It is not always easy to keep up a healthy lifestyle while travelling, especially when it comes to workout plans and the kinds of food we may be tempted with along the way (everything is just SO yummy). Another obstacle to overcome is certainly the fact that access to all necessary tools can be restricted if staying in a hostel or hotel. However, I strongly believe that travelling and a healthy lifestyle can be combined, with the right preparation. This is why I thought I’d share my best tips and simple recipes with you.
I’ve been going to the gym more or less regularly for three years now. However, a few months ago I really decided to pay more attention to what I eat, (finally) learn how to cook, and learn more about nutrition and the right exercise routines for myself. Generally, I just wanted to lead a more healthy lifestyle. I was kind of sick of only being able to cook the same five things over and over. Also, I finally wanted to see some results from going to the gym and working my butt off. I realised, after all, abs are made in the kitchen, not at the gym! So far, I’m really pleased with the outcome. I feel so much more energised, don’t feel so tired anymore, and overall, just feel better and happier. I still have a lot to learn but my fitness and health level is slowly but steadily improving.
But then I kept thinking, how on earth do I keep my regular fitness routine and healthy lifestyle while travelling?! Continuity is a key point of training. What to do when you suddenly get kicked out of your routine? Being away from home, you usually don’t even have access to a gym, nor access to a fully equipped kitchen. So I came up with some basic ideas to keep up a healthy lifestyle while travelling. I promise these principles are easy to follow even when you are travelling. Note: These tips are best applied to a long-term travel journey. If you’re only going on a two weeks holiday trip, just enjoy it. That’s, of course, no problem at all. What I’m talking about here is more for longer journey, from around one or two months or longer. Here, it’s much more important to actually consider how to keep fit and healthy. My list includes ideas for training and fitness exercises, but also some ideas for delicious and simple recipes for us busy travellers! Enjoy reading and make sure to share your own fitness ideas in the comments below.
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You’ve probably heard this already a hundred times. I’m sorry to repeat it here again but I can’t stress it enough. Your body needs water to keep energised. Especially when you are travelling! Usually, you are on your feet the whole day, exploring new and exciting places, trying out new activities, and get to know a bunch of the most awesome people on earth. Make sure you don’t end up completely dehydrated at the end of the day because you were too busy doing other stuff. Always take a reusable water bottle with you while hitting the road. It will come in handy in many situations. For example, as soon as you get through the airport security line, fill up your bottle at the nearest water fountain to make sure you stay hydrated on the plane. Always take a full bottle with you before you leave your hotel or hostel – then you don’t need to buy an expensive bottle on-the-go when you’re out and about sightseeing.
PLAN YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE BEFOREHAND
Make sure to think of your workout plan before you actually go on your trip because then it’s so much easier to keep a healthy lifestyle while travelling. Once you’re on the road you are likely to just think “naaaah, I’m good” (at least, that’s what always happens to me, uuuggghh). You have no excuses when you’ve already written a detailed plan. It feels much more like a true commitment and you don’t have to come up with exercises off the top of your head. Take the time to find a workout routine that is easy, based on your fitness level, and is – worst case – adaptable to your small hotel or hostel room. For example, I really enjoy doing Yoga and you don’t need a lot of space and no equipment for it. It’s perfect for travelling! To get some more inspiration for different sorts of exercises, you may want to check out some YouTube fitness channels. I really like this one and this one. But make sure to adapt the exercises to your own needs!
The most difficult problem you’ll encounter when you want to work out while travelling is the confined space in a hotel or hostel room. I’d suggest to just move your workout outside – the beach, a nearby park, the hostel’s rooftop bar (which is probably empty during the day). Just find a place where you have enough space to move freely. And you also have the benefit of fresh air 🙂
A reminder: This especially applies for long-term travel. If you’re not working out during a two week journey, don’t worry. That’s completely fine.
MAKE BREAKFAST YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MEAL
Start your day with a balanced and healthy breakfast. If you commit to this, you’ll automatically feel better because you really kickstart your day with a good breakfast. A bonus point: You will feel fuller for longer which means that you can go sightseeing uninterrupted for hours on end! My all time favourite breakfast are oats with Greek Yogurt and fruits. It is just THE best. I know, lots of people hate the consistency of oats. My trick: I mix the oats with a bit of Granola because it makes it more crunchy. However, don’t mix in too much of Granola, because there is a lot of sugar in it. If you want to be extra fancy, you can even prepare your own Granola! I’ll add the recipe down below as well.
This easy hot cereal recipe will give you all the reasons to rise and shine.
Oatmeal with Yogurt and Fruits
Prep time: 10 Mins
From the supermarket: Greek Yogurt, Oats, Fruits
Kitchen tools you need: A bowl and a spoon
1. Prepare the oats according to the package directions.
TAKE SNACKS WITH YOU
As soon as you arrive at your new destination, head to a market or grocery store and stock up on good snacks to keep in your bag. Keeping a snack or two is crucial when you are travelling as you’ll often be on the go the whole day and are probably walking more than usual. Also, you’ll save so much money when you buy food at the supermarket or a local market because it’s cheaper than eating in a restaurant all the time.
PREPARE LUNCH/DINNER WITH OTHER TRAVELERS
Travelling is all about meeting people. And one of the best ways to get to know someone is over a good lunch or dinner. Talking is just so much easier with a delicious meal in front of you! It’s also so much fun to prepare a meal together and you’re probably able to split the supermarket bill as well, which makes it cheaper. If no one is around who you can share your lunch or dinner with, box it up! This may sound a bit strange (or just very German) but I always bring one piece of Tupper ware with me while travelling. This way I can prepare a meal one night and take it with me the next day for lunch.
Two of my favourite things to cook in hostels (that are NOT pasta):
Couscous with Vegetables and Halloumi Cheese (or Bacon)
Sweet Potato Skillet
Prep time: 30 Mins
What you need from the supermarket: sweet potatoes, one red onion, one red bell pepper, a can of black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of corn, shredded cheese, two avocados; if available buy a spice blend, otherwise just use salt and pepper (which is usually available in hostel kitchens)
What kitchen tools you need: A pot or pan and something to stir; a plate and cutlery
STAY ACTIVE AT YOUR DESTINATION
The most obvious way of staying active while travelling is, of course, pursuing an outdoor adventure – I’m thinking of hiking, horseback riding, or canoeing. But even if you are not up for that much adventure, there are a lot of little things you can do during the day to make your stay more active. At the end of the day, it’s also so much more fun than taking in the scenery while sitting on a bus.
My favourite things to do:
Participate in (free) Walking Tours. Those tours are offered in almost every city and are not only a great way to keep your body moving but at the same time, you’ll learn something about the city you are visiting. Win – Win situation.
Rent a bike. Seriously, it’s such a nice way to explore the surroundings of a city by doing a day-tour with a bicycle. I did it in Kotor and it was amazing! You’ll cycle along scenic riverbanks, secret beaches, past vineyards and through medieval towns. At the same time, you are combining all-day exercise with a more intimate look at the local landscape. I promise it won’t even feel like exercising.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
So I hope I could help you a bit with these ideas and give you some inspiration for a healthy lifestyle while travelling! I’m definitely incorporating all those things in my upcoming trip to Scotland 🙂