How to Stay Fit While Traveling: Tips From A Frequent Traveler
A lot of people ask me how I keep off the extra weight with all the traveling that I do. From my experience, it can really be quite difficult to maintain a healthy weight with all the hotel food and touring around new places, where you can experience the culture by tasting their regional delicacies.
One big misconception about a traveler’s lifestyle is that trips count as cheat days, as your regular workout and diet routine may be inaccessible while in a different location.
This cannot be farther from the truth!
Eating well and exercising is (and should be) a part of one’s lifestyle, and for those of us who frequently travel are no exceptions.
Make no mistake, keeping a healthy physique is a conscious and purposeful way of life, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t get the chance to enjoy while you’re on a trip.
It just entails planning ahead and being creative about staying active – even if I’m not totally into fitness or dieting, it’s about maintaining a balance of commitment and play!
How to Stay Fit While Traveling
Here are some techniques that work in keeping me in shape even with all the trips I take:
- Eat a hearty and healthy breakfast
This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes, getting a healthy breakfast may not be too easy if you have a hectic schedule. Try to always make time for breakfast, as it will give you a great start for the rest of the day.
When choosing what you’ll eat for breakfast, fill up on fruits and vegetables. The great thing about hotels is that there’s usually a wide array of these healthy foods to choose from.
Of course, with the lovely array of buffet food come the temptation to binge on meats, cheeses and breads. You can have these foods, but always keep your portions in check. Eating more veggies and fruits will be better for your metabolism.
In case you’re in a rush, try to grab something good to munch on while you’re out, like a banana or a yogurt cup.
- Stay hydrated
Everyone knows that drinking a lot of water is good for you, but when you’re on the go, you have the tendency to forget about this throughout the day.
Always have bottled water handy so that you can stay away from drinking bad things like soda and sugary beverages. If you’ll be frequenting an area where potable water may not be readily accessible, consider investing in a self-filtering water bottle.
- Choose to move about when you can
Many people point to lack of exercise opportunities as one of the reasons why traveling makes it hard to stay fit. But if you find the time to walk or climb stairs while you’re on a trip, chances are you can add a good chunk of exercise each day.
Unless you’re pressed for time, or you think safety might be an issue, or if you have a physical condition that prevents you from walking, there’s no reason why you can’t walk instead of riding a vehicle.
So hold off on that Uber ride, and just walk the three blocks going to that tourist spot.
- Maximize the amenities
Staying in hotels typically gives you access to amenities like a pool or a gym. Now, if you’re like me, visiting the gym may not be as appealing, as say, staying in and ordering room service.
But again, being intentional about your lifestyle means making the hard choices sometimes. So from time to time, I work out in the hotel gym and get my heart rate pumping. I use the pool more frequently though; whether I swim early morning or late at night, it’s equally refreshing and relaxing for me.
The key here is, try to find what works for you, and take advantage of what the area has to offer in terms of fitness activities!
- Visit the local grocery
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to get tempted with eating out and exploring the city. This is perfectly okay, but if you want to curb your calorie intake, take a break from dining out and head over to a nearby grocery store.
You can stock up on things like oatmeal, soup, fruits and granola bars. These are low-maintenance food that will save you money and keep you pretty much satisfied.
- Be strategic when dining out
One of the most fulfilling ways you can get to know a place and a culture is by tasting its food, so by all means, try the local cuisine!
You can still stay in shape even if you eat out a lot by tweaking your habits just a bit.
For instance, if you are with someone, why not share half of your meal? You can still get a taste of the food without overeating.
You can also order dishes one at a time; if you’re not yet full you can always order another dish. This way, you avoid ordering in excess and forcing yourself to finish all the food in front of you.
And if the dining place permits it, try asking for some healthier alternatives (e.g. veggies instead of deep fried sides, or vinaigrette to replace mayo dressing).
- Know what you’re eating
Trying local delicacies is exciting, for sure, but eating a variety of foods that you’re not fully familiar with might not be healthy for your waistline.
For instance, those fancy salads with special dressing and premium cheese are mouthwatering, but they may have a whole lot of hidden calories that will make you gain weight fast.
Again, it’s all about exercising portion control and regulating your eating out days. And if you can, ask the wait staff about the food or do some online research beforehand.
- Tea is tea-riffic
Compared to other beverages, tea is the better option as it contains a lot of antioxidants that are great for your health. It’s also good for digestion, so if you can, opt for tea when you want something to drink.
If you’re not a big tea drinker, try to at least replace one beverage with it, or try different flavors. I myself am a huge coffee fan, but on travels I like how tea stabilizes my tummy and keeps me from feeling bloated.