Time and again I struggle maintaining a routine while I travel. Whenever I’m not traveling, I head to the gym or learn a new language or a dance form almost regularly. And all of this tends to take a backseat when I’m on the go. Travel puts me out of my comfort zone and opens me up to larger than life experiences. However, all of my other interests gets overlooked and often times it is even difficult to resume routine after travels. Most of the times I put everything else on hold, including my health and fitness.
Over time, I realized that there are so many alternative ways to stay fit and also enjoy my travels better. Adopting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be lulled down while travelling.
No, I’m not talking about compromising on food experiences.
Food plays a vital role in understanding a new culture. And it is one of the reasons many people travel – to explore a culture through food.
However, you can be mindful of the food and prefer wholesome food whenever possible as opposed to heavy oily and junk food.
If you are not planning on setting aside a good amount of time for fitness from your already busy travel schedule, then try to accommodate fitness in your travels itself.
It could something as simple as walking around the city or going on walking tours to explore a new town. Or it could be cycling around an island. Or exploring the waterways through kayaking or canoeing. No matter the kind of traveler you are, there is an ample number of opportunities to be active on the go.
Here is a list of my favorite activities to stay fit while traveling.
Cycling – Stay fit while traveling
One of the major advantages of cycling and walking is that it replaces sedentary time sitting around in buses or trains to active exercises. Cycling is time efficient – in the sense, it helps you workout and at the same time transport you from one place to another. Though in much slower pace than buses or trains.
Check out if the location you are going to provides bicycles for rent. Use that as a mode of transportation to move around.
- Cycling is low impact – so it causes less strain and injuries than other exercises
- Improved joint mobility
- Improved posture and co-ordination.
Additional Read: Ultimate Guide to the Maldives on a Budget
Swimming – Stay fit while traveling
If you are planning to have a relaxing vacation with not much moving around, that’s fine too. If you have been staying in a property which has access to a pool, then take a dip and go for a swim.
More than the exercise, swimming has always been therapeutic for me, and no matter how exhausted I am after long flights, it always has a way to make me feel rejuvenated.
- Swimming is low impact with no wear and tear of muscles unlike running.
- Builds endurance, muscle strength(and toned muscles) and cardiovascular fitness.
- Provides an overall body workout as nearly all the muscles are used while swimming.
Additional Read – A Great Girly Getaway in Thailand
Kayaking or Rafting – Stay fit while traveling
Exploring waterways of a new place on your own is an interesting experience. Be it beach kayaking or still water kayaking or braving the rapids while rafting, it’s a fun exercise which should not be missed!
I’m always on the lookout for upper body workouts when I’m on the go. So, whenever I have a chance to go kayaking or rafting, I grab it. It gives me the much-needed back, shoulder and arms workout.
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscle strength especially on the back, arms, and shoulders, from moving the paddle.
- Increased torso and leg strength from moving the torso and applying pressure with your legs while paddling.
Scuba diving – Stay fit while traveling
Check off bucket list dive sites as you effortlessly shed calories diving! The underwater world is an entirely different world altogether and so not meant for humans. But if you take the effort to go scuba diving or free diving, there’s no going back! You will always be hungry for more!
I got so fond of scuba diving in Thailand, that I even got certified as an Open water diver in the Maldives. What’s in store for me next? Advanced Open water diver, of course.
Curious to know how I got certified on diving? Find out more about it here.
Planning a dive vacation? Find out some interesting locations to scuba dive around the world!
- Increased flexibility and strength – Muscles tend to move against the resistance of the current and water itself which helps in not only building strength but also flexibility and endurance.
- Healing effects of water – One of the little-known benefits is the healing effects of water which is scientifically proved. Oxygen plays a major role in repairing cuts and tears of tissues within the human body underwater.
- Reduce blood pressure – Studies report that those who dive on a regular basis are less prone to strokes and heart attacks.
Hiking – Stay fit while traveling
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
It may be spanning a couple of kilometers or couple of hundreds, it all begins with a single step. Put one foot in front of the other again and again and again AND again, and voila you will reach your destination sooner or later. It is advised to be fit both physically and mentally for a trek especially while scaling difficult ones and don’t just think of winging it. Being prepared in general puts you in a much better position in the wild and reduces the risk of getting hurt.
However, trekking for me has always been more about the willpower than any physical stamina. Yes, you need physical fitness but after a certain level, it’s the mental fortitude that counts! Willing to push yourself every step of the way can be a deciding factor of where you turn out to be! Be it in trek or life in general!
Making sure to carry a reliable hiking backpack is an essential part of any hiking checklist. Check out some of the best hiking backpacks here.
Additional Read – Packing checklist for a Himalayan trek
Yoga – Stay fit while traveling
Yoga not only offers flexibility and strength but also calms the body. However, since yoga requires dedicated time for it, it is hard to practice. Attending wellness and yoga retreats might help in this regard.
Additional Read: A fantastic staycation at Bamboo Retreat
Meditation – Stay fit while traveling
Fitness is as much about the mind as it is about the body.
It is said that it is easy to channelize cosmic energy through meditation while on the summit. However, don’t take my word for it. Try it out yourself next time.
As you all know most of the guided meditations have sounds of the birds or the ocean as a background tone. It’s scientifically proved to have a calming effect on the senses. And sometimes when you are traveling to places where you have direct access to the peaceful surroundings, you might as well make the most of it.
As they say, make hay while the sun shines!
Note – If you don’t have a calming background to meditate on, you can try Insight timer a free Android and IOS app for meditation. It helps you keep track of your meditating habits and you can track your friend’s progress as well. Great way to motivate each other, don’t you think?
Next on my agenda is to learn the 3S – skiing, skating and surfing which will add even more flavor to my experiential travels.
So what are your favorite activities to stay fit while traveling? Let me know in the comments below.
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