In June 2014, we quit our London jobs to eat our way around Asia. Back in London we were gym bunnies; looking toned and muscly is important to us shallow queens!
But take the gym away and you’re left with the challenge of trying to maintain a good shape and how to keep healthy while traveling.
We like to think we’ve done quite well, mainly through eating carefully, doing a series of almost daily bodyweight circuit exercises and lots of cardiovascular activities where possible like jogging (if near a park) or swimming (if near a sea or pool).
When booking our place to stay, we always try and find a place near a large green space. Early morning jogs are a great way to see a new place. In addition, in countries like China and Laos, locals will also do the same, gathering in public green spaces in the morning to do some tai chi or even dancing.
We love adventure and outdoor activities such as trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and kayaking in the mangroves forest of Koh Tarutao in Thailand.
These are fun ways to keep in shape. Snorkelling and scuba diving are two other activities we love and always try to do when near a good coral reef or diving site.
Bodyweight exercises for toning
Doing jogging and other cardiovascular activities is all well and good, but when you’re used to the free weights section of a gym, keeping toned is another challenge when travelling.
We usually try to find a local gym if staying long enough in a particular place. Otherwise, we rely on a daily routine of bodyweight circuit exercises to keep in shape.
These will normally be 7 exercises, 1 minute each, for 4 rounds, focusing on a few muscle groups each day. Examples include:
- Chest: a variety of push ups, starting with normal push up, incline push ups and the hardest, decline push ups.
- Arms: triceps dips from a chair or bed, and biceps pull up from a pull up bar if there is one.
- Back and shoulders: pull ups from a pull up bar in a public park, hand stand push ups against a wall.
- Legs: squat pulses, lunges and squats against a wall.
- Core: there are a plethora of core exercises you can do, but our favourites include various forms of planks, leg raises, bicycle crunches, v sits and many more.
It’s a bit of a struggle but when there’s two of you motivating each other, it makes it a lot easier.
Doing the exercise is half the battle, but to maintain a good figure and keep the fat at bay, we have tried to stick to a generally healthy diet.
We love our food a lot and are definitely adventurous when it comes to trying out new delights. But we exercise caution with heavy foods.
For example, we were careful with the ghee (clarified butter) based curries of North India, and in Myanmar, we wouldn’t always finish off those yummy curries, which are cooked and served with copious amounts of oil.
We also make fresh fruit and vegetables a daily priority. In every new place we visit, we always find a good local market to stock up on a few days’ fruit.
This is also another great way to get to know a new area and interact with locals as well as learning about new exotic fruits you wouldn’t normally have everyday back home (like fresh coconuts, mangoes, papayas and passion fruits).
Stefan and Sebastien love adventure sports and trying lots of new exciting foods everywhere we go. Mixing these together has made their travels more interesting, which they write about on their gay travel blog.
Now we’d love to know about you!
How do you keep healthy while traveling?
Please, leave your comments below. Thank you!
Great suggestions and good on you guys for sticking with working out and eating on the healthy side! We’re on the second leg of our around the trip and making our health more of a priority. Lots of body weight exercise for us too!
Travelers (including me on the road) tend to travel that they dont need to do anything more for their health while they are on road because…. well they are moving already. But the more I travel the more I see thats not true. I really should start following some of those ;)
Love to go jogging when I am travelling. Not only do I get a health benefit but also find myself discovering new and interesting places to explore later in the day. Also love that my running app can map & track my course around a foreign city. Just be careful when running in China to check the PM 2.5 pollution levels. (You can download one easily enough). Anything over 120 is a no go. Great blog!