4 things I do to stay active and exercise while traveling
September 5, 2017 add a comment
Last April 2017, I left Sydney, Australia where I had been living for 5 years and I am now “on the road”, traveling in Europe until January and staying at each destination for a month, working and visiting at the same time. Back in Australia, I had a gym membership so exercising was pretty easy. Now that I’m traveling, here’s what I do to stay active and in good shape.
1 – Walk everywhere
Whenever Solal and I go sightseeing or explore the city we’re visiting, we do everything by foot. I can’t remember a time since we started traveling when we took public transportation or a Uber to go somewhere – except of course to go to and from the airports and when we were visiting other cities (like when we spent a few days in Glasgow while we were based in Edinburgh).
Of course, not every city or destination is walkable. We’re doing a tour of Europe so it’s particularly walkable but I’m thinking of cities like Los Angeles or other places that are not cities where you just have to drive a car or take public transportation.
But whenever possible, try to walk, walk, walk.
Try this next time you’re traveling (or even in your everyday life!): if it takes you less than 30 minutes to reach your destination by foot, walk there.
Sometimes, when we’re not too tired or feeling ambitious, we’ll go up to 45 minutes or 1 hour and maybe take a Uber or metro/bus back home.
At the end of the day, walking everywhere really adds up and you’ve got yourself a really nice maintenance workout. Plus you’ll sleep better at night!
2 – Join a gym whenever possible
Here in Krakow, Poland, we were lucky to find a gym literally 3 minutes away from our Airbnb for less than 60 dollars (for one month + the two of us. When you’re used to paying 100$ per head in Sydney, it feels pretty good!). It is so good to be able to go back into some kind of gym routine, use some weights and machines and have a large room to do my trainings (as opposed to my bedroom or my living room!).
Next month, we will be in Sevilla, Spain and I’ve already spotted a gym close to our Airbnb too so that’s great.
Some gyms have weekly or monthly options so if you’re staying in a place for some time, it might be worth checking out (Google Maps and Google Translate will become your best allies!). Lots of hotels have gyms too so going on vacation and traveling doesn’t always have to mean giving up on the gym.
The kind of workouts I do when I have a gym:
- Weight Machines (usually focused on one body part like arms+back or legs+butt or core)
- 15-minute High Intensity Interval Cardio training with the treadmill (I sprint 30 seconds as fast as possible –usually around 13 to 15 mph–, then jump and put my legs on the sides of the treadmill to rest for 30 seconds, then back to sprinting – and I alternate between sprint and rest like that for 15 minutes)
- HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts like these NEC Workouts
3 – Do at home body-weight exercises
Sometimes, going to the gym won’t be an option – either because it’s too far, too expensive or you simply don’t want to signup while you’re on holiday. I already know for instance that I probably won’t be able to join a gym when we’re in Vienna in December/January. I did find a gym right next to our place but you have to signup for a year (bummer!). I didn’t have a gym either in Edinburgh or Tel Aviv in May and June. So in that case, I do home workouts either using some weights if available or using simply my body weight (which can be pretty effective too!).
The kind of workouts I do at home:
- The Body Boss Method – it’s a 12-week program that I really recommend. It consists of HIIT workouts, with a mix of strength and cardio training and it requires very little equipment.
- The NEC workouts (body weight or with a few weight depending on the equipment I have) – check the workout index here
4 – Maintain a good balance of healthy meals and treats
So this part is not directly related to exercising but it’s essential to staying in shape, especially when you travel for an extended period of time. To me, food is an essential part of travelling. When I visit a place, I wanna try the local food and discover the specialties. For instance in Scotland that means black pudding, shortbread and scones, and in Poland pierogi (Polish dumplings) and lots of dishes made with sausages and potatoes. All very delicious but also pretty fattening.
I will thoroughly enjoy these food but for me to feel good and not gain a thousand pounds, it needs to be balanced with a majority of healthy, nutritious meals. In all the Airbnbs we’ve booked, we have a full kitchen so we go grocery shopping and cook our own meals.
If cooking is not an option for you, I’d recommend you to be mindful of what you eat and try to keep a balance between “treat” meals and healthy meals. Most restaurants will have healthy and unhealthy options, so pay attention to what you choose and try to maintain a 80/20 balance (or at least 70/30 if you really want to enjoy and are not holidaying for too long 😉)
If you want to know more about what you should eat and avoid when eating out, check out this article I wrote. And I’ve also put together a detailed guide of your best and worst options at some of the most popular restaurants (including Italian, Mexican, Sushi and more!). Download the guide right here:
And one last thing…above all, don’t forget to have fun!!