Hello fellow nomads! As someone who has been living on the road for a while now, I have picked up a few tips and tricks on how to stay healthy and fit while traveling. In this article, I am going to share my experiences with you and give you some advice on how to keep your diet and exercise routine in check while on the road.
Eating Healthy on the Road
Meal planning: One of the biggest challenges of living on the road is maintaining a healthy diet. To make this easier, I always plan my meals ahead of time. This way, I know exactly what I am going to eat and I can make sure I have all the ingredients I need. the internet is full of healthy recipes you can create in bulk. If you’re like me, I don’t always know what I am in the mood to eat sometimes, so having a nicely stocked freezer full of healthy meals I prepared is a great thing. Also, just being able to put it into the microwave and have something tasty is a bonus. No dirty dishes or pots, and pans to clean up, especially when water is running low.
Grocery shopping: Finding healthy food options can be tough when you are on the road, but it is totally doable. I always try to find local farmers’ markets where I can get fresh produce, and I also make a point to stock up on healthy snacks and drinks at the grocery store. I use a subscription service to a big box store and saved all my favorite items so I never miss or forget anything. Then I add them to a cart, select a pickup time, and I am in and out. This helps me to avoid any other temptations that are usually found at the checkout line, like new candies, snacks, or chips. Fresh fruit, granola bars, and other yummy and healthy treats are always just an arm’s reach away.
Eating out: Traveling means experiencing different restaurants, flavors, and cooking styles. For me, this means eating out more often than I care to admit. When eating out, I always look for restaurants that offer healthy options, and I try to make healthier choices by ordering salads, grilled meats, and vegetables instead of fried foods. But of course, sometimes you just want to dive into a specialty dish and go all in. It’s fine, as long as it is in moderation.
Health with Hydration
Staying hydrated: Staying hydrated is key to maintaining good health, especially when you are on the road. I always make sure to carry a water bottle with me and drink plenty of water throughout the day. I travel with various size water jugs, so if it is a longer hike, the larger bottle comes with me. If it is just a casual campfire with friends, I will have a smaller water jug with me, usually next to one of my adult beverages of choice. Either way, I always have water close by.
Avoiding sugary drinks: I try to avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice, as they are loaded with sugar and can wreak havoc on my diet. Instead, I opt for water, unsweetened tea, or sugar-free drinks. Traveling as a nomad usually involves lots of social gatherings with other travelers. And these gatherings can sometimes get out of control regarding large fires and alcohol. For me, I quit with the Jack and Coke’s and went straight to light beer, seltzers, wine, or just straight whiskey when the occasion calls for it. I never mix my drinks with sodas, red bulls, or other carbonated beverages, except maybe a club soda. Try mixing yours with cranberry juice, orange juice, pomegranate, and grapefruit for a rather tasty and health (ier) beverage.
Finding Places to Exercise
Outdoor activities: When in high school, we called it the poor man’s gym. Finding a park or playground and using the swing set for pull-ups. Or a high school football field and running some laps. Being a nomad, there are even more options. I try to find outdoor activities that I can do, like hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing. These activities not only provide a great workout, but they are also a fun way to see the sights.
Gyms: When outdoor activities are not an option, I look for local gyms to get my workout in. Many gyms offer day passes, which is an excellent option if you are only in one place for a short time. Also, for many who travel in smaller rigs as I do, I am always close to a gym because of their showers, so a quick stop at the gym, combined with a freshly cleaned nomad makes for a great travel partner.
Bodyweight exercises: If all else fails, you can do plenty of bodyweight exercises anywhere, anytime. Squats, push-ups, and sit-ups are all great options that do not require any equipment. A personal trainer friend says the best piece of exercise equipment you can ever buy costs less than $5, and you probably even have something in your rig right now that can be an easy substitute. This single most important workout tool is a jump rope. When was the last time you jumped rope for 5 minutes? Try it and feel the burn.
Staying Motivated to Keep Fit
Setting goals: When starting a new workout routine, it’s important to set achievable goals for yourself. I like to start small and gradually increase the intensity and duration of my workouts as I get stronger. This is no different than any workout routine. Start small, have small wins, and be consistent. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint, pun intended.
Finding a workout buddy: Being a nomad can make it challenging to find people who can help you be accountable. Having someone to work out with is a great way to stay motivated. I always try to find a workout partner on the road, as it is more fun and keeps me accountable. However, if one is unavailable, look toward apps and other pieces of technology that will alert you and keep you motivated. Share this information with your old workout buddy from home. Have competitions to see who met their goals. There are many ways to have a workout accountability buddy, even while traveling.
Mixing things up: Doing the same workout every day can get boring, so I try to mix things up by trying new exercises and activities. This keeps things interesting and helps me avoid burnout. It also helps to work different parts of the body each week. And don’t just change the exercises. Change the locations. Maybe it’s the treadmill one day, and an outdoor hiking trail the next. Maybe it is rafting down the rapids in Colorado, or biking the deserts of Arizona. Don’t let your exercise routine become “routine”. Mix it up.
Treating yourself: Finally, I always set up a reward system for myself. When I reach a fitness goal, I treat myself to something special, like a massage or a fancy dinner. Just be sure you earned that treat before you treat yourself.
Staying Fit and Healthy while living on the road as a nomad does not mean sacrificing your health and fitness. With a little bit of planning and some smart choices, you can stay healthy and fit while enjoying all the freedom and adventure that comes with life on the road. So do not be afraid to hit the road, and remember to stay focused on your health and wellness! Happy travels!