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.
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.
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.
Check out my Travel Resources page for more travel tips and advice.
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.
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:
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.