Balancing Health and Travel

For adventure junkies, staying fit on a trip is a no brainer. When the trip is all about activity – hiking, climbing, mountain biking – it’s easy to burn off any calories you’ve taken on, say, eating your way through Barcelona. But for the rest of us more casual adventurers, it can be a little more difficult to stay in shape, especially during prolonged or frequent travels. If you’re staying in a place with a gym, you have more options, but if not, well it’s not exactly possible to travel around with your own set of dumbbells.

But that doesn’t mean that those on a longer trip have to resign themselves to giving up on fitness for the duration of the trip. Sure, you’ll maintain a moderate fitness level just by the activities you participate in on your trip – hiking, long walks, and running while traveling will help keep you toned, but there are ways to work a more serious fitness regime into your travels, and they don’t require toting around a whole lot of extra gear.

For one, you’d be surprised how much effort your can expend working out with your own body weight. A circuit routine that involves weight training exercises like squats, lunges, planks and pushups, combined with vigorous cardio like jumping rope, can burn even more calories than running, while helping you tone up flabby areas and burn fat.  There are countless resources on the web, including routines you can download and print out, cardio podcasts, and workout DVDs that specialize in moves that don’t require any more equipment than a good pair of shoes.

With the proper workout routine you can stay fit for adventure, even on a long trip. To make sure you’re getting the level of intensity you need in your workout, check out the best heart rate monitors, which will calibrate your heart rate and the number of calories you’re burning with your workout.

Photo by tyfn