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How to Stay Fit While Traveling

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Written by Hetty Diep

From getting around as a lifestyle-oriented tourist or as a fitness enthusiast, we've got you covered. All in all, It is what you do *about* what you want out of life. It comes down to understanding yourself, habits, indulgences, and previous downfalls. Properly evaluating your past tendencies will allow you to move forward with a steady foot and persistent execution.

1. Long Flights and Jet Lag

Flights anywhere from 3-17 hours long are brutal. I always make sure to give myself a proper spa treatment upon the arrival to my destination. That could be booking a stay where a bathtub is available to soak my previously sedentary body in warm water. Or booking a massage in advanced to relieve any tension built-up from sitting for long periods of time. This is pivotal point in reducing jet lag and maximizing my alertness and well-being in preparation to make the most of out of my travels. People who don't value their health will see it as an expense, but I assure you that treating yourself with utmost refinement is an investment to your tranquility and longevity.

2. Getting Around

Public transportation for me personally is very confusing. I tend to get lost and waste a lot of time whenever I take the train - especially in foreign countries where I don't understand the public signs written in a different language. Sometimes the only option is to take public transport (like the ferry or bus) but when possible, I would much rather take a taxi, rent a bike or even a car to get from point A to point B.

If I have access to a gym, I would rather use my energy for resistance training because I tend to already expend a lot of energy walking while traveling. Allocating enough energy for endurance and stamina as well as functional strength and postural training has allowed me to be more efficient in work, travel, and rest.

Walking is great because it's the slowest form of transportation as you can take in the scene around you while you burn calories. However, walking is not always the most effective if you're short on time. If you want to cover more ground, not go too fast and avoid troubles with parking, I highly recommend renting out a bicycle to explore the town. There are electric and manual bicycles available. As the coach that I am, of course I encourage you to get the manual bike versus the electric one. Just make sure you properly stretch, warm-up and cool-down accordingly if you're not used to biking often. I will occasionally make the mistake of going too fast too soon and end up with a plethora of minor body aches from a long day of walking, running and biking. As a result, I would need to take a longer recovery period from exploring and being active.

3. Food and Dining

Eating well on vacation is not too different than eating well at home because you should always be mindful of what you consume as a life standard. It's not about the caloric count but more about the quality of your, casual or eloquent, dining experience that contributes to your overall life experience. No body wants to feel lethargic, nauseated or bloated after a meal and especially while on vacation.

Fast food, fried foods and calorie-rich foods are cheap and accessible everywhere, and it won't make a huge difference to your lifestyle if you consume them sparingly. The habit of incorporating fresh greens, fruits and veggies at least once a day is crucial to maintaining the highest standard of your health. Focusing on adding fiber-rich, nutrient-dense, and unprocessed foods is the key to having a rich overall life experience.

Eat good, look good, feel good. I make an effort to go to the local market to buy my own healthy snacks once I settle into my living quarters. Having bottled water and snacks available at all times prevents you from overindulging and binge eating while the road.

If you're feeling fancy on Paros Island, Greece, book a private chef to cater to your dietary needs and restrictions. In addition to private chefs and catering, KMM Hospitality also provides fresh, take-out meals deliverable to groups of 10+.

(I'll make a following blog post of what I eat when I'm on the go while traveling.)

4. Recreational Sports and Activities

Whether you're by the jungle, desert, city, or sea, a great way to stay active and to have fun is by trying a local activity such as dune surfing, zip-lining, snorkeling, wind-surfing or horseback riding, etc. Aside from the typical wine and food tours, there are also bike tours, boat tours and walking tours accessible to many vacation spots. Having variety in your active lifestyle will enrich your overall travel experience.

A stay within the same foreign country for more than 7 days calls for me to get a gym membership. However, I don't recommend a gym membership for the non-regular-gym-goer because I think it's more important to exercise by exploring a country rather than exercising in a gym while on vacation. Unless, the gym is an essential source to your overall travel experience, you can frequent the gym at home.

5. Sex, Drugs, Rock'n'Roll

As an American who have lived and traveled in various countries, I've noticed that we have a bad reputation for being sloppy and loose drunks. You may not care, nor be American, but regardless of who you are, getting too "wasted" is a great way to deter yourself from maximizing your ideal lifestyle. Being on vacation or in a different country is no excuse to destroy your health and/or reputation entirely. Of course, there will be learning experiences in life where you may take things too far, but my point is that we should excel forward by learning from our past mistakes and make the best possible judgements about future decisions.

This may seen "taboo" to some, but I've never been to a vacation spot where people didn't dab into the subversive in order to live and to let loose. Just be smart about your choice of indulgences and don't get too carried away by the seduction of it all. I typically carry with me the essentials: electrolytes, dried fruit snacks, gum, eye-drops, lip balm, baby wipes, sunscreen and hand sanitizer to stay prepared for any occasion. Staying hydrated throughout the days prior to the parties is the most important precursor to having a great time under any substance - and yes, sex is a substance - if you can get hooked on it, it's a substance.

After a long night out, I like to re-up with some sort of fresh, super-foods, green juice (typically consisting of leafy greens, citrus, ginger, and local spices). To then top it off with a hearty, protein-dense breakfast to refuel for the next. It's really a game of endurance and if you fuel up properly, you'll have the stamina to party hard, remain alert and stay healthy.

If you want to take your fitness goals to the next level and maximize your travel experience, book a consultation with Tenoverall here. Our head coach, Hetty Diep, will design a personalized virtual or in-person program to help keep you accountable to your lifestyle goals.

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