Wednesday, July 2, 2014

10 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling the World

Coach Arnel - Exploration Peak Park

I decided to post a blog on this topic "10 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling the World" because a lot of my friends are always asking me how I stay in shape while I travel, and how I train for upcoming Spartan Races or other obstacle race events while I am on the road. The questions are always the same, "how do you eat healthy", "how can you stay consistent with your workouts", "where do you workout" etc.

Currently, I've been living out of my Patagonia backpack for almost 4 months now, maybe more! One night I was setting up for the usual Tuesday night workout at 813 Fit Club in downtown Tampa, and something just told me that I should "JUST GO". I packed up everything, and I was off about a week later =). Since then, I have been traveling every week to various obstacle race events, visiting friends and family, and backpacking to amazing Wonders of the World in between. It's been absolutely amazing!

coach arnel banawa

So let's get down to business shall we!

1. BRING YOUR FITNESS WITH YOU - I am proud to say that I am a Full-Time Beachbody Coach, and I have all of my workouts including P90X, Insanity, Hybrid Schedules, and Asylum with me at all times (on my macbook). You can't bring your gym or your Crossfit box with you when you travel, but you can always bring your workouts with you! I highly recommend that you bring some Fitness DVD's, or even sign up for the Spartan Race Daily WOD's via email.

2. EXPLORE ON FOOT OR BICYCLE - You're traveling and on vacation because you want to see something different right? Well, the best way to do that is by walking or riding a bike through the city, or taking a trek or hike to the ruins. This is a great way to see things that you wouldn't normally see if you were on a bus, plus you are getting in some great cardio!

3. USE THE HOTEL GYM, OR LOCAL GYM - To be honest, I rarely stay at hotels, but when I do, I take full advantage of the gym facilities. When I stay at a hostel or a friends place, I try to go to the nearest gym to get my workout in, but most of the time I just use the space in front of me and start killing some Insanity! =) Most gyms have 3-7 day free trial passes, so most of the time, you can workout for free. At most, you will pay a $5-$10 for a day pass. Remember, the outdoor parks and running trails are always a great place to workout too, and guess what, it's free!

Total Gym Nicaragua

4. TAKE THE STAIRS - I know what you're saying "I'm on vacation!!!" Well, you're absolutely right, but is that a valid reason not to take care of your health and well-being? The way that I see it, if you want to have more vacations, and freedom to travel as much as you want, you can only do that if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. So take the stairs and quit crying! =)

5. PARTICIPATE IN LOCAL FITNESS EVENTS - You could always find events to participate in such as local 5K's or obstacle race events. There are local boot camps, free fit clubs (check out, and donation-based yoga classes. You name it, there's always something for everyone. Your best bet is to either research it online before you leave, or just ask a local once you are at your destination.

Equinox Toronto

6. TAKE A BIKE TOUR - Bike tours are a great way to see the sights. You can rent a bike and explore on your own, or take a tour. I normally take a city tour first, because let's face it, the locals know a lot more than you do, so why not learn from them, get some tips, then explore on your own after that. Oh, and If you ever mention taking a segway tour, I WILL CUT YOU! =) ha ha

7. STAY COMMITTED TO YOUR NUTRITION - Now this is probably the hardest part. It is almost impossible to stick to this 100%, but that doesn't mean that it is okay to slack either. I take my travel-friendly Shakeology packets with me when I travel, so I know that I will always be getting my daily dose of dense nutrition. If you focus on the sight-seeing activities, and not so much the food activities, then you will have a better chance at eating healthier. Pack healthy snacks in your pack while you are out exploring, this will help you from starving and eating something that you will regret later. Also, part of traveling is also about learning about culture, eating local foods etc. That is absolutely fine, but you don't have to do it every day and every meal, come on, we're not kids here =). Be strong! It does help if you travel with an accountability partner, someone who knows about you and your goals, and actually cares about them. Let's get rid of that "I'm on vacation" mentality, and you will be just as healthy and fit as when you started your travel, maybe even better!

8. PLAN A CHEAT DAY - What??!! If you plan a day of gluttony, you will have something to look forward too, and that will help you stay on track on the other days. This could be your last day of your vacation, or if you are doing long-term travel, it could be once a week, and not for a whole day, but just for one meal. I don't really like promoting cheat days, or cheat meals, but I also know that we are all human, so plan it if you need one, and it will help you stay on track!

9. PACE YOURSELF - Sometimes we get so excited when we are on vacation, and that is absolutely fine, I know that I'm guilty of it =). When you have that GO, GO, GO hustle mentality, it can create even more stress on you, and the people around you, that's not what you are traveling or on vacation for. So just slow down, PACE YOURSELF, relax, enjoy the view, and you will find yourself making better choices on your meals and activities =).

Volcano Boarding the Cerro Negro - Watch the video!

10. THINK ADVENTURE, NOT VACATION - When you think about adventure, what pops into your mind? Adventure is all about activity, excitement, exploring the unknown, and having the time of your life. When you shift from vacation mode to adventure mode, everything changes!

So I hope this helps you when you plan your next family excursion, or independent travel adventure. And I hope to bump into you soon, maybe at a gym in the Greek Islands! =)

Backpacking in Central America - Watch Video!

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