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Travel fit: Tips for staying fit when you are traveling

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We all travel, whether it is for vacation, pleasure, business or just a quest to explore the world. This takes us from the comfort of our homes and existing routine, and thrusts us into a different location where things are not exactly the same as what we have in our homes. The change in schedule, environment and routine can affect every aspect of your life, including your fitness regimen. Considering the reason for your trip, it is very tempting to become very laid back, indulge in all the junk food you can find with the excuse that you are on vacation and you should enjoy it while you can. Reality does not hit until you get back home and step on your weighing scale to discover that you have added another 7 pounds in just a few weeks.

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Traveling for whatever purpose and maintaining a rigid exercise and fitness schedule do not readily go hand in hand. You have to be very disciplined to make it work, because let’s face it: we all want to indulge, even if it’s just a little when on vacation. But hey! What if I told you that the problem is not the break in your routine and that you could exploit this deviation from your routine to prioritize your health and make some more healthy decisions? Does that sound plausible? You bet it does. However, let’s examine that briefly. In the course of your daily life, there are several things that demand for your time and attention, a lot of commitments that need to be met and which translate to lots of unwanted pressure and unhealthy stress. However, when you take a trip, all of these things appear to take a back seat and you can be in charge of how you spend your time down to every minute. You have fewer commitments and a reduced amount of pressure to deal with. You can utilize this period to begin new healthy habits, eating healthy, getting fit and generally upgrading your outlook of life. So, instead of the general reaction that travelling would ruin your fitness routine, you should learn how to take advantage of it and keep your health in optimal conditions without defaulting on your fitness goals. The list goes on and we usually have explanations to justify our unhealthy actions.

However, you need to be ready to accept that these are merely excuses and you can overcome them if you want to. It may seem like such an uphill task but it is quite easy to continue eating healthy and not “cheat” on your fitness goals. If you have read this far, then it is safe to believe that you are ready to learn how to keep fit even when you are traveling. We will delve into some of the basic and surprisingly, easy ways through which you can maintain your health and meet your fitness requirements even while traveling. It is important to note that these tips require a commitment on your part, a high level of discipline and a willingness to plan ahead with respect to your fitness requirements. Additionally, you will need to be resourceful when it comes to applying some of these tips while you can apply some of them directly, in order to get great results. Are you ready to travel fit, regardless of how long the trip will be? Well, Let’s dive right in.

EXPLORE YOUR ENVIRONMENT ACTIVELY

What are the things you pay attention to when planning a trip, say a vacation? The hotel, the food, proximity to the airport, tourist attractions, and that’s about it for most of us. How about you start paying attention to some of the local activity that usually takes place at your destination? For instance, a hiking group, cycling, bike share programs, and so on. The idea is to ensure that while you are enjoying your trip and exploring the town or city, you are doing it actively. You want to take the options that ensure that you stay physically active while enjoying the sights and sounds of the place. Here are a few ways through which you can explore your new environment actively.

Take advantage of every waiting time.

Whenever you find yourself on any queue or line, do not just wait in line and spend the time gazing around. You can make use of the time by doing some simple but highly effective exercises that are unobtrusive, and will not call too much unwanted attention to you. These exercises can be done while waiting in line to get tickets to a movie, buy snacks from a food truck, getting tickets for a tour bus, getting in line to gain access to an attraction; they can be done anywhere.

These three exercises are glute squeezes, calf raises and belly breathing.

For glute squeezes, you are expected to tighten your glutes and hold the muscles in place for as long as possible. You can repeat this about 10 times or more within 5 minutes, depending on how long you can hold your glutes in. This will help tighten your gluteal muscles and also tone your backside, even if you will not get the same effect as an actual squat or more specific butt exercises.

For calf raises, the aim is to build your calf muscles, improve the stability of your ankles and also give you better balance. To do this, you should raise your heel a few centimeters off the ground until you’re standing on your toes, hold the position for a few seconds (as long as you can) and then relax by lowering your heels slowly. You can repeat this a few times while you wait your turn on the line. When done properly, calf raises also help to strengthen the muscles of your lower legs.

The third exercise- belly breathing helps to boost core strength. It helps to massage your abdominal organs, is very soothing and also helps to keep you calm during an anxiety attack. To do this, you are expected to exhale as you pull your stomach in, and also continue exhaling and inhaling for as long as you can, without letting go of your stomach.

You may get some odd looks, but hey! The results are worth it, so why not? In addition, you should opt for the stairs when they are available instead of using the elevators or escalators all the time. A few minutes spent climbing the stairs will boost your heart rate while keeping your leg muscles toned. So, when next you are visiting a spot that has great views on the roof, consider using the stairs while focused on the amazing view that awaits you at the top. You could also get in one or two push-ups while getting gas; if you do one push up for every dollar of gas, you would have done ten for ten dollars worth of gas. I do think that is time well-spent. It should be obvious by now that exercise does not have to be such a uphill task; you can get these little exercises in at various times without having to put them on your schedule or giving up some of your precious fun time. Get involved. Have Active fun. This just means that you can take part in some fun activities that do not have to feel like exercise. There are a lot of fun activities specific to various regions and you should make it a point of duty to identify them and ensure you take part in them. You will meet new people, have fun and enjoy the company of good people. Here are a few activities that you can take part in:

  • Dance lessons. This is probably the most versatile and fun thing to do when visiting a new locality. There are a lot of interesting dances all over the world and you can learn them for fun while exercising at the same time. Examples include Tango Lessons in Argentina, Salsa dance, tap dance, and so on.
  • Hiking. People of like minds always gravitate towards each other. So, strike up one or two conversations and you may just find your hiking buddies.
  • Muay Thai training in Thailand
  • Tai Chi training
  • Caporeira training, and so onIt is important to note that in order to get the best fitness benefits when on a trip, you have to be conscious of your environment and be very resourceful with the things you have at your disposal. Seize every opportunity to walk when it is reasonable, no time should be wasted. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

CONQUER YOUR DIET, CONQER THE WORLD

Does that sound a bit overboard? Well, one of the most challenging things to do while traveling is controlling your diet. It appears that all of the factors in play do not support your plan to eat healthy. Who plans to eat healthy while on a trip in any case? But let us assume you are one of the very few who actually set out to eat healthy on a trip as they would if they were at home. What happens when you are presented with so many options of seemingly delicious but unfamiliar cuisine and you have no other apparent choice. Would you rather leave the table hungry or would you just gobble it up and hope you don’t add more pounds, because “it’s a vacation, after all”. Does that paint a familiar picture? Here’s the hard truth: you cannot wish away a bad diet. You cannot outrun or out-train it either.

What you eat and how you eat while traveling will have an impact on how you feel and look, by up to 80 per cent. You cannot eat all the junk foods you like and then act surprised when you have accumulated fat. You eventually become what you eat!You have to live with the consciousness that going overboard while visiting a new place may be detrimental for you. Therefore, you have to create a workable plan that ensures that you eat right and live right. This will ensure that you avoid the emotional, psychological and emotional stress associated with unwanted weight gain. How do you do this? We simple create a nutrition plan that is not difficult to follow and is easily adaptable. Here’s one you can try:

  1. Eat more of real food than any other thing.
  2. Stock up on the “filling foods” such as proteins, vegetables, fruits and notes.
  3. Never eat bad meals two days in a row. The more comfortable you get with something, the more difficult it is to break away from it.
  4. Go natural. Natural food items are so much more better than processed food and they are healthier too.
  5. Pace yourself. In simple terms, do your best and leave the rest.

The aim of this plan is to help you eat foods that keep you satisfied for a long period, thereby preventing you from indulging in junk foods in between meal times. Pay attention to your food and ensure that each meal contains one vegetable at least and a source of protein. You can also include fruits and nuts. This is the point where you will probably ask what you should do about the most popular foods when you travel. You guessed right- rice and pasta. These two items form the bulk of food that most travelers eat while on their trips; they are cheaper than the fancier alternatives but they also have very high calorie counts and so you should cut down on them. You are probably wondering if this new diet we are proposing will cost you a lot more than you usually spend on food. And you are right too; it may be more expensive but it is an healthy choice and will require that you make some changes in your general habits in order to sustain it. For instance, you may want to spend less on drinking alcohol and other carbonated drinks that cost you money but are no good for your body. It is important to mention that this nutrition strategy does not necessarily require you to give up all foods that taste good. It rather suggests a more healthy way to eat- striking a balance between healthy and unhealthy food options. In line with this, you will achieve more success with your diet if you eat healthy meals 80 per cent of the time and then, you can do whatever you like with the other meals. So if you have an unhealthy meal for breakfast then you have to eat a healthy lunch and dinner. This ensures that you do not make it a habit to eat bad meals and then get away with it. You have to be deliberate about what you eat, when you eat it and how you eat it. In addition, you should take advantage of the complimentary breakfast that comes with the hotel. This will ensure that you set out for the day already full and you will not feel the urge to buy junk foods just because you are hungry.

Additionally, most hotel breakfasts come with fruits which you can take along with you on tour of the city or to your meetings. You can munch on them when you start feeling hungry or just want to chew something. There is no gainsaying that most of us prefer to dine out and try local dishes while traveling, regardless of the amount of calories or their effect on our health. One way around this is to share a dish with someone else, so that you can have a taste of the local cuisine but you will not eat too much of it. You can also ask about the ingredients used to make the food, request for more vegetables and ask for healthier options to be included on your plate. You can also try skipping a meal, especially when the previous meal you had was very heavy. This is called intermittent fasting and is very beneficial to your body; it helps your body to completely digest the meal you had before and ensures it is ready for the next meal before you eat again. Above all, always bear in mind that it is a whole lot easier to put on weight than to lose it. When you conquer your diet, you are one step closer to conquering the world that is your fitness goals.

DRINK TO HEALTH

This is a good point to categorically state that liquid calories are mostly bad for you and should be avoided. Some of the popular culprits include alcohol, ciders, beer and wines- which should be avoided if you are trying to keep fit while on vacation or just traveling. There are other healthy drinks that you can choose from. For instance, low calorie beverages, soda water, and so on. You can also avoid drinking alcohol all together. Would that be too much to give up in order to achieve your fitness goals and live healthy? I don’t think so. You should consume alcohol in moderation; the occasional glass of wine could be good for you providing it does not become an habit. Alternatively, you could utilize this strategy that helps you stay healthy even with occasional alcohol intake.

  • Sip your wine and liquor slowly. Also take them without mixers.
  • Opt for light beers or good beers.
  • Drink in moderation.
  • Drink water after each drink.

Water is nature’s best gift to mankind and it has amazing benefits. It is important that you stay hydrated all the time. Drink a lot of water; we ought to drink about 4 liters of water every day in order to maintain optimal conditions in our body. When you drink a sufficient amount of water, it can help with controlling your appetite and also ensrues your body temperature is properly controlled. If you are in hotter climates than you are ised to, then it is even more important that you have a bottle of water with you at all times. Preferably, you shuld use a watter bottle that you can refill when it finishes, so you can know how much water you drink in a day. The importance of drinking water cannot be overemphasized and you should take a lot of it. However, if you are tired of taking just water, your can make it more interesting by adding a twist of lemon to your water. You can also strain some vegetables and fruits like carrot and lemon into your water before drinking it. There are several other combinations that you can try out and they all include using healthy fruts anf vegetables. Whatever you do, always watch what you drink. Your body will be grateful when you always drink to your health, with the right kinds of drinks and lots of water.

TRAVEL WORK OUT TIPS

You didn’t think we would have a book about keeping fit while travelling without talking about actual work out tips, did you?Just as we have mentioned earlier in this book, the most important determinant of what happens during any trip is the planning stage. You have to plan towards staying fit during any trip; it has to be deliberate. From the choice of hotel to the things that you would bring with you when packing for the trip, your fitness goals and strategies should be paramount in your mind. Here are a few tips to help you with working out while traveling.

  • Choose your hotel wisely. It is advisable to select a hotel that has a gym or fitness center that is open to their clients. Additionally, you should schedule your day’s activities to give room for a few minutes of workout session per day.
  • Pack for your workout. While packing, take those items that occupy the least weight but are very useful for exercising. For instance, a resisitance band and a jump rope would be very useful and they do not occuopy a lot of space. Early to bed, early to rise. Give allowance in your daily schedule for waking up early to do your exercoise. You can spend 30 minutes every morening doing some basic exercise and getting ready for the day. Generally, you will feel more energized when you start your day on a high note with your exercises. Also, it will be firmly imprinted on your mind that you need to watch what you eat during the day, knowing that you will have to work hard to burn the unwanted calories.
  • Do bodyweight workouts. In situations where you cannot find a gym or you could not make it to the gym for some reason, you can do bodyweight workout. This helps to stimulate the muscle fibres in your body especially in your legs, upper body and lower body areas. You can divide your body into these three areas and do specific exercises. For instance, you can do doorway rows, squats and lunges, push ups, among others.
  • Do full body resistant workouts. This focuses on multiple muscles in the body at the same time. Thereby ensuring that you burn calories more efficiently and faster. This requires you to focus on excersing specific muscle groups in your body at every session. In most cases, you will require a well-equipped gym in order to have access to the rnge of equipments you will requie for this woriout. · High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This involves short bursts of intense activity that requires maximal effort punctuated with short recovery times. It is very effective for burning calories because it uses up a lot of energy in a short period and leaves you feeling energized and alive. You do not need to have all of the gym equipments to have a workout session when traveling. All you need is your body, a few items and a commitment which matches your desire to achieve your fitness goals.

CHAPTER FIVESTAY THE COURSE

There is no hard and fast rule about keeping fit while traveling; and what works for someone else may not work for you. hwoever, the strategies highlighted in this chapter have been tested and proved to help people with maintaining their health and staying fit even outside the comfort of their homes and already established routines.

  • Intermittent fasting. This is a strategy that has been proved to help keep of bad and unwanted weight. This strategy is quite simple; it works based on the principle that alternating between eating and fasting results in an increased rate of metabolism which effectively burns more calories and prevents accumulation of fat. You can also have a wider range of food choices when you implement intermittent fasting.
  • You can indulge in some food items because you have a fast metabolic rate. This makes it easier to have a full experience of your travel destination, effectively eliminating the need to always scrutinize the menu before making a healthy choice. Ideally, your eating schedule with intermittent fasting should be 16 hours of fasting and eating within 8 hours. That is to say, you eat whatever you need to within that specific time period and then fast for 16 hours. However, if you are just starting out, it is recommended that you fast for 12 hours and eat within 12 hours. This would help ease you into the eating plan and before you know it, you would be at the ideal level, with increased fasting hours and reduced eating times. It is also advisable that you fix your schedule based on your own eating pattern. Your eating window should fall within the time when you want food the most or when you definitely have to eat, if you have a schedule or are part of a group that eats together. Additionally, if you have plans to have regular workouts, then you should schedule your eating time accordingly because it is prefarbale to exercise when you are not hungry.

    Intermittent fasting is great, and with consistency and a commitment to seeing results, you would be keeping fit while spending less on food and also enjoying the full range of experiences on your trip.

  • Choose your high-protein snacks wisely. Proteins are a great source of energy when compared to other energy bars. They also serve as building blocks for the tissues and muscles in the body. High protein snacks such as beef jerky is a preferred snack choice when you are in a hurry to go from one meeting to the other or between flights. They are safer and healthier alternatives to junk foods and drinks. However, it is important that you are familiar with your basic nutritional requirements and that you also compare the information available on the packs of the high protein snack you want to purchase before you do so. This is due to the fact that some of these produce have added carbs like sugar and some other ingredients that are meant to preserve, soften or enhance the flavor of the snack. This is especially common with beef jerky as there are several producers all trying to outdo each other and make profit. One rule of thumb to always follow is to ensure that the nutrional facts on the package of your protein snack has a protein content that is twice the amount of carbohydrate contained per serving. This will ensure that you are getting as much protein as required.
  • Discover the magic in drinking teaTea is packed with antioxidants and enough calories which can be burnt to provide energy for the day’s activities. Additionally, tea aids digestion and promotes bowel movement, thereby preventing you from feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Always start your day with a cup of tea, and discover the magic it can bring to your energy levels.
  • Know what you eat and don’t eat what you don’t knowThis is quite easy to do considering the wealth of information available on the internet. Check the ingredients of prepacked foods, and ask questions before eating any thing new. It is also important to do research about the local food in an area you are traveling to for the very first time. Some foods may look really good, with the right amount of greens but they may be unhealthy. You have to be able to identify these foods and cut down on them.
  • Use a fitness app. Thanks to technology, there are several applications that you can download on your mobile devices which will help you keep track of your daily activities. Most of them take into consideration what you eat, drink and how you exercise. You can also input your fitness targets and input your preferred choices of exercise, food and other activities. The apps have different features but one thing they all have in common is their ability to help track your activities and provide you with a sort of scorecard at the end of a specified period. When you use these apps while traveling, it makes it easy to detect and stop unhealthy eating habits before they are formed. They are very useful and you should download any of them if you are serious about remaining fit even when you are travelling.

Some popular ones include Pacer App, MyFitnessPal, BodySpace, Aaptiv app, and so many more. You can search the internet for the one that suits your need and start using it. These strategies have been proven to be effective in heloinfg you stay in shape even when you are travelling. It could be challenging to maintain healthy choices while traveling, and that is why these strategies are here for you. When you begin to implement them, it is guaranteed that you will observe differences in your body and you will be glad you did.

Traveling is fun but keeping fit while away from our homes and established routine could be difficult. However, it is possible to have fun on your trips without losing shape or letting your body go. A number of strategies have been discussed and we strongly believe that you will observe impressive results if you apply these tips and stay committed to your fitness plans. Conversely, it is important to note that you are not really expected to stick to your fitness plan everyday. You do not have to stress over it or beat yourself up on days when you are not able to stick to the plan. If you are able to implement about two-thirds of the strategies we have talked about, then at worst, you will return from your trip in much the same way you left- no extra pounds. So, it’s still a win for you!Always remember that all you need to stay fit can be found in your environment, you can conquer your fitness goals by having the right diet, exercising the right way, drinking more water than any other thing, indulging in high-protein snacks, and by being deliberate in whatever you do with respect to your fitness goals. In conclusion, you need to relax! Enjoy your trip, make the most of the trip and above all, have fun!

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