Far from your nearest treadmill or favourite Zumba class, where the only weight you lift is your rucksack, a ‘medicine ball’ is something you’re meant to swallow, and squats are…erm… (well, I’ll leave that one to your imagination), how is a girl to keep herself active and fit while traveling?
If you miss the buzz of a workout, here are 4 tips to keep your heart pounding and your beerbelly at bay:
Go for a Sightseeing Run
Running is one of the easiest kinds of exercise you can take when you’re traveling – all you need is running shoes, and sometimes not even them if you’ve got a handy beach! Check out Dawn’s post on going for a sightseeing run.
If you’re not comfortable running on your own plenty of cities offer guided sightseeing tours, or if you want something more adventurous, there are “hashing” clubs all over the world that you can usually just join in with. “Hashing”, in case you think I’m advocating illicit behaviour, is short for the Hash House Harriers – a “drinking club with a running problem” that was started by us eccentric Brits in Kuala Lumpur in 1938.
…and if running’s not your thing, a good day’s wandering (including getting happily lost) keeps the heart pumping. You might even get in some light weight lifting if you factor in carrying shopping bags or raising your coffee cup up for a sip!
Hit the Dancefloor
I love the feeling of finishing a run, but for pure exhilaration, you can’t beat dancing. Whether you’re dancing round your dorm room, hitting a salsa club in the early hours or jumping around to your favorite band at a festival, dancing is not only brilliant fun it’s also burning off the backpacking belly. Plus, what a great way to meet people! No wonder it’s one of the things we added to the awesome 10 Commandments of the Female Backpacker.
Try a Local Speciality
Surfing in Australia, capoeira in Brazil, tango in Argentina, tai chi in China, yoga in India, rowing in England… the possibilities are almost endless. Although all the activities I’ve mentioned are pretty global nowadays, what could be more inspirational than trying something new, or improving if you’ve done it before, in its home country?
Alternatively, you could go completely left-field. The craziest thing I’ve tried in the pursuit of exercise wise was Heyrobics! in Beijing. Once you’ve high-kicked around a Chinese park under the aegis of a unbelievably cheerful Swedish guy in short pink shorts and a bandana, well, let me tell you, nothing else will seem weird again.
Make it the Focus of your Travels
Are you a gymnast? Always wanted to learn to tango? Want to run a marathon or climb a mountain? Then why not make it part of your travels?! From residential acrobatic and kung-fu schools in China, to tango classes in Buenos Aires or even the London Marathon. Traveling will push your mental and emotional boundaries; but I personally always feel more daring simply by the act of travelling. If you’re anything like me, then adding a physical challenge could be a great way of adding the satisfaction of a tangible accomplishment – whether that’s being able to hold an advanced yoga pose or learning to kick a dozen asses before breakfast.
Ooof! I’m tired just writing this! So, how do you keep active on your travels?
p.s. You’ll need a great playlist for all this activity… Jenna’s got some tips right here