You can keep fit when travelling the world, but it is hard to keep on top of especially with no money. However, it is important if you are travelling for extended periods of time. This post is about keeping fit when travelling.
How do you keep fit when travelling the world?
I am not a fitness freak, but I love activities (ie. snowboarding, hiking, climbing), and I like to feel like I can maintain a strong and active body so I can do these activities, and also look a little better (yes I know, more work needed here).
I find my backpack is weightier because I enjoy “activities”, but I deal with carrying it because I am fitter. Ha. (Aside from brute determination).
So whilst I am travelling, with no money I opted to either run (or “jog”, or “lollop”), work out on the floor (any floor), bike or hike.
Free ways to keep fit when travelling
Running is a great way to keep fit – it gets your heart rate up and keeps your costs down. You can run anywhere during spring, summer and most of autumn. Running in the snow, if you are in a place where it snows, is a little harder and you have to be careful of ice. Although, in Canada, I have found cleared or gritted road/ pavements during the winter months. It takes some getting used to though; running in the winter.
I was lucky enough to find a pair of running shoes (trainers if you are from the UK) my size at a thrift store. The Salvation Army thrift stores in Canada are a blessing in my travelling life. I have bought and loved so many tops from thrift stores, and my running trainers are awesome. They were in good condition too.
I originally did not bring my runners with me on my trip. Big regret. If you like to keep fit, chuck something else OUT of your backpack and stick your runners in. Or just wear your runners on the plane (I wear my walking boots). A good idea is the FiveFinger shoes; I have heard you can both run and walk in them. I have not tried them myself but a pretty good idea to keep your backpack lighter.
Activity app for the iphone
If you have an Iphone then download RunKeeper. You take your phone with you and you can record your activity. A little voice will tell you how far you have run. I find this really useful when I am in an unfamiliar city/town – as I cannot judge how far I am going. As soon as the little voice pipes up “you have run 15 minutes… or 2.5k” I know I can turn back, depending on how far I want to run. I pretty much run for half an hour at the moment, but aiming for more. Runkeeper also has programmes that will help you build up to longer runs. And you do not need credit on your phone/cell. My Runkeeper tracks me with no credit.
I didn’t run for 6 months, so I myself started at 3k built up to 5k, 3 times I week. I will keep going till I can get up to 8k -10k at least once in a week. You can usually find a park to aim for on Google Maps. I tend to aim for a public park, run around it a bit and then head home.
Biking is great too – and a lot of kind people leant me their bikes when I was couch surfing. It is a great way to see a city, and keep fit. Also there are loads of bike trails around now, through the countryside. You do not have to be an expert.
You may feel like a fool but reflective clothing if running or biking at dawn/dusk on the road is a must.
Floor exercises whilst travelling
I have worked out in many a hostel room. Some people will look at you as though you are crazy, but keep in mind you are doing this for yourself, not them, and you will handle your hangover better than them in the morning. Other people have total respect and want to join in.
I like to do exercises that I can do it a small space. I am 6 foot and take up a lot of room, but find I can usually get the following done in any area. I sometimes go outside, round the back of a building if the weather is good.
Indoor fitness programme for travellers
Generally I will do the following, twice:
- 30 sit ups
- 10 full good press ups
- 20 tricep dips (just use a bed or a chair, anything)
- 20 lunges
- 20 squats
- Bridging x 10
- Hip abduction on your side x 10
Just do them once to start for a few weeks, then build up to two. It does not take long, maybe 10 minutes each round and it just keeps you on top of it. It goes without saying – if you are stronger than me, do more.
Remember to drink plenty of water and take the time to stretch down before and afterwards, or you will feel the pain. I will add some some more advice to this post when I can.
I am not a fitness expert and if you hurt yourself doing these exercises it is NOT MY FAULT. You should know what you are doing and be fit enough to take on the programme. Do not try to run 3k if you have never run before. You should seek some advice on how to start. Make sure you know where you are going, and do not run in the dark in unfamiliar towns or cities. Keep safe!
Yoga whilst travelling
Travelling, I have done loads of yoga. In Canada or the US you can get very cheap introductory classes (for up to a month) or attend community classes, which are either free or you pay a donation. Some yoga schools do a free “first” session. Also sign up to Meetup.com because you can find some good deals on there.
I lived in Portland, Oregon just for a month. I took up a class for $40 for 1 month introductory. I went 4-5 times a week. That is about $2 per session. I loved it – it was well worth it.
I am sure other sports do introductory fees too, so make sure you look out for them.
Free ice skating in Canadian towns
Look out for free ice skating in small towns throughout Canada in the winter months. In Fernie BC there is free public ice skating on a Tuesday and Thursday morning (please check days and times) at Fernie Memorial Arena. I am a terrible ice skater, but I would go for 45 minutes and work up a sweat and I eventually got quite fast. Also I know you can sign up to play in baseball teams in the summer, but you would have to be pretty settled in one place.
Good luck with your fitness whilst travelling!