Travelling has become an integral part of the lives of people lately and it is completely understandable due to the busy lifestyle that humans have chosen to live. People most commonly travel either for leisure or for work and this often requires getting adjusted to a different weather, food, culture; and international travel may also require one to get adjusted to a new sleep-cycle!
When all of these variables fill up your basket, taking care of your fitness gets very little space. But do you really need to compromise your fitness routine and lifestyle due to travelling? The answer is a definite NO. You must never compromise on your fitness even for a week because there is no need to do so! Just by following some basic rules, you can be rest assured that you can maintain your fitness efficiently, and sometimes even improve it while travelling. It is all about making smart choices and then putting them into action.
Stay hydrated: This is one of the most common issues that individuals face while travelling. Drinking enough water or consuming enough food items with a high water content is very vital for a traveller. According to an article: Water, Hydration and Health, published by Nutrition Reviews, dehydration by just 1-2% could impair concentration, alertness and short-term memory in children, young adults and also the elderly. Dehydration also leads to a decreased exercise output.
Here is a list of foods that are very high in their water content- cow milk, muskmelons, watermelons, strawberries, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, yogurt (dahi), apples, grapes, oranges, broccoli, pears.
Stay active: Humans were designed for locomotion and there’s no better time to put this design to work other than while travelling. Often times during the “vacation” mode we tend to take things a little easy and sacrifice our health. Staying active not only keeps you supple, but also helps you burn a certain number of extra calories that could benefit your fitness goals, especially when one is trying to lose weight.
You can stay active by taking the staircase over the elevator, by walking short distances rather than using a car, by using a bicycle depending on the availability. In other words, keep moving whenever possible.
Your body is your gym: There are situations wherein we don’t really get time to use the hotel gym or find a nearby gym. This maybe due to restricted gym hours or even due to living in budget-friendly hotels. And this is when you can use your own bodyweight to train. Did you know that just 3, full-body workouts per week are sufficient to maintain or even progress your fitness goals? This is not only time efficient but also a stress reliever because you don’t have to face the guilt of not exercising. A sample workout could be as follows: 2-3 sets of lunges, 2-3 sets of push-ups (full or modified), 2-3 sets of your favorite abdominal exercise, 2-3 sets of squats. 2-3 sets of super-mans/ hyperextensions.
You can always modify the above workout by increasing the number of sets and repetitions or even by changing exercises depending on your ongoing fitness levels and goals. Just make sure to warm-up and cool-down thoroughly in order to avoid unnecessary short term or long term injuries, especially while you’re travelling.
Moderation is key: Each one of you probably knows that an excess of anything is always harmful. Whether it is overtraining in the gym or drinking too much alcohol at a time; both have their disbenefits. There are chances that you may end up eating or “drinking” a lot more than your usual consumption while travelling due to leisureful distraction. And hence it is very important to not overindulge in anything; be it the local cuisine or a few extra shots while partying with your buddies.
Moderation also refers to sleep; sleep just enough to recover and definitely do not cut down on your sleep. Get at least 6-7 hours of sound sleep as it will help you recover for another day of sightseeing with high energy levels.
Enjoy your vacation: While this article is about maintaining or improving fitness while travelling, I want to remind you that you are out traveling to explore and enjoy. DO NOT constantly worry about getting any less fitter during this phase because it will only harm your bodily functions and the synchrony within. Unnecessary stress will only hamper your achievements.