Ten tips to stay healthy and fit while travelling

A guest post by U Mei Teh (a.k.a. @cikipedia) and a few extra tips thrown in by Keith.

You’ve been travelling 30 hours straight from one corner of the planet to the other and the last thing you want to do, is to hit the gym. Jet lag is weighing you down like a tonne of bricks and honestly, who can be asked to exercise? Well, here are some practical tips to keep up with fitness while on the road. You don’t have to hit the gym if you don’t want to… the good news is that there are plenty of other great alternatives, for maintaining fitness while on the road.

photo credit – crickladefunrun [dot] co [dot] uk

1. Pack Smart

This is a no brainer, but pack your running shoes, swimsuit and/or exercise clothes on top of the pack. When you arrive at your destination, at least you will be reminded to work out instead of sleeping (which will in fact, worsen the jet-lag) or binge eat in your hotel room. Explore your hotel or the surrounding neighbourhood, or go for a swim if the gym is not for you.

2. Walk around

Again if you hate confined spaces like the gym – go for a walk. This is the best way to see the city, but be sure to get a map from the hotel before setting out. If you don’t have much time, or if you’re worried of getting lost and losing track of time, then plan your itinerary on MapMyWalk.com before arrival and ask the concierge for input. Download MapMyWalk’s free Smartphone app to monitor your calories burned, time your workout, and record your distance in real time.

3. Improvise

If the city you’re visiting is not safe for walking around alone, especially if you’re a woman, then improvise. Pack something for resistance training, such as a resistance band, or try some of these exercises that don’t require much space to work out. You can do it in the comfort of your hotel room.

4. Use social media

Who isn’t connected these days? Just tweet out using hash-tags like #fitness and #exercise, and you will be surprised to see just how many bite! Make friends quickly and soon you will no longer exercise alone, no matter what country you are in. Ask for tips on running parks if you’d rather just work out solo.

5. Rent a bike

One of the most fun ways to explore a town and get your exercise while you’re at it, is to ride a bike. It’s a great alternative to walking and you get the breeze in your face. It’s a good cardio workout as well.

6. Dance little lady, dance

If the night scene suites you then instead of just chugging beer at the bar, go to a joint where they play rocking music and get dancing. You will burn more calories than walking. Make sure you drink sufficient water. Once you get back you will be exhausted enough to sleep.

7. Move it.. just a little bit

So, you’re done with one city, and you’re off again, jet-setting to your next destination. You might not actually realise this but you’ve clocked up way too many hours, being immobile, and that can’t be good for the heart. If you don’t mind looking a little silly, try lunges and push ups in the plane isles (during the quiet periods) on the long haul. It sure beats sitting in one place for too long as this could really pose a hazard to your health.

Here are a few tips from Keith:

8. Use the stairs

Skip the elevators. Use the stairs. If you’re on an escalator, walk up the escalator instead of standing still. Take two steps at a time instead of one.

9. Create a short exercise routine

It can sometimes be challenging to make time for a workout, especially if you have a tight schedule, but keep in mind that even short workouts can make a difference. Create a short routine which you can follow wherever you are, such as in your hotel room. An example is a ten-minute workout that includes lunges, sit-ups and stretching exercises which you can quickly do any time of the day.

salad-photo

A salad for lunch

10. Eat wisely

It’s hard, when you travel, to resist the temptations of delicious local food and drinks. Instead of trying to restrict yourself, plan what you eat, when. For instance, I would have a carb/protein-heavy breakfast, followed by a salad for lunch and a moderate dinner that has fewer carbs and more protein. If I only have time for a light breakfast, I make sure I have a bigger lunch. I always try to focus my carb-intake in the mornings and afternoons when I need the energy most.

About this week’s guest writer:

P2024671 Cikipedia is about Ciki, a 30-something pharmacist, who looks like a 20-something (Don’t believe us? Ask her friends!). Though she studied conventional medicine, she has a keen interest in alternative forms of treatment and medication that she believes are essential to the well-being of the human body. We cannot reverse time, but we sure as hell can slow down the aging process! Cikipedia is a health, fitness and travel blog. Follow this blog and learn Ciki’s personal routines on how she stays fit, energetic and young at heart. Follow her on Twitter too!

In her spare time, Ciki writes for her Food and Travel blog too, CCFoodTravel.

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10 Responses to “Ten tips to stay healthy and fit while travelling”

  1. Rob 09/06/2013 12:04 am
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    Some excellent tips Keith! I always try to get out for at least a walk each day when traveling and try to eat a healthy balanced diet if possible as well. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Richard 21/03/2013 6:52 pm
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    It should probably be mentioned that the water in some countries can be less than sanitary. Drinking bottled water can be the difference between enjoying your trip or spending it in the hospital. Especially if you are traveling off the beaten path in poorer countries. Also, there is something to be said for staying hydrated.

  3. Tom Miller 14/12/2012 10:34 pm
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    I agree with these tips. While we do enjoy a lovely vacation and keep our minds off pressure and stress, it is always worth it to put a little effort on our health. I do love to walk around the city if I can and not choose to ride a cab. Walking is a great form of exercise plus it helps me meet more people and know more places.

  4. Agness (@Agnesstramp) 13/10/2012 8:21 am
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    I agree. As long as you eat wisely 6 small meals per day, do some cardio (bike instead of taxi, walk instead of buses) you can stay fit even when you travel a lot.

  5. crazy sexy fun traveler 16/09/2012 1:16 am
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    I can’t dance but stairs and walking are on my every-day list 🙂

  6. ciki 06/09/2012 5:04 pm
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    Hi Doreen! Small meals are great.. they boost the metabolism and keep you energetic for more activity! I like tapas too.. so long as it ain’t soaked in oil! LOL. I totally agree with no snacking past 9pm too!

  7. Doreen Pendgracs 01/09/2012 8:31 pm
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    Great tips, Ciki. I really love items 9 & 10. It’s important to do a little bit of physical activity, even if we can’t fit in time for true exercise. And it’s so important to try and limit our evening calorie intake. Definitely hard to do when you’re in some European countries where they don’t eat dinner until 9:30 pm! But if I do have to eat late, I try and stick to small portions like tapas as opposed to a large meal. Thanks for this posting, Keith. Interesting visit to the Velvet Escape – as always.

  8. velvet 31/08/2012 1:16 pm
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    Hehe, thanks for contributing Ciki! 🙂

  9. ciki 31/08/2012 10:46 am
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    Thanks for the opportunity to share! Looks great on ur blog Keith:) haha

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  1. The Radar: Under-appreciated NYC Neighborhoods, The ‘Real’ Cape Town, Staying Healthy Abroad – Intelligent Travel - 10/09/2012

    […] your hard work at the gym? Follow Velvet Escape’s guide to staying fit on your next trip. [Velvet Escape] Keywords: Bohemian Trails, Cape Town, Daniel Riesenbach, fitness, Health, Land Lopers, […]

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