How to stay fit while travelling

Walking along Rannerdale Knotts

Everyone likes to indulge on their travels, and the lure of delicious local food, days lounging by the pool, and evenings out at the cocktail bar are hard to resist. And why should you hold back? You’re on holiday after all. Yet if you’re away for a significant length of time or are far from home living the digital nomad life, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself when it comes to keeping fit and healthy. Indulgence has its place, but you can have too much of a good thing.

Some people like to hit the gym whilst they’re away, and others prefer to incorporate physical activity into their everyday sightseeing. We’re firm fans of the latter. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but having a routine will work wonders. Here are a few of our tried and tested ways of staying fit while travelling.

Book accommodation with a gym

One of the obvious ways of keeping fit when you’re away from home is to book accommodation that has leisure facilities. That way, you can incorporate a fitness session into your daily routine, whether that’s before breakfast or in the evening after a day out and about.

We sometimes do this, especially if we’re on a city break or know that our itinerary isn’t going to be especially active. A pre-breakfast run on the treadmill or half an hour on the cross trainer sets us up for the day – there’s something satisfying about already having done your workout before heading off to explore.

The fitness studio at Hotel D Strasbourg
Book a hotel with a fitness studio

I personally love a pool, as it’s kinder on my knees! Evenings are good for a swim, as the pool is often quieter at this time, when everyone else is heading out for dinner. And if you’re staying somewhere tropical, an outdoor pool with a view makes exercising a pleasure rather than a chore.

Get a fitness-related job

For those travelling long-term, keeping healthy needs to become a way of life, rather than just something that needs fitting into your sightseeing schedule. Some people like to merge fitness with work, thereby solving two problems at the same time.

There is a wealth of self employed ideas online to help get you started in this field. Popular occupations include freelance personal trainers and outdoor activity instructors. The latter in particular is a great way to keep in shape while enjoying the beautiful landscapes of your destination. You’ll require experience and sometimes qualifications, so it’s best to do a bit of research before taking this leap.

Canoeing on Derwentwater
Get a job as an outdoor activity instructor

Hubbie used to be an outdoor instructor, spending his summers exploring incredible places while taking guests on thrilling adventures. All that canoeing, caving and mountain hiking kept him in great shape. This is an excellent career choice for nomads, as there’s always demand for instructors during the peak tourist season.

Stay active in the day

You don’t have to be a gym fanatic to stay fit when you’re away. By simply choosing activities that involve some sort of physical exercise during the day, you’ll be doing your body a world of good. It can be great fun too! Personally, we love exploring on foot, and without realising it, often clock up thousands of steps every day. It’s a great way of seeing the local sights, and means we don’t need to worry about other forms of exercise back at our hotels.

On the Chinchero to Urquillos hike in Peru
Hiking on our travels keeps us fit

Whether you take walking tours around historic city centres, hike up mountains for sweeping views, or fancy having a go at river rafting, you’ll be giving yourself a workout with a difference. Another bonus of keeping active in the day is that you can then treat yourself at dinner without feeling guilty.

Make wellness the focus of your trip

Fitness doesn’t have to be something inconvenient and tiresome that needs to be fitted in around more enjoyable activities. It can become the main focus of your trip, and in fact wellness experiences are in high demand with travellers looking for a more wholesome and health conscious holiday.

Wild Swimming in Ullswater
Wild swimming is a great way to stay fit on the road

Yoga and pilates retreats are among the most popular getaways, and many have other activities on offer for a rounded fitness experience. Nature hikes, wild swimming and horse riding are often also on the cards, depending on the destination. Food at these retreats tends to be fresh, filling and nutritious, which is always a bonus when you’re trying to stay healthy.

Consider visiting hot countries

This might sound strange as a way of keeping fit and healthy on your travels, but for us, it works every time. We often return home several pounds lighter than when we left, and that’s without even trying. This is all to do with the heat.

Villa infinity pool suite at Kasbah Bab Ourika
Swimming is a great way of keeping fit in the heat

When the sun is beating down and the lethargy sets in, the last thing we fancy doing is eating. This means we rarely snack between meals, and often end up tucking into salads and fresh fruits rather than stodgier, more hearty dishes. We also spend a lot of time in the pool, to cool down, and to get some lengths in. It doesn’t really feel like exercise, which makes it even better!

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