The rush to get ready for ‘bikini season’ never seems to last once you’re actually on holiday. Cheap food is usually extremely unhealthy, and most travelers indulge in a little over the recommended glass of wine per night.
Backpackers tend to forget that a long-term trip is more than a cheating vacay: it’s life, and in order to stay healthy, it’s important to adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Gym memberships are about as much a reality on the road as hair extensions and fake nails. Luckily for RTW travelers, there are other, organic, fun ways to stretch your legs and get active abroad.
Even if it’s only between train platforms and from the bus deposit to the hostel, traveling forces you to walk. I despise being stuck inside stuffy tour buses, peaking at the city through a thick facade of tinted, fingerprint-smudged glass. Instead, get outside and let your feet feel the pulse of the streets. Turn down hidden alleyways and get lost. Discover the local reality of where you are. You’ve got two feet and a heartbeat—you won’t believe where they’ll take you.
When you’re sick of walking; run. Beaches, rivers, and parks often offer long expanses of winding paths and open land for your trotting feet to surpass. Sure beats the stagnant view from the treadmill! Cities around the world (such as Sydney, Australia and Kamloops, Canada) offer pathways with outdoor exercise equipment at intervals. Who needs a gym pass, anyways?
Traveling offers countless opportunities for adventure. Whether it’s canyoning, caving, rock climbing, hiking, scuba diving, sky diving, surfing, paragliding, or bungee jumping, the adrenalin rush of the world’s wildest activities will give your heart rate a healthy spike. If you’re not into extreme sports, start up a beach volleyball game, drop in to an exercise class, or go out dancing. Take the opportunity to try something new!
Backpackers tote the entire weight of everything they own upon their backs. Carrying this load around the world will firm your legs, open your eyes, and enhance your understanding of the world as you walk, run, and explore all that it has in store.
If you’re looking for some on-the-go exercises, bring along a tension band to tie to the dorm room doorknob while you’re hostel mates are out for the day. Crunches, push-ups, squats, and lunges can be done anywhere, and luggage makes a great weight. A scattered selection of hostels offer pools and weight rooms where you can get your pump on. But my personal favourite way to fire up my quads and engage my core away from home is dancing the night away at a new club every evening 😉