Summer is here and even though I am not one to stress over the bikini bod (chocolate is worth it much more than starving yourself, if you ask me) and am perfectly out of shape as you have probably guessed from my many hiking posts about Mount Amos in Tasmania, the Heart Attack Hill at Kings Canyon in the outback and my Grand Canyon detour. In short, I am perfectly unqualified to tell you about how to keep fit to travel and keep fit while travelling.
For this purpose I have asked for help from my fellow blogger Kacey, who is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective. And now she is talking you through how to stay in shape while travelling solo (cause there is no one there to make you do sports and keep the chocolate bars from your greedy hands).
Travel Solo and Still Motivated to Stay in Shape?!
The experience of traveling solo is one everyone should have. For me, solo journeys have always been about self-discovery, you might be surprised at who and what you’ll encounter without the influence of your fellow travelers. It will force you out of your comfort zone, and if you’re like me, that means finding a way to adapt a disciplined, healthy lifestyle to the spontaneous nature of a solo trip.
The first time that I travelled alone, I set off on my trip extremely nervous. What would I do for exercise without my cherished mountain bike? Would I be able to maintain a healthy diet, or would delicious street foods ruin the good habits I had worked so hard to form?
What I learned was that none of these challenges are too difficult to overcome. There are healthy people like you all around the world, and most of them haven’t got a gym membership. If you follow these seven tips, you’ll not only enjoy your trip, but you’ll return home feeling great.
1. See the City
Once you reach your destination, there’s no better way to get orientation than by taking a walk through town. No two places are alike, so get a map and sally forth to explore your new surroundings, just make sure to read up ahead of time and make sure your destination is safe to peruse on foot.
2. Work that Core!
Core exercises are among the most crucial for total body fitness and to keep fit to travel, but you don’t need a lot of room to do them practically anywhere. Bring a small mat or cloth to lay down outside or in your room and bust out some mountain-climbers, sit-ups, push-ups and planks.
3. Taking the Stairs
Staying someplace that’s several stories tall—you’ve been gifted a natural workout. See how many times you can make it to the top and back down before you’re totally exhausted. You can even use my tried-and-true gamifying technique “race the elevator to the room with a big-ass jug of water”; just don’t spill while you try to stay fit to travel.
4. Go for a Hike
You can usually join a guided expedition with other thrill-seekers like yourself for a small fee, or if you’ve done your homework, tackle the ascent on your own to keep fit and have an adventure.
It’s a good idea to bring a small pack for use on the hike with water, snacks and some extra cash. You can steal a page from the ultralight backpacking community by packing lightweight conveniences, for example, repurpose sample-size shampoo bottles for sunscreen and pack versatile equipment such as smaller towels when you have reached your peak of sweatiness or are in need of wiping something down.
5. Sign up for a Local Event
This is one way I’ve managed to take in some local culture and stay fit to travel at the same time. Find a place that’s offering yoga, dance, or more traditional exercise classes and jump into a class. You’ll have a hard time not coming away with a new friend or two, and you’ll also learn something about the local culture.
6. Get Wet!
Swimming and other watersports offer exceptional workouts, a great way to cool off, and exposure to new and interesting places. Find a willing group (do NOT do this alone) and swim across a small lake, or don your suit and go bodysurfing at the local beach. Kayaks offer a speedy, one-person method of seeing an entire coastal region, but make sure you’re informed about local tides and potential dangers before you begin.
7. Get a Job
Let’s be clear here, I am not suggesting you fill a craigslist offer for moving help in a third-world country. There are ways to travel solo and pay your way through work at family-owned business like a farm.
The WWOOFing program is a great example for this. It offers us nomad types work opportunities in a variety of different locales; all you have to do is complete the qualification process and you’re eligible for free lodging and a little spending money. When you’re not getting ruggedly fit doing farm work, that is.
These are just a few ideas, there are many more ways to keep fit while seeing the world – even if you’re a truly dedicated fitness freak, you don’t have to look at travel as a nerve-wracking challenge. Instead, it can be an opportunity to enjoy the healthy lifestyle you lead and get acquainted with new cultures and like-minded people at the same time. I can attest that I’ve returned from many of my favorite trips feeling healthier than the day I left. So pack your bags and go get fit!