unexpected fitness: how I got into the best shape of my life while travelling

The healthiest I’ve ever been has been while traveling. What?! I know, it’s not the usual. Most of my recent life has been on the road, so this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve settled down a bit now, and I’m trying to incorporate my healthy travel habits into my life here.

I wrote a blog post touching some tips a while ago, and while some of the points I made there may be reiterated in this post, this post is more about what works for me, rather than what works in general. I hope you guys try some of my tips and play around with your fitness schedule when travelling to create something that fits with your lifestyle!


So how exactly did I get fit while traveling? While there are plenty of different ways to get fit, these were the ones that I found the easiest, and therefore, stuck to. I’m splitting up my tips into two parts- my workouts and my meals.

Types of Workouts

When you’re travelling, you have a limited amount of equipment to work with. I’d often explore by going on runs and long walks in cities. This was my favourite way to get some cardio in. LISS (low intensity steady state) cardio is what I was doing here, which helped me burn fat in a lazy gal way. I am NOT a cardio girl, but sightseeing while doing this was a great way to get it in.

If my hotel had a gym, I’d hit it once in the morning and occasionally again in the afternoon. I’d typically spin and lift heavy. Another option related to spinning is doing a bike tour.

If I was in a part of town I didn’t want to run in alone (#solofemaletravellerproblems), I’d clear some space and do a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, using my rucksack as a weight. My favourites were Tabata workouts- they’re quick (only about 20 minutes!) but VERY effective.

I also carry around resistance bands. They’re super small and lightweight, perfect for throwing into a bag, and they’re great for full blown exercises as well as my favourite use, glute activation. By doing some simple glute activation exercises before hitting legs, whether that be with weights, my rucksack-makeshift-weight, or bodyweight, a lot of the typically quad heavy exercises would also work my glutes- it’s all about muscle-mind connection!

What to Eat

The great part about travel is that you’re always on the go. This actually made eating easier for me! I’d find a little outdoor market and pick up some fruit (berries, apples, and pears are the best!) or a bell pepper and eat it on the road. For lunch, I’d choose protein heavy foods. I like to go for the options that represent the food of the country I’m in. There’s always going to be something healthy in local cuisine, and it’s really fun hunting around for it!

For dinner, I’d try to eat as clean as possible. It’s easy to want pasta and pizza and unhealthy food for dinner, and my feeling was that if I was super healthy for the entire day, I’d allow myself to eat what I wanted! And if I ate clean for every meal, maybe I’d sneak in a little dessert. I am a big advocate for eating everything in moderation, and having something to look forward to at the end of the day is a great way of eating well throughout the day.

It’s also good to carry around a water bottle when on the go. It helps you avoid sugary drinks. If I’m feeling like I do need a little sugar, I try to go for fruit juice. In Asia, this is super easy to find. Staying hydrated also helps to combat bloating!


By exercising every day and remaining active throughout the day, as well as eating clean foods that still represent the culture of the place I’m visiting, I was able to get into the best shape of my life thus far! I feel like people always complain that to experience a place for what it is, you have to give up health, but I’ve never found that was the case! If you really think about your goals, you’ll stick to them! Happy travels!

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23 thoughts on “unexpected fitness: how I got into the best shape of my life while travelling

  1. I am also always more fit when I travel! In between the hikes, the hours changed (which means skipping some meals), biking, and all other kinds of sport, I always feel great! Then I come back…

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  2. It’s definitely not easy to stay in shape and while traveling. I guess it depends on what type of travel you are on but when I went backpacking through Europe for a year I was in the best shape of my life because of all the walking I was doing. But if you are taking smaller trips it’s better to stay with your regular workout schedule.

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  3. I’m going fully nomad next January, and I was actually wondering how to stay fit on the road! Well, I’ll be surfing for most of the year and hike on the Himalaya for another good part of the year, but for the in-betweens I will definitely carry my elastic band! this is such a smart move, I’m glad I read your post!

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  4. I agree, the amount of walking I do when travelling makes me super fit. Having a back injury hasnt helped with exercise, but having apps such as Sworkit mean I can take my Pilates class with me! I’m also a massive foodie but cant stop myself from trying all the local delicacies, YOLO !

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  5. Great tips for keeping healthy on the road! Traveling long-term, I’ve had my ups and downs with gaining and losing weight and being healthful. But I love that when I’m traveling I’m always walking so much that if I skip a work-out I don’t feel so bad.

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