based on our knowledge and experience of staying fit and maintaining a healthy balanced life style while we travel.
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How to stay fit while travelling
Instead of returning home with a few extra kilo’s (kilograms) and we are not talking about those souvenir purchases that’s increased your baggage weight. Simply implementing a few of these tips on how to stay fit while travelling, you could easily maintain your fitness level.
Think about what you eat
A lot of staying fit and healthy is what food you eat! You might think you’re on holiday so it doesn’t matter what you eat, but it does!
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, and it is! Eating breakfast, gives your body important nutrients and will give you enough energy to kick start your day. Choosing the right food at breakfast will keep you going until your next meal.
Eating a balanced diet consisting of fruit, vegetables, protein, nuts, and carbohydrates.
If you are staying at a hotel that includes breakfast, make sure you have it. Choose food that’s good for you, such as healthy cereal, for example oats, or muesli and fruit. Try and avoid sugary cereals such as Frosties, Cocoa Pops, Cheerios, etc.,
Protein is great for repairing muscle, eating eggs and sausages are ideal. Try and avoid fried food, as these can cause health problems if eaten too often. We would recommend eating a couple of boiled eggs, or scrambled eggs as the preferred choice. Having a balance diet is key, so don’t cut fried food out altogether, just eat it occasionally for breakfast, rather than every day.
Carbohydrates provide the energy to keep you going through the day, you could make a sandwich or have a slice of toast to accompany your breakfast.
If the hotel you are staying at does not offer breakfast, consider going to the local supermarket and purchase breakfast. Not only will this save you money, but you can purchase healthy food you want to eat for breakfast and healthy snacks at the same time.
Eating little and often, is great for maintaining a healthy diet. Having a healthy snack between your main meals, will continue to provide you with energy, as the day goes on. Slow releasing foods such as nuts and fruit are great, as they will give your body energy that it needs to keep it going.
At lunch or dinner, if you have had a long day walking, hiking or exercising, you should eat a good meal consisting of carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrate replaces the energy you have lost throughout the day and the protein will help rebuild and strengthen muscles.
A big part of eating and staying fit and healthy, also comes down to how much food you eat. If you eat too much food and not enough exercise, this is what causes weight gain. Not eating enough and too much exercise will cause weight loss, but losing weight incorrectly is not good for you. Eating the right balance of food, and consuming the correct amount will keep you healthy. Listen to what your body is telling you and adjust your food consumption accordingly.
Depending on a number of factors, it is recommended that 2000 calories intake for a female and 2500 calories intake for male.
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Here is an example of what we might eat depending on our activities:
Day by the pool:
Breakfast – a light breakfast of cereal, fruit, yoghurt, and an egg. If there are no plans for exercise, we will reduce the amount of food consumption, as we won’t be using as much energy compared to if we were out for the day walking, or hiking.
Snack – fruit
Lunch – A meal that would contain protein, a small portion of carbohydrates to give us some energy and vegetables
Snack – nuts
Evening meal – Something light with protein and vegetable, again we would reduce the amount of carbohydrates intake as the lunch time meal should have given us enough
Active day sightseeing:
Breakfast – As we are having an active day walking, hiking and sightseeing, we would have cereal, fruit, yoghurt, protein and toast to give us some energy
Snack – fruit, nuts, and an energy bar.
Lunch – A large meal consisting of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables
Snack – energy bar, or a fruit and nut bar.
Evening meal – something a little lighter but with protein, carbohydrates, and vegetable
Drink plenty of water
Our body is made up of 60% water!
Drinking water is the most important element when staying fit and healthy. It keeps you rehydrated, help transport nutrients to give you energy and keeps you healthy, helps with digestion and so many more health benefits.
It is said that you should drink about 2lts (litres) of water a day, but this is dependent on the person and the weather conditions. If the climate is hot, you are more likely to drink more water, but in cooler conditions, will be less. In our experience, we drink in excess of 2lt a day when we visit Sri Lanka, due to the hotter climates, but back in our home country, we may drink between 1.5-2lts a day.
Travellers often neglect to drink water while they are on the road, but even if you haven’t been in the gym, or you don’t think you have done any exercise, you still need to drink water. As you are sightseeing around the city, there will be some loss of water and you must replace it, as you could become dehydrated.
We would recommend packing a small water bottle and refilling it regularly during the day, alternatively invest in a really good water pouch. We swear by using a water pouch, we have a 2lt pouch that sits in the back of our bag, with a drinking tube, allowing a flow of water without taking the pouch out of the bag. Try and avoid plastic water bottles, as they are bad for the environment.
Drink, drink, drink, drink
How to exercise
You don’t need a gym in the hotel to still exercise, all you need is a small space in your room to do HIIT (High Intense Interval Training), body weights exercises, or Yoga. Exercising for about 20 minutes per day for 3-4 days a week will keep you fit.
To help you keep fit, we have a few workouts that can be done in your hotel room:
A HIIT work out, for those of you beginners, are short bursts of exercise at your maximum effort, with a recovery period or rest for a short period, repeated for about 20-30 minutes.
Depending on your fitness ability, you could do 20 second workout, with a 40 second rest period, repeated. To make things a little more challenging you could work out for 30 seconds with a 30 second rest, or 40 seconds with a 20 second rest period, repeated.
So lets start with a HIIT workout routine.
- Mountain climbers
- High knees run in place
- Tuck jumps
- Lunge jumps
Complete between 3-4 rounds of the above exercises, don’t forget to warm up and cool down before and after exercise. Warm up and cool down will prevent injuries and get your heart rate raised. This workout will be tiring, but you will reap the benefits with staying fit while you travel.
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Body weight workout:
Weight training, or body weight training is just as important as cardio exercise and you will want to include a mixture of both in your routines. Body weights helps to build muscles, muscle definition, and will help with burning more body fat.
You can do body weight exercises just as a HIIT workout as above, or you can do rep-based workout.
A rep-based workout, would consist of doing 10 reps, resting for 30 seconds to 1 minute before repeating the reps for a number of rounds.
Body weight workout routine:
- Press ups
- Walking plank
- Sit ups
Always make sure you do a warm up and cool down before and after your exercise routine, to prevent injuries.
If your hotel has gym facilities, utilise it. You can even do HIIT training on gym equipment. It would be the same principle as above, but you could use the running machine, rowing machine and the exercise bike. You don’t have to spend long in the gym, 20 minutes is an ideal time to burn fat, maintain fitness and won’t take too much time out of your busy travel schedule.
Having a pool at your hotel is another great way to stay fit and healthy while travelling. Just doing a few laps, or doing some exercise in the pool, will get your body moving and keep you fit.
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Walking where possible
If you are unable to squeeze in a 20-minute workout session, then why not walk! Walking is just as good for you, you are still exercising, but is less strenuous and you are still losing weight, keeping fit and healthy at the same time.
Walking is a great way of getting around a city and sightseeing, burning calories, and most importantly saving money.
Where possible, we will always walk. In our opinion it is the best way to explore the local area, and discover something new, that we might have missed on public transport.
Sleep is so important when staying fit and healthy; you must get a sufficient number of hours sleep, to recharge your batteries, ready for the next day of adventure. It is recommended that you should have about 8 hours of sleep a night. This will of course depend on the individual person, and how much you require a night, to keep you balanced. If you are travelling and had a long day sightseeing, always try and get about 8 hours sleep per night. You will certainly feel more refreshed the next day.
We both love to stay fit and healthy and while we might be travelling, we are always conscious of what food we consume and the amount of exercise we do. We will try and exercise at least 4 times a week, if we are walking most of the day, we won’t do any workouts, but if we have a lazy day by the pool, we will do a workout in the morning, or do a couple of laps in the pool. Keeping to a routine as much as possible will also help you stay fit.
This is only the tip of the ice berg, to really ensure you stay fit while travelling, you need to implement these key points throughout your trip.
How do you stay fit while travelling? Are there any workouts that you do while on holiday? Are you concious of what your eat while travelling? Is there anything you think we have missed, that we should have included? Do you not think about staying fit and healthy when you travel? Let us know by leaving a comment below.