Six Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling

Try­ing to fit in your clothes after a long trip can be mad­den­ing. It’s easy to give your­self a pass when it comes to your fit­ness the sec­ond you pass through secu­ri­ty. The ear­ly flight left you no time to have break­fast and the gold­en arch­es are call­ing you. After all, you’re on vaca­tion, what’s the harm? That first deci­sion rolls into a snow­ball of poor health choic­es.

We sat down with fit­ness com­peti­tor, ER nurse and fel­low trav­el enthu­si­ast, Yomi­ca Wolfe, to see what advice she has about stay­ing fit on the road. She zeroed in on six main focus points to increase or main­tain your stel­lar fit­ness while gal­li­vant­i­ng.

Be Active

The most impor­tant thing is to stay active. Whether trav­el is your vaca­tion or your lifestyle, the best way to see and expe­ri­ence the coun­try you’re in is to be active in it. If you’re in a place long enough, sign up for a local race and train for it (for you nomads). Or if you’re not a race per­son, pick out a chal­leng­ing moun­tain to climb and work towards con­quer­ing it.

“I have run in every sin­gle coun­try I’ve vis­it­ed. From Italy and Greece to Egypt and Israel! Run­ning has shown me so many local shops and neigh­bor­hoods I would have oth­er­wise missed! There are plen­ty of times I’ve run into an art show or exhib­it or some­thing super fun I would’ve missed out on had I slept in or stayed at the hotel. No mat­ter where you’re explor­ing, look into rent­ing bikes, swim­ming, snor­kel­ing, ski­ing, run­ning, or hik­ing. Do what­ev­er you can to stay active and dig deep­er into the cul­tur­al and nat­ur­al assets a place has to offer. By the end of the day you’ve had a com­plete work­out and it did­n’t take you away from enjoy­ing the coun­try!” ~ Yomi­ca Wolfe

Plus, as you explore via bike and foot you move at a pace that allows you to absorb your sur­round­ings. Rid­ing in a car is like watch­ing a movie in fast forward—you’re going to miss a lot.

Eat Well

“I always stay close to my low-fat low carb diet no mat­ter where I am. When I splurge, It’s on alco­holic bev­er­ages, a liq­uid dessert.” ~ Yomi­ca Wolfe

Whether you’re at the air­port, on a train or road trip­ping in your trusty four-wheeled machine, think ahead about what will make you feel good and get the most out of your expe­ri­ences. Foods high in carbs and refined sug­ars are going to make you crash and give you a sug­ar hang­over. Most trav­el venues sell bananas, apples, grape and cheese cups, nuts, and var­i­ous oth­er healthy options. Also, if you can, pack a lunch with some healthy snacks. Your adven­tures will be bet­ter enjoyed and your friends and fam­i­ly will appre­ci­ate your lack of moody behav­ior that famous­ly accom­pa­nies a sug­ar crash. Many peo­ple don’t know you are per­mit­ted to bring a brown bag onto planes.

Water Break

Stay­ing hydrat­ed is every­thing. Fly­ing in planes, alti­tude and humid­i­ty changes, and increased activ­i­ty can each sin­gu­lar­ly dehy­drate you. Togeth­er, they can anni­hi­late you. Car­ry a water bot­tle with you and drink at least half your weight in ounces dai­ly. While on the plane, drink a glass of water each time they bring the drink cart out. If you have a headache, drink more. The most com­mon cause of headaches is dehy­dra­tion. If your urine isn’t faint in col­or then you’re dehy­drat­ed: drink up!

Rest/Me-Time

Rest­ing is impor­tant too. While being active is key, don’t over­do it by set­ting out to run a marathon every day, or push­ing the enve­lope with the nightlife. Sched­ule blocks of time when you can do noth­ing, or some­thing that will re-ener­gize you such as: sun­bathing, stretch­ing by the ocean, med­i­tat­ing, read­ing, jour­nal­ing, and any­thing else that sounds good to you in the moment. Let this serve as your “me” time. If you’re trav­el­ing as a cou­ple or group, let this be the time when you break apart to do your own thing so that your needs are the only ones on your mind.

Bed­time

Every­one trav­els dif­fer­ent­ly, but if you spend your entire time avoid­ing sleep because “you can sleep when you get home,” you’ll have one grog­gy and poten­tial­ly grumpy expe­ri­ence. Try to get extra rest the first few days to accom­mo­date the jet-lag you may expe­ri­ence. Then, make sure you get suf­fi­cient sleep each night. If you have trou­ble sleep­ing in a new bed, try play­ing a guid­ed med­i­ta­tion from your smart­phone off of YouTube. Pack earplugs in case your hotel ends up being too close to a dis­co-tech or you land a trav­el-mate who snores. Also, if nightlife is a big part of your desired trav­el expe­ri­ence, pack an eye mask so that you can sleep in a few extra hours to make up for the late night arrival to REM.

Get Cre­ative

“I know a lot of peo­ple who trav­el with resis­tance bands. My whole rou­tine is based on my out­doors runs no mat­ter the weath­er: push-ups, high knees, sprints, and hill work (if it’s an option). I have one friend who even trav­els with his road bike.” ~ Yomi­ca Wolfe

Your options to stay active and healthy on the road are as lim­it­ed as your cre­ativ­i­ty. Fig­ure out what you like to do and incor­po­rate that into your trav­el expe­ri­ence. Even in the dead of an Alaskan win­ter, you could exer­cise to a P90X video you’ve saved on your iPhone or go snow­shoe­ing if the weath­er allows. If you take care of your­self, your body will take your expe­ri­ences to a whole new lev­el.

Fun Fact: Did you know you can burn up to 40 per­cent more calo­ries snow-shoe­ing than you do run­ning or walk­ing at the same rate?