Tips to keep up your fitness goals while traveling

While your travels may be a time for a break in routine, don’t let that be an excuse to skip a workout. With so many easy and fun ways to explore a new destination while burning a few extra calories, you won’t even feel like you’re exercising!

Sofia Vallasciani
Sofia Vallasciani

Sofia is a sustainable travel writer currently exploring Indonesia. She loves finding local gems and uncharted spots.

Tips to keep up your fitness goals while traveling

ANYONE on the road or outdoor for a few months understands the struggle. Those beer bellies were once solid abs. The t-shirt that used to fit so nicely is now loose on the shoulders, and tight around the hips. Unfortunately, the time when you need your beach body the most is when your island hopping in Indonesia or taking a snorkeling trip in crystal blue water.

If you’re on a long trip and don’t go to the gym, you’ll regret all those ten 50 cents beer you had in Hanoi. Because no matter how fit the locals are, a cheap beer has as many calories as a full-priced one. Without a gym at hand and with constant moving from place to place, it can be hard to keep to your fitness goals while traveling, but everything that is needed is a little commitment.

1. Go Hiking

person carrying yellow and black backpack walking between green mountains Crested Butte, United States Adventure in the mountains

Photo: Holly Mandarich/Unsplash

Hiking is easily accessible when you travel. It stimulates both body and mind. Walking up a volcano to admire the sunrise from the top of trekking through an emerald jungle in 40°C weather can really help to sweat off all those calories.

Some of the best landscapes can be viewed and appreciated after a 2 hours hard hike. While scooters are extremely accessible, especially in Asia, taking a day out to find a hidden waterfall can raise your fitness levels. You’ll also improve your capacity if the hike is really steep. There is always a good path to follow. By packing some snacks, any traveler trying to stay fit is in for a treat!

2. Get in The Water

Water beach sea - two young grl in bikini in summer

Photo: FotografieLink/Pixabay

Swimming is great exercise, so in the water early in the morning. If it’s hot out, you have an excuse to get in and wear off all the food from the night before. There are plenty of water activities to take part in on vacation. Swimming is one of the best exercises for your body. It develops several muscles at the same time, increases lung capacity, and reduces stress. Find a good beach and go swimming. It’s far better than the price to swim for an hour in a smelly pool with other 50 people in mismatched swimsuits at home. You may even see some tropical fish that you might not have ever seen before while you swim.

3. Surfing

young caucasian man surfs ocean wave

Photo: Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock

Surfing can be fun and challenging. The relaxed faces of surfers chilling on their boards could be fooling you. Jump on a board and try to get past where the waves break. If you manage to, you will have lost 7000 calories, grow your arms to double their original size, and be a step away from turning into Aquaman. Challenge accepted? You’ll find great surfing locations, many of the most touristy destinations and, even if it isn’t great, it can be a great exercise.

4. Yoga and Meditation

Man sitting on gray dock - fitness goals while traveling

Photo: Simon Migaj/Unsplash

Travelers spend half of their time on the road in magnificent locations around the globe, and there is always a good quiet spot to reconnect with your body and inner self. Make a commitment to try some yoga or meditation. There is no practical need to find a yoga school or ashram around, as detailed courses can be found on YouTube.

It might not create the same atmosphere that a yoga school could have, but meditation apps such as Aura, The Mindfulness App, or Headspace can just be enough. Reducing stress and finding a peaceful moment can be beneficial for your physical and mental wellbeing. It helps you lose weight so you can get that beach-ready body.

There is always a gym: Many hostels and hotels have a gym. Prices can vary, and going there each day may eat into your travel budget. Ask around for local gyms in the area. You may find that these cost a lot less than where you’re staying. You could also do some bodyweight exercise outside and create your own workout with whatever is available around you.

5. Eat Well

Person buying in a store during daytime - fitness goals while traveling

Photo: Van Thanh/Unsplash

When you start dreaming about the exotic food you’ll eat on your trip, it can be very difficult to keep up a healthy diet. Meals are deep-fried, pan-fried in fat, or generally covered with unhealthy (but delicious) sauces in some areas. Yes, Anthony Bourdain taught us that there is no trip without trying out all the local delicacies, but to keep fit you might have to say no sometimes.

Refusing a mouth-watering Vietnamese banh mi can be difficult. If you are away from the beach and happy to have a cheat day, then go for it, but don’t make it a habit. One of the easiest solutions to improve a diet while on the road is focusing on snacks. Abroad there is an abundance of fruit and vegetable markets. A carrot will never be as appealing as a chocolate bar, but a juicy and bright pink dragon fruit could just do the trick.

Bottom Line

Traveling can be fun, and you don’t have to alter your lifestyle that much. It can be hard to avoid the delicious, unhealthy, never tried before food when you travel. You should try to stick to a healthy diet while traveling but cheating now and again won’t be a problem if you get in some exercise. Enjoy a good meal, have a few drinks, but try to stay active to keep fit while you travel.

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