Are you passionate about traveling and living a healthy lifestyle? Maybe you aren’t necessarily passionate about healthy living but you know you need it. That’s okay too. When traveling for work, play or anything in between- it tends be to struggle to get workouts in and eat healthy. Many friends of mine complain that they often gain lots of weight when they are traveling and come home feeling bloated, run down and exhausted. Alcohol is often a part of traveling to new places and indulging in the local cuisine so how can you enjoy your trip and still stick to the healthy habits you’ve been working so hard to create?
@ensusiasm, Where will I take my Nikes next?
First and foremost, like anything else in life-it starts with the belief that you can in fact do it. If you write off every single weekend trip, vacation and work trip before you even start of course you aren’t going to follow through once you are on the road. If it is important to you, you need to believe that it’s possible(because I promise you it is), plan ahead and accept progress not perfection.
In 12 days my boyfriend and I are packing up our lives here in Australia(maybe we should have already started) and heading to Bali for a holiday. If you follow my blog or social media you know that we aren’t leaving by choice but due to visa complications. We have nicknamed Bali our “deported holiday” and then we intend to move to New Zealand on a working holiday visa until we can sort out a new visa to come back to Australia.
My boyfriend and I are both very passionate about health and fitness and have spent the past year really making it a lifestyle and not a vicious cycle of backwards and forwards! Both of us have been working extremely hard on our nutrition and our training and it’s a bit intimidating to head out into the unknown.
Luckily, I know what to do. I have the belief I can do it. I have the tools to stay on track. I have a loving relationship with my body, food and adventure. I will never miss out on life for the sake of 3% body fat or a few pounds. I actually have no idea how much I weigh and I don’t care. I don’t expect perfection but I know I want to feel strong, healthy and happy when our vacation is over.
I care about treating my body well, nourishing it with quality foods and treating it sometimes too because let’s be real, I love food. Going backwards or stopping all together on my fitness journey is something I did FOR YEARS. I backpacked through South East Asia and Australia in 2014 and I definitely got off track and ended my trips feeling really shitty. The crazy part is I was still implementing some of these and didn’t even give up completely. But not this time. I’m going to share my plan and my tips so that you can take on your next adventure with the right attitude and not feel like you missed out on a thing.
Pack your gear– Bring your favorite workout gear(always a great motivator) and little things to help you get in quick circuits. Some sneakers, yoga pants, a few bras & tanktops. They are pretty light weight so it shouldn’t take up too much room! I recommend a yoga mat and a resistance band. Light weight and portable and the possibilities are endless. If you bring them you should feel obligated to use them.
Molly Shaw, @hazeleyedwanderer, Rocking her activewear all over the US National Parks
Maxine Victoria Waite, Busting out her TRX straps and yoga mat in the Australian Outback
Talk it out before you go– If you are traveling with someone else tell them what workouts you want to incorporate and when! I suggest in the morning before anything else happens! That way you aren’t tempted to skip later in the day! It’s even better if you can get your travel buddy involved. Even think about making a schedule if you are really organized!
Vilde Holth, @vildeholth, Hiking Morro Dois Irmãos with friends in Rio de Janeiro
Stay involved– I run monthly online fitness support groups and I stay involved in them when I am traveling. A lot of clients or friends tell me they don’t want to do them during a time that they are traveling but honestly it keeps me so much more motivated if I know I have to log my workout and check in with my group. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it is surely different than my normal diet but knowing I have to own up to my choices is a reason to have one glass of wine instead of 5 and 2 drunken slices of pizza!
@ensusiasm, Working out with my teammates in Nashville, TN
Nutrition is still the most important– I try to follow the 2-1 rule. Each day I try to have two “normal” healthy meals. Usually breakfast and lunch. I pack my superfoods shake for the morning and try to get a protein-veggie- carb combo for lunch! And then one meal I indulge. It’s up to you what that means but I find if I only have one meal a day that’s different than my usual- my stomach, mind & body feel much better. I switch it up if we go for a big fancy lunch then I try to eat a light, healthy dinner. Water intake is also key! No matter what you are eating keeping hydrated is so important. Treat wise I choose wine or dessert, but not both. I try to stick to 3 “treats” per week even on holiday! That’s a lot (usually only have one a week). If you are able to get groceries or stay in a place with a kitchen, even better!! Cook meals at home and then go explore. You get to decide what you put in your mouth no matter where you are.
@ensusiasm, Breakfast at my Air Bnb in Central Australia
Walk as much as you can-Skip the bus or the taxi and walk the city. When you arrive set out for an adventure to scope out as much as you can by foot. Some cities are more friendly for walking but ultimately you can incorporate more walking anywhere. And don’t be afraid to bust out some planks, headstands or yoga poses while traveling, you know you want too!
Jessica, @jessterryfit Headstanding all over the world, pictured here in Italy
Plan active adventures– Don’t just lie on the all beach. Maybe for a day or two but go out and see stuff, hike that mountain, rent some bikes, or go explore big museums and art galleries . Not only is it a better way to see more it keeps you active without having to “workout.”
Stephanie, @stephsbackpack, Hiking in Crete
Stream workouts– This is a godsend. My company has recently introduced the Netflix of workouts that you can steam anywhere and it is my savior for being on the go. Short, dynamic workouts with a ton of variety I can bring up on my phone, tablet or computer! I love knowing no matter where I am in the world I have dozens of personal trainers in my pocket. You can also find tons of workouts on YouTube!
Stephanie, @stephsbackpack, Getting in a quick yoga flow on the beach in Thailand
Get involved in local fitness activities– Even if it’s a short time figure out what is popular in that city and try a class. My yoga class in Ubud was one of my favorites ever! They might even have something that’s not available where you live! It’s a great way to see a different side of the local community! Or you can always bring your own to a local park, beach, or outdoor area! If you’re at a hostel get others involved- I stayed at a hostel in Northern Australia and whipped some of my fellow travelers into shape! It’s a great way to connect with new friends.
@ensusiasm, Sunrise Bender with @onewaveisallittakes on Bondi Beach
Attitude– This is BY FAR the most important. You have to want to keep up your healthy lifestyle. You can’t waste time resenting the fact you “have to” workout. You’re doing it so you don’t “have to” feel like a bag of shit when you get home! You’ll have more energy on your trip and be less stressed when things inevitably don’t go as planned. See it as a necessary habit and part of your life. Hopefully you don’t just give up on showering and brushing your teeth when you are in a new place so exercise should be the same, just another daily habit that you do to take care of your body and feel your best. It’s a blessing to have your health, no matter where you are and your body and mind will thank you when you return home feeling refreshed and relaxed not bloated, depressed and lethargic.
@ensusiasm, Busting out some pushups on the Bondi to Bronte Coastal walk
This is my promise to myself and to you. I am committed to staying fit on my adventure in Bali and my transition into my new life in New Zealand. I am going to be sharing my journey on my Instagram @ensusiasm and my Facebook page so follow me on there if you don’t already. Do you have any tips I missed? How do you stay fit on the road? I guess I better start packing…
27 thoughts on “How to Stay Fit on the Road”
This is something I also struggle with. Although I’m always quite active when I travel, the availability of cheap, healthy food (or rather, lack of; street food is often fried and full of carbs) does make staying fit and healthy a big struggle sometimes.
It I’m staying somewhere a while I stock up on fruit and veg from the local market but if I’m just picking up food on the go it’s normally not very healthy – too much bread and cheese, which just makes me feel bloated and sluggish
Yeah, I totally agree. I am lactose intolerant so I can’t have any cheese or dairy. This has made me much more conscious of what I consume and I simply don’t buy things that will make me feel bad. Sometimes it’s hard but taking the extra time to find the healthy options is ALWAYS worth it!! Gotta think of how you will feel afterward because when you are bloated and sluggish you are way less likely to take full advantage of the place you are traveling anyway( at least that’s how I am.) Try to make the effort next trip and let me know how it goes!!
Trying not to overindulge can be so tough while travelling, but I really like you’re 2-1 rule! Hiking and exploring a city on foot is such a great way to get your exercise in – and they’re my 2 favourite things to do while travelling! Great post! 😸
Aww, thanks! It really really helps me it sounds so simple but that way I feel like I get to try new cultural foods but I still am on track!! Hiking is the best ❤seems like we would be good travel buddies haha
I am impressed by your dedication to stay fit on the road. I am a foodie and love to try out new foods. I do a lot of active stuff too tough like walking and hiking, so most of the times I do not gain weight and sometimes even loose a bit.
Thanks so much. It’s been a learning process of dedication for sure because I am also a foodie!! lol moderation!!!
Such a great blog post. I totally agree that the right attitude and discipline goes a long way. I really try to stay active most times when we travel.. We are scuba divers and trekkers so on my feet most times but I do have a lot of cheats too (cannot help the delicious food when we travel)
Thanks so much!!! Yes, attitude is number one in my book. That’s awesome you like to scuba dive!! Are you certified for your open water? That’s on my bucket list!
Hi there, yes I’m PADI advanced certified 😊 It’s totally worth getting certified, opens up more dive spot eligibility 😉
I’m glad you still managed to stay fit while traveling. This is a real struggle for me because every time we travel, I never limit myself to try all the food-must-try in each place I’m exploring. Perhaps with a lot of walking tours, it will somehow burn the calories. 🙂
It’s still a struggle for me! I loveeeee food and I don’t ever like to feel like I’m missing out but like I said it’s hard to enjoy the trip fully if I feel bloated/lethargic etc. I still try them but just in small portions and not for every meal!! Try the 2-1 tip and let me know if it helps!
Thanks, Sandy! Glad you enjoyed!
This is super motivating! I’m traveling now and had planned to work out on the trip but it really hasnt happened. I have so many excuses, but I need to at least start working on eating less dessert! Thank you for this!
You’re welcome! Get to it missy!!!! Tomorrow morning, get up and do it before any travels!! ❤❤
geez! super impressed with you two …big ups on the discipline and good luck with the move to NZ. I wish I had an ounce of your will power….too easy to snack on junk whilst I write.
Haha aww, thank you!!! Honestly, it was totally a learned thing and is STILL a work in progress. For me it was about committing to learning WHY I wanted a healthy lifestyle and once you see how good you can really feel, it’s addicting! Plus having support. That’s why I love helping others/ inspiring people to make healthy living a part of their universe!
True, support is important its so hard to go it alone.
This post is right on time. I’ve always attributed my personal fitness to consistency, and when I began a travel lifestyle almost two years ago my fitness regimen was the first thing to suffer. I’ve started in small steps this year. Planning workouts wherever I travel to, and utilising my environment. Thanks for the great tips.
You’re welcome. So glad you found them useful!! ❤❤❤glad you are making small steps forward! 🙂
Great tips for those seeking to stay fit on the road. We’re not very active people, but I think even I can take something away from this 😂
I guess by engaging in local activities you can also immerse yourself in the culture, I like it!
Awww, good!! I’m glad!! You gotta start somewhere and once you do it gets addicting. Kinda like traveling 😉😋
I’ve been in Europe for two months…wish I’d read this before my trip
Awww, well next time you take a trip!! How long are you staying?
Lol, next time! This trip is wrapping up, I haven’t planned my next trip yet.
Yes, definitely next time!! You can do it 🙂 Let me know if you need any help!