Ben Marshall

Hey everyone,

Sorry I have been gone for so long but the past 3 months have been a bit of a whirlwind. Moving to the literal other side of the world (The UK to Australia) and then driving across it from east to west (Perth to Sydney) has taken most of my time.It’s been incredible and now being based on the east coast I still have a lot more travelling to do. However throughout all this health and fitness has not been far from my mind.

Travelling can really take it out of you both mentally and physically. This can be detrimental to your physical fitness goals; if you’re physically tired then you won’t want to exercise. If you’re mentally tired you might not make such great choices on your diet. From experience, I can tell you that planning a balanced meal out and then trying to cook it on a gas stove isn’t the most appealing thing when everyone else has take away. So I wanted to list out the ways I try and stay on top of my diet and exercise when travelling.

My top tips for staying in shape when travelling are:

Plan ahead:

Know roughly how long you are away for, what resources you will access to and when and also what your diet is most likely to be.

For me this was easy, I know I will be travelling for about 3 months, I know that I will have gym access whenever I am in a city environment, so I purchased a 24 access card for one of the most popular gyms in Australia. So no matter when I have some free time I can access the gym rather than letting its opening times dictate my trip.

As for food, I am in complete control of my diet due to travelling via car and therefore carrying and cooking all my own food. I do know that the foods I carry are mostly going to be longer life items such as canned goods such as beans and then dried foods such as pasta and rice.

Take the most of any opportunity:

If you know you have an hour spare in the morning before anything is planned, get up early and workout. It doesn’t have to be in a gym, a beach will do (actually beach workouts are so much harder than a gym workout- just try one).

Take any small victory you can:

In these situations, you might not feel like waking up from a tent or from sleeping in your car and exercising but I can guarantee that you will feel amazing after you do. You don’t have to set records or even work out as you normally would. But by doing something you will set yourself up in the right mind frame to stay on track to your goals.

Relax:

Some days you won’t be able to go to the gym, sometimes there will be a few days in a row in which you won’t be able to work out. That’s ok! It can do you good to have time away from it. As long as you are conscious of your activity level and energy intake (and by that I mean keep in balance your food intake to your energy expenditure) then you will be fine.

I actually went 8 days without using the gym, this not only gave my body a break but also meant that as soon as I got back into a situation where I could workout I had more motivation than ever to get back to it.

Just remember health is a balance of physical and mental happiness, sometimes to really benefit mentally such as from experiences you have to be a little lenient in your physical happiness. It’s not the end of the world to lose some definition in your body, and I don’t mean give up and forget about your goals, stay on track as much as you can but you decided to travel for the experiences of a lifetime, don’t let anything get in the way of that, especially not yourself.

Ben

 

Follow:

 Resistant Squats

How to stay healthy whilst traveling

I have just returned back from a 3 month stay in America and one of the biggest questions I get asked is how to stay healthy whilst traveling.

I was pretty lucky as I was based at a summer camp for 2 months which allowed me access to a gym as well as a regular and reliable selection of food. This being said I was very flexible with my diet and enjoyed many days off from training and a number of indulgent meals.  When traveling down the east coast of America from Pennsylvania to Georgia training became a lot less frequent and food was more of what was convenient or provided to me by the friends I stayed with. This tended to be very, very good food but sometimes not the most nutritious– Pizza, BBQ, homemade Lasagne,  the works. All were extremely tasty and because of this I can safely say I had more than my fair share.

It is fine to enjoy these kinds of foods in moderation. The problem is when traveling that sometimes lack of availability of other food means these can become your only source of sustenance leading to moderation going out the window.

So here are 5 things you can do to stay healthy when traveling

Research

Stay active

Limit your damage

Get up early

Relax and Enjoy yourself

Research – this is your biggest tool. You will probably know what sort of activities you will be doing and where you will be based as you have booked the trip unless you are a complete nomad and have no planning. If you do have a rough plan then you can figure out what your time restraints are in regards to working out and also what sort of food options are available to you. See if there is a gym close by or at where you are staying or see if there is a new activity you haven’t tried before, beach workouts, yoga, maybe some sort of dance class. There is a wealth of activities to keep your exercise up; you just need to discover them.

Stay Active- I have found when I travel I can spend a long time not moving, be it in a car or on a train. Sometimes to get from place to place you might spend 10 hours in a seated position. If this is the case then try to stay active when you can, go for a jog before you travel, and when you get chance stretch. Make time to really get your heart going before or after you travel. Not only will this burn some calories but it will also help so much with your mental mood, if you have been sat in the same position for hours and hours you probably will start to feel a little bored and tired. Getting up and getting active will make a huge difference to your mood.

Limit the damage- If you are on holiday or traveling there will be times that you might not make the “healthiest” choices in terms of food. But sometimes this has to be tried for the experience, if you are in America you have to have a slice of pizza, it is one of those things that has to be done. BUT…. this doesn’t mean you have to eat an entire pizza for lunch and dinner day after day. Go out and have a really nice pizza for lunch but then choose to have a lower calorie dinner. As expressed above everything is fine in moderation and you definitely should enjoy and experience things when traveling, as food is so varied across the world don’t ignore this but be mindful about what you are eating.

My best advice to limit the damage is when you are going to order meals chose foods you enjoy but ask for them without sauces or oils on, you can literally save yourself 100’s of calories by avoiding these and you still enjoy your food.

Get up early – If you have planned a day of activities to make the most of your experience of traveling then you don’t want to waste your afternoon in a gym. Get up early and work out so that it is  completed and out the way for the day. Not only will you be done with your workout but you will also be more awake and ready to enjoy your travel.

Relax and enjoy yourself- accept that you won’t be able to work out as much as you want to (and that’s okay!) don’t stress about it. If there’s nothing you can do then ….there is nothing you can do, relax and focus on the trip you are on, enjoy it, and when you get chance to exercise then give it 110% but don’t waste your time away worrying (about anything for that matter). Be active when you can and be creative with some cardio or body weight. Remember fitness should be something you enjoy doing, not something you are a slave to.

Staying healthy doesn’t have to be hard when traveling; it just takes a little dedication and the right choices now and again. If you have already had a fast food for lunch then maybe go for something more wholesome for dinner, but this being said, enjoy the experience travelling gives you and sometimes it is not the worst thing to indulge ….. just not every day.

Ben

Follow: