31 Exciting Activities & Tips to Get Fit & Stay Healthy while Traveling.

Where there are new destinations, new adventures await (not necessarily THE weight).  Imagine coming home feeling rejuvenated, energized, and motivated… instead of needing a vacation from your vacation.

Whatever your purpose for travelling, the one sure thing is that it’s going to shake you out of a routine.  Erratic sleep and jetlag, socializing, celebrating, indulging, and yes, even BM anxiety, can lead to a swelly-belly and weight gain. This is certainly a struggle when you are on a journey to get in shape. Travel is meant to take us out of our comfort zone and plop us down someplace else, but that doesn’t mean you have to come back home to too-tight jeans and burnout.   

Where there are new destinations, new adventures await (not necessarily THE weight). Imagine coming home feeling rejuvenated, energized, and motivated… instead of needing a vacation from your vacation. In fact, depending on the life you lead at home, this can be a positive thing.  If you are from a city, nature is an awesome reset.  Landlocked? Head to the sea.

I struggled with my weight for years, pushing myself in the gym and not really getting anywhere. Once I started I traveling, I took myself out of my comfort zone, trying new sports and activities that was not necessarily accessible at home (Mountains for example). The longer I traveled, the stronger and more audacious I became. I hike further and higher now and the weight that I spent years fighting, started falling off without noticing.

When it comes to challenging yourself and learning new sports, remember that it takes courage to try, and it is never too late to learn, stop that comparative thinking right now, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!  Here are 31 fantastic to ways to stay heathy and fit while traveling basically anywhere.

City.

Fit In the City

Walk everywhere.   

When it comes to sightseeing in a city, there is no better way to experience as much as possible than to walk.  Find the quaint alleys, gardens, parks, street art, markets, architecture, museums, local cafes.  I often use a step counter app or wear a pedometer out of curiosity when in a city.  My most steps to date in a city was 40,000 per day in Budapest.  That is nearly 17 miles and it helped burn off the langos and chimney cakes.

Missioning through the streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar in search of a new daypack.

Running.

Tighten your laces and pick up the speed.  I love seeing cities wake up and bonus… FEWER TOURISTS.  Map your route and swing by some places on your hit list to get your day going.

Mossy stone trail in Austria.

Dancing. 

Dance is an important part of human expression in many cultures around the world whether it be ceremonial, celebratory, competitive, sexual, sacred there is a place for it in most communities.  Why not learn something local like the Flamenco in Spain or belly dancing in Turkey?  And if that’s not your vibe, music is a great global connector, I have danced on many a bar top to Beyonce, Dolly Parton, and David Bowie. 

Yoga. 

With yoga gaining popularity around the world, pop-up yoga classes are found all over the place — Rome, Prague, Cape Town, Cambodia.  These can be found in Meetups, AirBnB experiences, Facebook groups, couchsurfing.com. Just walking through a city I have stumbled on a number of them and jumped it. There are yoga retreats, yoga studios, yoga and surfing.  It is a great way to meet locals, and everyone can use more stretching. 

A daily practice is not a bad idea.  I really like the Down Dog App and you can take your practice anywhere. This app is very well designed to allow you to select the type of yoga you want, the intensity, the focus, the music, the voice of the teacher and the length of time.

Cycling. 

Amsterdam?  Tour of Tuscany, anyone?  Bicycling is an excellent way to see the sights and cover longer distances.  In Zanzibar and Vietnam, a free bicycle was often the deciding factor for my accommodation.  Many major cities offer some form of hourly bike rentals for commuters, but if you plan to have a bike for the day, it may be worth it to find a local bike shop and do a daily rental.  

Water.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Swimming.

Clear turquoise waters are my happy color.  Swimming is a full body workout that is stress-free and low impact. 

Cape Town’s tidal pools

Snorkeling & Diving.

Snorkeling is an awesome low-budget way to appreciate under the sea. A good-fitting mask makes for a much more rewarding experience. While diving’s upfront costs are much greater, having the certification opens the world below. Most areas that offer diving will have a certification course as well.        

Surfing.  

If there is a swell worth surfing there will be rental shops for boards, wetsuits and lessons if you’re giving it a go.

“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun”

Phil Edwards

Kayaking and Paddleboarding. 

This is one of my favorites.  Great workout, beautiful scenery, and meditative.  I travelled with this Sea to Summit dry bag to ensure for more adventures like this.  It is compact and protects your gear.  

Kayak adventures in Croatia

Windy. 

Windy destination on the water?  Give kiteboarding, windsurfing, or sailing a go.  On top of a mountain, maybe paragliding? 

Gone with the Wind

Mountains, forests, deserts, coastlines

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”   

John Muir

Hiking. 

Explore mountains, lakes, beaches, forests, deserts, streams, valleys.  Go for an hour, go for a day, a week.  Challenge yourself or meander along, but find this time to get grounded and in awe of nature.  Alltrails is a great crowdsourced app for finding local trails along the way.

Before setting off to travel, I lived in the flat coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina. They call it the Lowcountry for a reason — our highest point is a bridge. I had never challenged myself to a hike before, because where would I hike? I arrived in Austria in 2017 and took the cable car to the top of a mountain outside Salzburg, took in the view and had a beer. Four years later, I am living 2 hours away from that mountain and I hike daily. Now when I get to the top of those mountains, I have earned my beer.

Rock climbing and Bouldering. 

Uwe leading Carte Blanche in Tafelberg, South Africa

This is a sport I fully attribute to my husband. He introduced me to the sport and a ton of world-renowned climbing destinations, some I had been to and others I had not. When returning to these places as climbing destinations, it changed the way I viewed the area. 

As an avid climber, he had all the gear.  If you don’t feel like dragging around 40 kg of climbing equipment, most climbing destinations will likely have rentals and guides in the area.   

Slacklining.  

Climbing and slacklining go hand in hand. When my husband and I started traveling, I quickly understood better how quickly he could connect with locals. String up a line and the kids from the local villages would rush out to play. The parents would curiously come and even with large language barriers, offering to hold their hand was understood.  Extremely good for balance, focus, and core strength.

Mountain biking.  

Adrenline junkie?  Hairpin turns, steep downhills, rocks and roots.   Trailforks.com is a thorough site for finding trails in the area.

Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding, and skating. 

Now living in Upper Austria I am making the most of our snowy peaks. Otherwise, these seem more like destination sports. It is certainly not cheap with rental equipment and lift tickets, but certainly a way to keep you fit in the winter.  I am more of a bunny slope and apres ski kind of girl, but have been embracing the snowshoeing and sledding as well as hikes in the deep snow.

In one place.

HIIT workouts. 

A quick cardio burn that you can do in your hotel room, park, or beach.

Everywhere in the World.

Soccer.  

The most universal sport in the world and a global unifier.  It is easy to jump into a pickup game, the cost: a soccer ball, although I have also played with a bottle filled with air.  What better way to get fit than running and connecting with strangers.  Soccer is soccer everywhere in the world (unless of course it’s football).

Sex. 

Improved heart health, reduced stress and blood pressure, and improves mood.  So have a sweaty romp, just remember to be smart and wrap it up.

Glamping….

A few extra healthy travel habits

Stay hydrated and keep water on hand. 

Quenching your thirst will prevent misinterpreting hunger pains, dehydration while flying, overheating in the desert, and general thirst moodiness.  I highly recommend carrying a refillable water bottle.

I have a Platypus collapsible water bottle.  I’ve had two over the past 4 years and they held up really well.  Light, compact, reusable, BPA-free, practical when traveling, and offers a warranty. Another great option is the LifeStraw that allows you to filter your water anywhere.

For severe dehydration: dissolve 6 tsp. sugar + 1 tsp. salt into 1 liter of water.

Choose your booze. 

Ditch the sugary cocktails, it leads to the worst hangovers and extra calories.  My drink of choice is tequila, soda water and citrus (bonus Vitamin C boost)!

Ditch the smokes.

This can be particularly trying when smoking is so prevalent in many parts of the world, and goes hand-in-hand with drinks.

Stay regular with probiotics. 

Yogurt, kefir, lassis, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, even small little pills will help everything flow easier.

I believe a daily salt lassi in India kept the Dehli Belly away

Enjoy everything you eat. 

Apricot Gelato in Bosnia

Be mindful and no regrets.  On particularly tough or lonely travel days, I would listen to the wise words of Donna and Tom’s motto from Parks and Rec “treat yo self.”  Gelato, ice cream, soft serve, these comforting confections found home around my tummy, which just meant I would walk while eating my ice cream dream.  

Cook. 

Make use of the homestay and hostel kitchens.  Cooking is a great way to know exactly what you are eating, usually less expensive than eating out, and healthier than a diet of cheap street kebabs. Cooking also allows you to play around with local ingredients you may not have access to at home.  

Healthy snacking.

To keep hangry feelings at bay, keep an apple, nuts, dried fruit, or a bar with you to tide you over. Avoiding that dip in blood sugar will keep you level-headed and energized throughout your day and you’ll be less likely to overeat when it is meal time.

prepping apple chips

Get some sleep. 

All-nighters have their place…just make sure not to get too burnt out.

Afrikaburn 2018

There are countless benefits to exercise including increased energy, more restful sleep, improved mood, and easing depression and anxiety. You want to feel great while on the go and staying active is an excellent way to do that. Activities like these are great ways to meet new people and have the adrenaline rush of new experiences in different parts of the world. Enjoy, stay safe, and have an epic adventure!

How do you stay fit while on the road? Write a comment or send me a message with your favorites – I’m always keen to try something new.

Feeling uncertain about how you can stay fit during your travels?  Book a travel coaching call to help you build a personal plan for your next trip.

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