"Fit is not a destination. It is a way of life."
When traveling somewhere new, we have a lot on our minds. Bucket list items, money, time… the list goes on. A gym pass isn't usually at the top of the priority list and pasta and minute noodles are just way more economical and easier to prepare in a hostel than chicken and veg.
Health and fitness has been a major part of my life for a very long time now. I played every sport I could, took up running and walking and I love going to the gym. It’s important to me. Over the last 6 years I've lived in 3 different countries and I've traveled around to countless cities, towns and villages - so I can't always depend on a routine to keep me on track. When I say on track I don't mean losing weight or getting rock hard abs. For me, staying fit and healthy affects my mood, my confidence, and my state of mind.
When going on holiday I have a slightly different mindset: "YOLO". By holiday I mean I'm settled somewhere and I'm going to a different location for a short but sweet break from the daily grind. Usually this means I'm staying in a hotel without always having the means to make myself a meal nor do I have any sort of routine to follow. Yes. It's awesome! These rare little life gems don't come around often, so yeah, I'm going to embrace it. But there are ways to avoid going off the rails completely if staying fit is important to you.
Here are some tips on how to keep healthy when on the road:
1. It is 110% free to go for a run. Ideally choose a stunning and beautiful route to distract from the fact you are indeed running.
2. Use walking as your main method of transportation. Get yourself an umbrella and comfortable shoes and save money on the bus and train whenever you can. It's incredible how fit you can get just by walking every day!
3. Download a fitness app with the "at home" workout options. Take yourself to the park, or on the floor in the hostel bedroom or lounge room and follow a workout from start to finish at least once or twice a week.
4. If you have access to a kitchen, even better. Things like a loaf of wholemeal bread, eggs, bags of frozen veg, lean mince, oats, rice cakes, peanut butter, etc... go a long way and are very affordable. Shopping at farmers markets on the weekends are a great way to shop cheaper and also support local businesses.
5. Download a few podcasts to enjoy while you’re walking, running or working out. These keep your mind focused and entertained as you work your body. And if you can download educational/informational podcasts about the place you’re visiting, you can kill two birds with one stone!
6. Eating on the cheap can be an issue - street food is usually the most affordable and it’s just not practical to eat a sit-down meal in a restaurant all of the time. Under these circumstances, balance is key. Just try to even out your meals throughout the day. If you eat a banana pancake for breakfast and a pad thai for lunch, try to splash out for a chicken salad at dinner.
Sometimes it’s easy to stay fit while on holiday because you are exploring so much you don't even realise how much walking and or physical activity you are actually doing. Every other hotel has a gym these days - even some hostels, and every restaurant in the world has at least a semi-healthy option. You can always be that annoying person who modifies things to be a bit more healthy. Most places won't mind, and if they do, that's their problem.
All of that being said, I can't stress enough that you are on a HOLIDAY. You have been working your butt off for this and most likely have been looking forward to these glorious days of freedom for some time now and you need to "treat yo self!" If it’s important to you to stay fit, but you don’t want to obsess over it just because you’re out of your regular routine, remember:
Author - Myra Advent
Myra is a Canadian living in Perth chasing the Australian dream. She Has a passion for a healthy balanced lifestyle and will never pass up on a impromptu weekend adventure!