Staying fit and healthy can be a challenge at the best of times. But when you are travelling, it can become even harder. Long days of sitting in the car as you travel between destinations and the temptation to eat out can wreak havoc with your normal routine. So here are just a few ideas to help you stay fit and healthy when travelling.
GO FOR A WALK
Walking is one of the easiest and cheapest forms of exercise. You don’t need any equipment other than a decent pair of shoes. Almost anybody can walk regardless of their fitness levels. If you haven’t done any exercise for awhile, walking is a great way to get back into it.
The best thing about walking is that it is such an awesome way to explore a new area or just unwind after sitting in the car for a few hours. Take a walk early in the morning to take advantage of sunrise views and also to escape the heat of the day. My favourite time of the day to walk though is late afternoon when the birds are coming out and it is starting to cool off. Also don’t discount ‘incidental’ exercise as you walk around museums, art galleries, nature parks and the like.
FREE EXERCISE EQUIPMENT
Popping up in parks, in cities and towns all over Australia you will find free exercise equipment. And from what I’ve seen local councils are doing an awesome job of installing this equipment in the best spots in town. Take Paradise Point here on the Gold Coast for example. The exercise equipment is stretched out over about a four kilometre walking track and every single piece has a view of the Broadwater.
They are even popping up in regional centres as well. Even small towns like Cowra, Crookwell and Narrabri are getting in on the act. We found a really great set up in Narrabri. Overlooking a man made lagoon, it was the perfect place for a spot of exercise.
Swimming is one of the best exercises that you can do. It is gentle on your body, especially if you have an injury or ‘creaky’ joints like I do. Caravan park pools are often a little on the small side but you should still be able to do a few laps or even some deep water running. If this is not an option try the local council pool. Entry fees are usually reasonably priced and sometimes they even run aqua aerobic classes that you could join in on.
If you are confident in the surf or there are ocean pools available you can opt for them as a free option.
Many people who travel do take pushbikes with them. However, if you don’t have room for your bikes don’t despair. I have found a few caravan parks that hire bikes out for a couple of hours or a day. Some are free, but most charge at least a bond to ensure that they are returned in good condition.
Capital cities such as Brisbane and Melbourne provide hire bikes that start at about $2.00 for 30 minutes. Sydney has bike hire available at Centennial Park and also Sydney Olympic Park. This is a fantastic way to explore the area you are staying in and get some exercise at the same time.
Going for a bush walk is one of my favourite ways to get some exercise when we are travelling. I love being out in the bush and the fresh air. There are so many places that have National Parks nearby and all of them seem to have a variety of walking trails, that cater for all levels of fitness. Tracks can be steep and windy and many include stairs, which give you a really good workout.
Bush walking is also a great way to learn about the local environment and also presents great photographic opportunities. As always, make sure you have a great pair of shoes and at least carry some water with you. Safety should always be your first priority.
It’s really easy to let all your good diet habits slip when you are travelling or camping. Long days of driving can mean the temptation to grab take-away everyday creeps in. Or who doesn’t enjoy ‘Happy Hour’ every afternoon. I know I do. But with a little planning, your camping meals don’t all have to be sausages and baked beans.
With a barbecue and a camp oven, you can cook meals exactly like you do at home. We proved this by recently cooking a Chicken Stir Fry on our barbecue. It was quick, easy and delicious. But above all it was cheap as well!
FITNESS TRACKERS AND APPS
To help you to reach your daily exercise goals there are loads of different fitness trackers and apps available. The most expensive options are fitness trackers such as a ‘Fit Bit’, Garmin or Gear Fit. If you own any type of Smart Phone you can down load an app to help you keep track of your exercise.
For me I just use the Samsung Health app which came pre-installed on my phone. With it I can track how many steps I’ve taken in a day or how many kilometres I’ve walked. You can also use it to track your blood pressure (manually), check your heart rate, record your caffeine intake etc.
It’s a great way to help you make better choices throughout your day, but especially when you are travelling.
What is your favourite way to stay fit and healthy when travelling or holidaying?