Staying healthy while travelling can be difficult for various reasons. Factors such as eating food, exercise, and long hours of travel can cause stress when thinking about being healthy while travelling. However, there are some ways to keep healthy while travelling, both abroad and domestically, which I’ve used myself, and I’ll run you through them.
How to Stay Healthy While Travelling at Airports
Some people find airports stressful enough without worrying about what to eat. They’re full of people, have a lot of expensive things, and you can end up spending a lot of money without even realising it. Then there’s the issue of liquids and the possibility of losing that valuable bottle of SPF. Furthermore, if you’re very diet-conscious, you might already be stressed about eating something that’ll get in the way of you staying healthy while travelling, and you haven’t even left the country yet!
But this doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re in a UK airport, one of the best and healthiest places to get some food is from Boots. Their meal deals are around £3.50 and have a variety of very healthy foods such as chicken Caesar salad, vegetarian duck wraps, protein bars, and vitamin drinks. Airports abroad may have adjacent businesses such as 7/11, but a lot of these meals can help you to keep healthy while travelling on the first leg of your journey.
Additional tip: If you can stave off your hunger for a little while and go to Boots from around 14:30, lots of the main meals will be reduced to as little as £0.50! Now that’s a cheap option that also helps keep you healthy while travelling.
How to Stay Healthy While Travelling on Road Trips
For road trips, both long and short, my first tip for staying healthy while travelling may sound awful, but I promise it will make you feel better in the long run. That piece of advice is….. waking up early.
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking about why waking up earlier than you have to for a long drive or train journey is going to keep you healthy while travelling. Still, the simple fact is that if you wake up before you absolutely have to and get a bit of fitness in, it can jumpstart your day. Whether you opt for a long workout or something shorter and sharper, that early rise can give you a good dose of fitness before hours of sitting down and leave your body to rest and recover after.
My next bit of advice for keeping healthy while road tripping is to pack a lunch in advance if you’re going to have to eat on the road. Again, this may sound boring, but long doses of travel can make you hungry (believe me, I know), and you may not want to stop by a roadside station and buy an overpriced sandwich that isn’t going to leave you full, or a burger that is half cooked. If you’re travelling and plan to eat once you arrive at your destination, then a basic bottle of water and several pieces of fruit can be a cheap alternative that will keep your hunger at bay and help you stay healthy while travelling.
How to Stay Healthy While Travelling at the Destination
Some people may worry that local cuisine or restaurants will prevent them from staying healthy while travelling, but this is not necessarily the case. In my experience, most of the places I’ve eaten abroad can provide very nutritious (not to mention really tasty) food. But even if you aren’t always able to find a place to eat that will match your every nutritional need, while you’re travelling, I should remind you: you’re travelling. This isn’t the most regular occurrence, and if you’re travelling for pleasure, you should try and enjoy the food whilst it’s there. Even if you’re travelling for business, you may not know when you’re next
going to get the chance to try a great dish.
While your diet may be something that you are struggling to maintain whilst journeying, travel can be the perfect opportunity for you to allow yourself to relax a bit and sample some fantastic foods whilst they’re there. Will they always be nutritious? Not necessarily, but you should never forget to treat yourself. Speaking from experience, it’s not every day I get to eat a penis waffle, and I didn’t know when I’d next get the chance to have one, so when I was in Lisbon, I decided to take the chance. A diet is all about balance, and eliminating things from your diet for ‘health’ needs may not be healthy in itself.
Despite what you may be led to believe, one day (or several) will not ruin everything you have worked for, and even if you find yourself put back a couple of steps, your muscles will likely be able to get back to their previous levels of fitness quite soon due to muscle memory.
Water, water, water.
This is a quick one, but if you’re ever at a loss for what to drink when abroad and are worried about consuming your calories, water is the way to go. Besides, many restaurants will offer you a jug of water for free, and what better way is there to keep hydrated than simple water?
How to Stay Fit While Travelling
Now, I’ve spent most of this piece discussing food in relation to travel but haven’t much addressed the fitness side of staying healthy whilst travelling. Of course, I mentioned waking up earlier, but some of you may not be up to that, which I completely get. I sometimes find myself lying in until 10 in the morning whilst abroad. But waking up early isn’t the only way to stay healthy while travelling. Here are a few things you can do:
Run it out.
You may need a couple of days to get used to the city you’re travelling in, but once you have the lay of the land, it will feel more comfortable going out for a run. The great outdoors can be great for fitness, and running throughout a city can really tell you a lot about the place. Of course, you may not always have the luxury of time, in which case I would recommend opting for a shorter run or finding a circuit that you can go around several times.
One important thing is always to research what is said about the city you are visiting and whether it is safe to run in. The internet has several places where you can find out whether your travel destination is safe for runners, as well as advising safer or more advisable times to head out.
Use your body.
It would not be very cost-effective or easy to carry if you decided to bring an entire set of weights with you, but you’ve got the most critical piece of equipment with you – yourself. Using your own body weight is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy whilst travelling and costs you nothing. You may opt to bring a roll-up exercise mat with you, but this is not always needed if you have a soft enough bit of ground to work on. Do be careful with carpets; exercising on them may result in friction burn.
Now, it’s easy enough to say that you can use your own body weight, but aside from traditional exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, another option for staying healthy while travelling is to incorporate HIIT workouts. These can give you a vigorous workout in a shorter amount of time, and if you aren’t used to them, they can really kick your butt. That being said, they still kick my butt, and I’ve done them before.
If you want to incorporate more exercises to stay heavy while travelling, two pieces of equipment that you may want to consider investing in are a set of resistance bands and (depending on your accommodation conditions) a skipping rope. They can be easy to fit into your travel bags and aren’t very expensive, but they help increase your range of exercise.
Noise tip: some of the places you’re staying in may have thin walls or not be optimal for loud moves such as burpees. There are follow-along workout videos available on the internet that are designed to keep you healthy whilst also reducing noise.
A workout I’ve used before whilst travelling abroad and also running/walking is simply doing push-ups, sit-ups, and squats in my accommodation. The last time I did this, I performed 200 squats, 150 push-ups, and 150 sit-ups. It’s not the most mind-blowing workout, but it gets the job done.
If you’re getting the chance to really explore a city or country, walking as often as possible can be a surprisingly effective method of keeping healthy whilst travelling. Travelling to Lisbon, I walked so much that I had to sit down at some point because of my sore feet and ended up walking over 25,000 steps! Yeah, that’s a lot, and as a long-distance runner, I’m not joking when I said that was more tiring than a half-marathon.
The other advantage of walking a lot when abroad is that it saves money by reducing the need for public transport and also helps the environment, all whilst helping you stay healthy while travelling.
These are a few different ways to stay healthy whilst travelling, but there are certainly more options, such as some hotels having guest-accessible gyms and so on. But my main takeaway is that whilst this can be a stressful time, the stresses of travel should never be greater than the pleasures. Please do focus on your mental health over everything else. If you’re becoming too concerned about staying healthy whilst travelling, a few days off may be the best option for you.
How do you stay healthy while travelling? What are your best tips? If you liked this post, you might also like:
– Written by Conrad