This week’s video and blog post “How to Stay Healthy While Traveling” is sponsored by Audiobooks.com! On our road trip we’ve been listening to Jane Goodall’s fascinating book about the wonder and power of plants, Seeds of Hope. It’s truly a captivating listen. Join me in listening to this book, or download another book for your summer travels for free using my Audiobooks.com link. You’ll also get a free 30-Day Audiobooks.com trial, so you can stay entertained all summer!
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like it’s really hard to stay fit and healthy while traveling. You’re away from your kitchen, unfamiliar with the local restaurants, and you probably have little to no time to go to the gym or take a fitness class. That’s the case for me, especially now as we drive from NYC to LA. I’m sitting down a lot, and since we’re turning this road trip into a 3 week vacation, I am eating a lot of not-so-healthy vegan food. Still, it’s very important to me to stay active and healthy when I travel. The goal isn’t to build a six pack on the road, but to counteract so much sitting and unhealthy eating with the good stuff: daily low-impact movement, cardio, and healthy food.
When you make health and fitness a priority you will succeed. The key is to be practical, creative, and flexible.
How to stay healthy while traveling
- Walk as much as possible: Avoid short cab rides, bus tours, and high heeled shoes, and use your feet to get around when you’re visiting a city. Walking in big cities is a great way to see different neighborhoods, meet locals, and keep your energy levels up. If you are visiting a place that isn’t pedestrian friendly, find other creative ways to walk more: park your car at the far end of a parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and go for walks with friends.
- Bring a yoga mat: I bring a thin travel mat with me everywhere I go so that I can fit it right into my suitcase. You can always practice yoga in a hotel room or Airbnb. If you need some guidance find a yoga video online—Youtube, YogaGlo, and DoYogaWithMe.com are all good sources that I’m familiar with. Yoga is great because it keeps you flexible, strong, and centered—all great when traveling. If you do have time, drop in to a yoga class while you’re in town.
- HIIT it: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a highly efficient way to increase your heart rate, burn fat, and boost your mood. All you need is 15-20 minutes to burn hundreds of calories. You don’t need any equipment to do it, so HIIT is perfect to do in a hotel room. I also like taking my exercises outside, like I did in Nashville. Look for HIIT workout routines on Youtube. Fitness Blender is a great channel for short exercises.
- Explore nature: Combine your exercise with some outdoor sight-seeing. Throughout the United States and much of the world there are fabulous and safe hikes for people of all fitness levels. If a hike is too strenuous, a long walk through a local park is also a great way to exercise and see the local nature. In Nashville we hiked and walked in Shelby Bottoms.
- Go Dancing: I haven’t had a time to do it yet, but I’d really like to take a line dancing class while I’m in Texas. Dance classes and even clubs are a great way to stay active, meet people, and have fun while traveling.
- Ride bikes: One of my favorite ways to see a city is on two wheels. These days it is easier than ever to rent public bikes all around the world. If the place you’re in doesn’t have a public bike program, search for bike rental shops online.
- Eat well: Ultimately you won’t reap the full benefits of being active unless you are feeding your body nutrient dense food. Even though I’m traveling, I have been maintaining my 80/20 vegan lifestyle. At least 80% of the time I am eating whole foods like greens, beans, and grains, and the other 20% or less I allow myself to indulge in vegan junk food. Since it can be difficult (& expensive) to find healthy wholesome food at a restaurant, I like to book a guesthouse or Airbnb with a kitchen so I can cook for myself. I love exploring local farmer’s markets and grocery stores as I pick up my healthy provisions.
Check out the video we made to see all these strategies in action! Happy traveling!