By Martin Ebner
I wrote an article recently about how to stay fit whilst on your summer holidays - a daunting task for many but what if your life is constantly on the move? What if you're a digital nomad?
Here are my 10 tips to help you stay fit and healthy whilst living the nomadic lifestyle.
1. Have a plan
There's nothing more detrimental to a workout routine than poor planning. While the occasion “freestyle” workout is ok, as a general rule, if it's not written down in some form or another, it's unlikely to happen. While your workout plan doesn't have to be set in stone, at the very least, decide the days, type of workouts and the exercises that you're going to do ahead of time. This way you'll have the accountability, guidance and motivation to stick to it.
2. Take a multivitamin
It can sometimes be difficult when constantly on the move to get everything you need from diet alone. While you should never rely solely on supplements to get your daily nutrition requirements, if in doubt, take a multivitamin. Not only can it give your immune system a boost and protect your body against any new germs it encounters when you travel, it will also act as a safety net for any vitamins and minerals that might be lacking from your diet.
3. Hit the supermarket
Diet is crucial when it comes to keeping good health. Your first stop after checking into your Airbnb should be to the supermarket to stock up on healthy food. By having healthy options at your fingertips, you'll be far less likely to make poor dietary choices when out exploring.
Note: If you think you're going to be out for most of the day, eat before you go or take a snack or two with you. This will prevent you from grabbing the first and probably unhealthy thing you see when hunger comes a-knocking!
4. Choose accommodation with access to a kitchen
By all means explore and enjoy the local delicacies but do so in moderation and try to prepare 4 out of your 5 daily meals at home. They don't need to be elaborate or overly complex. A simple homemade sandwich with whole grain over white bread, light mayo over full fat and ingredients prepared using light cooking techniques could offer much more nutritional value with half the calories than the equivalent store-bought sandwich. You’ll save a few quid too!
Related article: 8 benefits to home cooking
5. Make sure your first meal of the day is a healthy one
If you’re not willing to commit to preparing 4 out of your 5 meals at home, at the very least, make the first meal of the day a healthy one. The old expression, “Start the way you mean to go on” is perfectly suited to diet and by making a conscious decision to start your day on the right foot, you'll be encouraged to make smart choices throughout the rest of the day.
6. Choose a workout space with benefits
If you like to work from a workspace, choose one that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Bright open spaces, ergonomically sound desk set-ups, fitness classes and running groups, a good kitchen etc are all things that you should look for when choosing your next work space. It's either that or dimly lit hipster cafes with death to spine seats, crap internet connection and €6 matcha flat whites. While the later might seem appealing to some, it's not productive to your health or work to do it all the time.
Related article: How to improve your health at work
7. Find a gym
Do a little research on best gyms in the area before you arrive and treat yourself to a pass for the duration of your stay. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying before trying, if the reviews are 5* star and you feel that prepaying will offer you accountability to exercise, just do it.
8. Break into your exercise routine ASAP
Don't wait for days and weeks to get back into your exercise routine. Start immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get back into the habit of working out. While your schedule might be all over the place, make a point of prioritising your workouts.
Here are a few tips to help get you started:
Exercise in the morning. By doing so you’re far less likely to make excuses not to later.
Be realistic. There's little point in over-zealously kidding yourself that you'll do 7 workouts a week if can only really do 2. If you're too ambitious, you might feel over whelmed and throw in the towel before you really even get started.
Workout within 2 days of arriving to a new place. This will help get the ball rolling.
Pre book some group or Personal training sessions. By having a standing appointment that's paid and nonrefundable, you're far more likely to stick to it.
9. Take your workouts outdoors
If the idea of the gym makes you cringe, don't kid yourself into thinking this time will be different. Instead, opt for outdoor exercise and use your new surroundings to keep fit whilst exploring at the same time. Cycle, walk, run, swim, surf, ski and snowboarding etc - the options for outdoor exercise are literally endless.
10. Travel with some basic workout equipment
If you're unenthused by the local gyms, classes, Personal trainers and/or surrounds, get yourself some light exercise equipment and workout where ever, when ever you please. While you're unlikely to be travelling with 40 lbs kettlebells, there are a lot of workout equipment options that are versatile and travel friendly. Here are 3 of my favourites:
1. Resistance bands
2. Skipping/jump rope
A nomadic lifestyle is no excuse to let your health and fitness suffer. With more options that ever readily available and with the 10 tips above, it’s never been easier to keep fit and healthy as a Nomad.
Related article: How to keep fit on your holidays