Do you want to be a long-term traveler or digital nomad but are concerned about gaining weight while traveling? This post is for you.
I’ve gathered my best 24+ tips on staying fit and even losing weight while traveling.
Disclaimer: Consult with your health care provider before starting any fitness or dietary changes. Talk to your doctor before taking the following advice. I share what works for me but I am not a healthcare provider nor certified health professional.
Table of Contents
Best Tips for Staying And Getting Fit While Traveling
I’ve used each of these tips for the past 8 years that I’ve been traveling.
I hope that they work for you. Let me know in the comments.
There is so much to do with getting outdoors.
You can walk around outside or run outside. Even just breathing some fresh air is beneficial to your health.
I know this tip sounds obvious but with cheaper and cheaper Uber and ridesharing, it’s easier to not walk when traveling.
If it’s within a 45-minute walk, we generally will walk to where we are going. No matter what we are doing, if we can walk it within 45 minutes, we will walk.
In Santiago, Chile, Kyle and I stayed at an apartment 30 minutes from the Costanera Mall. We walked to/from it every other day. SERIOUSLY.
Book an Accommodation with a Gym
Whether you prefer to stay in a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, you can find accommodations with a gym.
Admittedly, the gyms aren’t always the best. You can find some really good ones especially in some hostels and resorts.
If there is a gym in the same building, you’ll be more likely to use it while staying there. I know how difficult it is to get out the bed, drive to the gym, and workout.
Eliminate a step and book an accommodation that has a gym in the same building. We’re after accessible tips that anyone can take advantage of.
I don’t want to do more than absolutely necessary. So if you can shorten the distance between the bed and the gym, it’s a win.
Workout Whenever Whatever
A workout can happen wherever and it can be simple or complicated as you want.
- Walk around the grocery store 2 times before you put anything in your cart.
- Take the stairs up to your apartment (in many countries, elevators are rare. So this will be very easy depending on the country).
- Take walking or bike tours.
- Walk around the airport during layovers
- Do squats at the bus station – with a backpack on your now doing weighted squats.
The point here is that get it in whenever you can. You can incorporate more movement in daily activities, especially during traveling.
Every little bit counts.
Don’t stress about losing weight while traveling That’s nowhere near the most important thing.
Enjoy life and your destinations. I wouldn’t go to Italy without eating ALL OF THE CARBS or drinking ALL OF THE WINE. Why would you?
Stress makes us hold on to more weight in women.
When we take care of our mental health, it actualizes in our physical. bodies.
Am I saying weekly messages will help you stay fit and lose weight while traveling?
ABSolutely. It won’t hurt to try.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so important to our bodies. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times. But sleep is also good for weight management.
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to be moving from time zone to timezone with little adjustment time. But your body will appreciate it.
If you have a 4 am tour pick up, be sure to go to bed early the next morning.
Get a Gym Membership
If you are traveling slowly, (which I highly recommend), consider getting a gym membership.
If you will be in the same city for at least a month, you can often pay for only a month.
If you don’t want to committ to a month gym membership, most classes or gyms have daily drop-in day passes. This works exceptionally well for fitness classes. You can find Zumba or Crossfit classes in every major city around the world. Find a class where you can pay per day.
Pro-tip: This is also a good way to meet locals especially for female solo travelers – you can also meet a lot of women a Zumba classes.
Pack Workout Equipment with You
Consider packing some workout equipment in your backpack and suitcase. Items you can bring must be small and light-weight.
That way you can bring your workout with you to every destination.
Hotel workouts. Beach workouts. All possibilities when you bring your own equipment.
Physical Activities and Tours
Incorporate tours that are physically challenging into your destinations. T
he best activity that fits this category is hiking. Every day in Patagonia, we hiked for a minimum of 6 hours. Every day.
Don’t be intimated if you can’t hike for 6 hours. You can research day hikes starting at a mile or less. Hiking is a great theme for your travels because you can find great trails everywhere.
Examples of tours/ activities that are physically challenging are walking tours, paddleboarding, kayaking, dance lessons, bike tours. or swimming.
Fitness is more than being in a gym. Find fun ways to include more activity are the best and ideal for long-term sucess.
More important than physical activity is proper nutrition. These nutritution tips are easy for the travel lifestyle.
You don’t have to estimate calories from street food dishes or weight your food on a food scale. That is too much even when you are at home.
I need a simple routine if I’m actually going to do it. The following things are things that I’ve tried.
Of course, check with your doctor before implementing any dietary changes to your life.
Eat like the locals
While obesity is growing globally, some countries have far less than the United STates. If you are traveling to a country that has general lower obesity rates, consider eating like the local.
Do the locals eat mostly plant-based? Then, you can also eat plant-based.
Do the locals eat minimal processed foods? Then, you can eat minimally processed foods.
Drink Enough Water
Our bodies need water. Drink it.
But seriously, losing weight and fitness without water is futile. The easiest way to drink more water is to carry a resuable water bottle.
Kyle and I both travel with a HydroFlask because of its stainless steel and keeps drinks cold. It’s also better for the environment than plastic bottles. Having a reusable water bottle also saves you money from buying water. Most airports have a water filter for fill up so you avoid paying their extreme water bottle prices. The ones we use easily fit into your day backpack for easy carry around the city or hiking.
You won’t regret getting a HydroFlask but you WILL regret not carrying one on your next trip.
Cook Your Own Food
If you book an accommodation with a kitchen, you can cook you own food. This way, you can control exactly what is in your foods.
If you’ve had one too many steaks in Uruguay, you can cook your own vegetables at home.
Cooking at home is another budget tip. It’s a fact, healthy food at restaurants is much more expensive than cooking your own food at home.
When we eat slower, our hunger cues work with our stomachs to cue that we are full.
Do you notice how easy it is to over eat when you are eating fast?
When you slow down, you enjoy the food more and your body will appreciate it.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
If you are planning a trip to Oktoberfest, this will be a hard one.
It’s easy to drink every night at dinner or a trip to the bar. but alcohol serves no physical benefit
(only emotional benefits). It actually works against your weight loss goals.
One of my previous personal trainers recommended drinking tequila with freshly squeezed lime juice when you are drinking.
Consider Intermittent Fasting
I’ve been intermittent fasting for 2 years at the time of writing this post. Intermittent fasting (IF) is extremely popular now.
The way that I do it is by eating between 12-8 pm and fasting other times in the day. This usually meant skipping in breakfast.
I particulary like this for travel because it can be adjusted for any time zone and accomodate any culture. For example, in Argentina, dinner is usually at 10pm. Restaurants don’t get busy until at least 9pm.
To accomodate, I simply shifted my eating window to 3pm-11pm.
Consult your healthcare provider and research if Intermittent fasting can work for you.
Pay Attention to the Food You Eat in Transit
When you are preparing for a cross-continent flight or have a long layover, it’s easy to fill up on unhealthy snacks.
On long flights, I used to stock up on all the candy found in duty-free shops. Now, I’m more conscious of what I eat in transit especially when the food isn’t even that tasty.
There are more and more healthy food options available in airports now.
I have mixed feelings about whether supplements are actually beneficial although I take a daily vitamin.
Do your own research about supplements and their effects. For example, people have told me that melatonin helps them sleep when jet-lagged. We talked about how important sleep is for you.
Another budget tip and health tip is to avoid snacking. Avoid getting Doritos and Snickers fromteh grocery store every day.
You save money by avoiding the costs of this imported unhealthy snacks. In general practice, it’t ideal to stop snacking.
Eat fruits and vegetables if you must snack. They are cheaper and healthier. These can be purchased from street vendor and farmer’s markets.
Travel-Friendly Workout Ideas
The following tips can be done anywhere with and without extra equipment.
Workouts that don’t require additional supplies are ones that use your body weight.
My favorites are:
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
Youtube is the best resource for FREE non-equipment workouts.
Travel-Friendly Workout Gear
The first thing that you’ll need is workout appropriate clothing and sneakers. Working out in jeans and flip flops doesn’t sound too good. Include breathable stretch clothing into your packing lists.
The criteria for other workout gear that is travel friendly is weight and size. We only need items that a re lightweight AND small.
I usually pack:
Free Youtube Workout
This post is very detailed aimed at actually helping you take care of you fitness while traveling.
I’ve gather a few extra tips that keep you healthy on the go.
- Listen to your body. If you are stressed and the food is upsetting your stomach. Consider switching things up. Always do what works for you. These tips work for me but they might not work for you.
- Get travel insurance and health insurance. Taking care of your health also includes insurance. If you get injured, you’ll definitely want insurance.
- Avoid getting sick. This one deserves its own post – that I plan on writing soon. in short, wash your hands often, Use hand sanitizer, wear a mask, and watch for food safety.
- Create a simple first aid kit in case you get sick. Hopefully, you don’t get sick after the tips above. Allergy medicine or Tylenol can a big difference.
Let’s Recap: 24+ Tips to Stay Fit and Lose Weight Traveling
- Get Outside
- Book an Accommodation with a Gym
- Workout Whenever Whatever
- Don’t stress
- Get Enough Sleep
- Get a Gym Membership
- Pack Workout Equipment with You
- Physical Activities and Tours
- Eat like the Locals
- Drink Enough Water
- Cook Your Own Food
- Eat Slower
- Moderate Alcohol Consumption
- Consider Intermittent Fasting
- Pay Attention to the Food You Eat in Transit
- Consider Supplements
- Avoid Snacking
- No-Equipment Workout
- Travel-Friendly Workout Gear
- Free Youtube Workout
- Listen to your body
- Get travel insurance and health insurance
- Avoid getting sick
- Create a simple first aid kit in case you get sick
We want to hear from you
Do you struggle with staying fit or losing weight while traveling? Do you have any additional tips and tricks that work for you. Leave us a comment and let us know.