I love travel as much as I love to workout. But the struggle to keep fit while on vacation gets all too real sometimes. The short trips are easy, but the longer trips are the ones that are more of a challenge for me. When we went to Europe for a month, I didn't have ready access to a gym or fitness studio since we were moving from one city to another. I had to get my act together and to come up with a way to keep in shape (since I had a class the day after we were scheduled to arrive.) Conversely, you also want to make the most out of your trip, and not feel bad about every single gelato you eat. After all, you are on vacation. Balance is key! So here's a quick tip list on how to stay fit while having the best time, wherever you may be in the world.
I used to really hate walking. Most people find this ironic, since I stay fit for a living. But it wasn't until I started travelling a lot, that I finally appreciated how fun it is to see the city using your own two feet. Not only is it a good form of exercise, but you also get to see little nooks and crannies of the new city that you would never have found if you were in a car. I did the most walking in London, unlike any other place I've been to before. Carry a pedometer with you so that you can monitor your foot activity. If you don't have one, most smart phones have an app you can install that tracks your steps. Set a target for yourself per day. Seeing how much work you've put in really has a way of giving you that boost of confidence to keep going. Check the location of the next tourist spot you're headed to on your phone, if it's just a few blocks away, take the scenic route. Walk it and experience the city like a local, while torching calories in the process.
Get A Fitness App Membership
I do this all the time when I'm in Singapore. My personal choice is GuavaPass, since their monthly membership can be used in all affiliate studios across Asia. So this means that after my trip, I can still use the remaining days I paid for back home in Manila. It's a great way to explore the local fitness scene especially if you're running on limited time. These apps give you a variety of different studio options like yoga, crossfit, pole, pilates and many others. It's also a good way to try things that aren't offered in your city yet. During last year's visit to Singapore I booked my first class at Surfset Fitness, an indoor surfing gym, and the first franchise in Asia. Check out my experience here.
Take A Trip To The Grocery
This is usually my first order of business right after I check in. Visit the nearest grocery and stock up on water, fruits, nuts, yogurt, and things you can use to fix yourself a quick snack, like a sandwich or a salad. This is also a great way to have local fruits at their best. We spent the beginning of the new year in Korea and strawberries were at winter peak. They were exquisite, and since they were in season, they were very cheap too! 8000W around $7 for a big pack. Keep healthy food options in your bag at all times so you can readily grab something when hungry. Also, bring a refillable water container with you to avoid dehydration.
Pack Your Gym
I bring my TRX with me wherever I go. I really love this piece of equipment, and I can honestly say that it's one of the best purchases I've made. The full set comes with a door mount that anchors itself on the frame. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than the usual and do a few reps of rows, flys and suspended leg curls. If you don't have a TRX, pack a jumprope or a resistance band. Or you could do body weight exercises. Run yourself up a simple circuit. I would suggest: 1 minute jumping jacks, 1 minute high knees, 1 minute squats, 1 minute plank, 1 minute push ups. Do 3 sets and you're all good.
You can get really tight muscles after a long flight. Or even from walking around the city the whole day. Wind down at the end of the day and give yourself a nice yummy stretch on the floor. Try these in your hotel room, or at the airport during down time: (1) Sit with your legs straight at hip width apart. Extend your arms reaching for your toes while keeping your back as nice and flat as possible. Take a few breaths without forcing anything and let gravity do the work. (2) Sit in a pigeon pose, one leg bent inward in front of you and one leg straight behind you. Try to keep equal weight on both hips, take a few breaths upright, and then keeping the same position fold forward and keep breathing. (3) Stand up and place your hands against a wall, or grab a chair. Walk your feet back and bend at the hip bringing your chest down at a 90 degree angle. This is to open up the chest, shoulders and back. Breathe.