One of the biggest concerns I had in leaving my conventional structured life was how I was going to stay fit and healthy on the road while living my new nomadic existence on a stringent traveling budget. Giving up my job to explore the world meant limited funds to survive on. The gymnasium, the protein drinks and the expensive organic food would all need to be forsaken for a simpler, more natural way of living.
First of all, remember that life is short so enjoy the journey. While I consider a perfect balance to be the meaning of life, things don’t often turn out that way when you’re away from the familiar food comforts from your own fridge back home.
The very start of any long term travel should be focused on acclimatising to your new surroundings. Jet lag produces tiredness which will affect your appetite and your circadian rhythms so give yourself a good few days to catch up on some sleep, check out the local grocery stores and their offerings and investigate the area you are currently calling home.
When you are ready to face the fitness world again, put down that glass of local beer or that flaky foreign pastry as it will still be flowing freely and available for you the next time you get there. Except this time, it will taste far more deliciously rewarding knowing you’ve earned it.
Let’s start slowly: walking is by far the best means to investigate the area. Commence with half hour stints while absorbing your new neck of the woods. A few times a week will rattle the cobwebs and get fresh blood pumping around your body again after the few days of being sedentary on the flight and the readjustment period.
After a couple of weeks, let’s pick up the walking pace with some bouts of running. I’m aware that the R word can produce a deadly reaction in most of you that isn’t pretty. But trust me, unless you have knee and joint injuries anyone can do it, and there is no faster way to burn empty beer and pastry kilojoules that have attached themselves to your waistline.
So release your iPod and alternate the songs between running and walking. One song walking, one song running. This gives you significant down time in-between the two.
As for nutrition, the grocery store is your one stop shop. There are plenty of affordable options stacked between the supermarket shelves, you just need an open mind and a healthy focus.
Low GI (Glycemic Index) foods are the way to go, as they release energy into your bloodstream slowly and more efficiently, so your body is constantly powered with the fuel you need for your latest adventure.
Porridge for breakfast with skim milk will keep you satisfied until lunch. Rice is inexpensive and goes a long way, brown is better though. Same with wholemeal pasta and plenty of vegetables. Spinach in a bag is another cheap alternative as it can be used both as a salad base, as part of a vegetable side dish or as a sandwich filler. Brown bread and eggs will provide you with filling protein to have more energy to travel with. In between meals, an apple, a banana or a handful of raw mixed unsalted nuts from the bulk section of the store will help fill the gaps too.
Where there is a will, there’s a way to stay energetic, bright eyed and super healthy inside and out while you are fulfilling your traveling passion.
Have you got any advice how to stay fit and healthy on the road?