The generalized stereotype of travelers and backpackers that stay at hostels tend to enjoy the pub crawls, the late night munchies and all the cultural foods they can get their hands on. While all those activities are wonderful and very necessary, they are not sustainable. If you are looking to travel for a longer period of time, say maybe becoming a digital nomad or working abroad, you will eventually get over feeling bloated and uncomfortable with the inevitable weight gain and lower energy levels. There are techniques that are traveler friendly, meaning they are budget friendly (spend less, travel longer, cha feel?) but also to be in good health while traveling just makes for an overall better experience. You feel better because of proper digestion, increased energy and increased brain clarity. Who wouldn’t want to feel and look their best while doing something as beautiful as traveling the world? I know I do!
In order to maintain a lean, functional and fit physique so that you can continue traveling in good health, here are a few tricks to implement into your upcoming travel plans:
Increase your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
The more you move, the more calories you burn. Simple as that. NEAT is a combination of your everyday movements and activities outside of the gym. Fidgeting, writing emails, standing still, light walking are all forms of NEAT which when increased, boost energy and burn calories. Aiming to walk 10k+ steps everyday to increase total NEAT also doubles for sightseeing is a win-win while traveling. Other ways to increase NEAT include taking the stairs, carrying your groceries, dancing, performing light exercises while on the subway or waiting in lines, the list goes on. Just move!
Give Intermittent Fasting a Try!
Studies show that IF improves body and brain health, simplifies life, and may even help you live longer. (1) Fasting has been used through human evolution when hunter-gatherers didn’t have access to supermarkets or 24/7 accessible food, humans evolved to function without food for extended periods of time. There are a few methods of IF but I like to focus on The 16/8 Method which involves fasting for 16 hours (which can include 8 hrs of sleep) and an eating period of 8 hours, example; 1-9PM. Fasting is beneficial for travellers who have no set eating schedule. It may seem different, but once you become intune with your hunger cues and body awareness, IF has many health benefits from boosting metabolism to acting as a powerful weight loss tool. The most common side effect of IF is hunger so please consult a medical professional before trying.
Street food, alcohol and new dishes are all part of the fun while visiting a new city. It can be easy to go to extremes when in an exciting place with new friends so practicing portion control, drinking water before meals, and waiting 5 minutes in the middle of a meal to rest and digest can help with mindfulness. Prioritize variety and balance of food choices but don’t beat yourself up if you go overboard. Enjoy your time while being mindful of your choices!
Use an Intuitive Eating Approach
The key to developing a healthy relationship with food is respecting your body and its needs. Actualizing your hunger and fullness cues, making peace with food and appreciating food as a fuel source rather than a punishment or indulgence. Being intuitive about your food choices improves overall awareness of what you are consuming. For example, if I make oatmeal at the hostel with bananas and almond butter for breakfast, I know I have eaten a higher carbohydrate, medium fat and lower protein meal (oats and banana – carb sources, almond butter – protein and fat source). With that in mind, I will try to include a higher protein meal sometime within the rest of my day, with fresh vegetables and a combination of healthy carbohydrates and fat sources. For more information, check out https://www.intuitiveeating.org/resources/studies/ (2)
“WATER!!! I NEED IT!!!” ~ spongebob voice
But seriously, water is essential for travelers!! Drinking plenty of fluids aids in digestion (which is essential during traveling), helps with nutrient absorption, fights off illness, helps increase energy levels, regulates body temperature, flushes out waste products, helps with brain function, basically water helps with everything so DRINK UP!! Your kidneys are also important for filtering out waste through urination. Adequate water intake helps your kidneys work more efficiently and helps to prevent kidney stones. Hydration also affects your strength, power, and endurance.
Move, move and move MORE!
Move however you can each and every day! Traveling requires quite a bit of sitting, overnight trains, long bus rides, taxi rides to new destinations, so when you have the time to get movement in, take full advantage! Whether it be walking, yoga, stretching, gym time, at-home HIIT workouts, whatever is available where you are staying, make it happen! You’ll feel so fricken good throughout the day and be so glad you fit it in! I bring resistance bands with me that can be used for all kinds of workouts and a yoga mat so I can flow anytime, anywhere. Make sure to have workout shoes and a few workout clothes so there are NO excuses to not break a sweat.
It can be difficult to stay in a healthy routine while traveling so that’s why staying at a hostel like Locomo Hostels, makes traveling and staying fit SO attainable. Locomo Hostel has a well equipped kitchen and refrigerator space where buying your own groceries and cooking is made simple.
“Locomo Hostel has a well equipped kitchen and refrigerator space where buying your own groceries and cooking is made simple.”
This in turn saves you money and helps you be in control of what you are consuming since some food joints add sugars, salts, etc. to their foods. The rooftop has an outdoor turf space that makes for an awesome workout using provided weights or for an organized yoga class. The filtered water stations are also incredibly convenient for increasing water consumption. Sleeping well while traveling is very important so with the extremely comfortable mattresses at all Locomo locations, you will sleep all hours of the night like a baby. You can’t ask for anything more, it’s the simple things that make a difference!
So travel often, love others, show gratitude in everything you encounter and enjoy every second. Cheers to life on the road with a banging bod!
Savanna is a Certified Personal Trainer, Registered 200 Hr. Yoga Teacher, Competitive Bodybuilder and fitness and lifestyle influencer. While backpacking the world, Savanna works as an online personal health and fitness coach helping women and men find balance between their work, social and home life all while building and sustaining their dream physique.