Whether it’s a couple of months or weeks, it’s not easy to keep fit when you’re exploring new countries. But with a few tips and tricks, you can try and stay on the right track without compromising the spirit of travel. Here’s are a few pointers on how to stay fit when travelling.
- Pack the right gear
It may seem like common sense but if you don’t have a sports bra with you or a pair of training shoes, you can’t even enter into the mindset of exercising. All you need really is one set of kit, including trainers, to include on your holiday checklist, so when you do feel like going for a run, you can.
- Search the local sights
Even if we’re only spending a few days or a day and night in a place, I always like to get out in the morning for a quick pace around to explore the local sights. On a recent trip to China, I got up around 7:30am and ran to Tiananmen Square in Beijing before the hoards of tourists arrived. Similarly, I did a light training run to People’s Place in Shanghai and came across all the locals taking part in their early morning exercise. We may have only been in these big cities for a little while but my morning adventures helped me find my footing and discover another side.
- Walk the walk
It may not always be possible but where we could, we walked around the sights rather than took the subway or tourist buses in China. We’d plan our day in the morning and see where we could get to by the afternoon. When we head to Paris, we often roam about on foot rather than taking the Metro as it’s such a pretty city to visit. Of course, it depends on where you are and how much time you have to spend, but overall it can make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful than public transport
- Rent bikes
Most places now, including China, have bikes available to rent. As long as you are confident enough to jump on the saddle, there’s no better way to see a place or city. When we went to Berlin in July, we cycled out to the Grunewald, which took us less time and was far more enjoyable than trying to get there by public transport or a taxi. We also burned off the crates of beer and cocktails that we tucked away while there (or at least that’s what I told myself).
- Swim. Swim. Swim
Staying near a beach or lake? Why not take a dip. Seriously, there’s nothing like a good swim to remind you that you’re on your hols. This is something I really missed when we were in China. Next time we go, I’m making sure we head towards the coast so I can swim in the sea once again.
- Flex and burn
It may sound boring but you can even do a few exercises while waiting for your partner to finish in the shower. Think sit-ups, planks and mountain climbers. I packed a stretchy band to work on my triceps and biceps while watching HBO or the BBC news in China. It only takes a few minutes and means I can still keep on track.
- Rest up
Don’t beat yourself up too much if you let your routine slide a bit. After all, you are on holiday. Use the time to relax, sleep and recoup, so that when you do return to training, you can do so with vigour and motivation.
- Pack the right gear