Facebook is currently flooded with people taking selfies at the departures terminal, escaping our unbearable Sydney winter where the weather drops to a balmy - gasp - 17 degrees!
While “fitness” and “travel” are two words not often associated (unless you’ve signed up for a Maldivian yoga retreat of course), it’s important to have some sort of game plan to avoid finding yourself 12 churros deep into a food coma. Although TBH, that sounds kind of great...
Being the exercise enthusiast that I am, I usually like to maintain some sort of simple fitness regime while I’m away, and I plan on doing just that on my upcoming summer vacay to Europe.
For this reason, I have teamed up with Plus Fitness to bring you guys some of the handy healthy hacks I have picked up over the past few years while gallivanting around the world.
- Drink up on the plane (don’t get too excited- I’m talking the water kind). It’s not rocket science that aeroplanes severely dehydrate your skin and body, so drinking at least 2L of water per x amount of flight hours is a must. My healthy hack here is to BYO empty bottle. Flight attendants usually only provide small plastic cups- which in the scheme of things, equate to about a shot of liquid. If you pack your own substantial sized water bottle, you can politely ask them to fill it up whenever you find yourself parched among the clouds. On this note, I also recommend bringing healthy foods that digest easily in case the plane food isn’t ideal (once I received a greasy burrito for "breakfast" and I’ve been scarred ever since).
- Walk everywhere. This is a no brainer. When travelling overseas, walking is usually part of the gig, but there are a few fun ways to sneak in some extra steps! Avoid public transport (and cab fares) by factoring walking into your itinerary. Not only will you save money in the long run, you also get to experience cities like a local - so it’s a win win win! I have definitely stumbled across the best cafes and photos spots travelling this way.
- Ask the waiter for some lemon before a meal. You may feel a little extra doing this, but hear me out! Simply adding a lemon wedge to your H2O reduces craving for sugary drinks - which are basically empty calories (aka calories that could be used on gelato!) In all seriousness though, lemon water is great for digestion and will help detoxify the body before you dig in.
- Share meals with friends. This is one of my favourite tips! Not only do you get to try lots of different dishes and avoid food FOMO, you also prevent eating an entire serving of spaghetti in one sitting (I’m sorry, I don’t mean to say that like it’s a bad thing). Sharing lets you try a variety of food, which is usually a lot healthier in the long run - unless your idea of a degustation is eating through the menu at a foreign McDonalds.
- Book hotels with a gym. I know from experience that this one is tough, especially in Europe. I mean, have you ever seen anyone wearing activewear in Mykonos? No, because it’s usually not the number one priority on our Aegean agenda. Nonetheless, booking hotels with a fitness centre when possible is an excellent way to sneak in some quick workouts during your travel. I love waking up early and fitting in a quick circuit before starting the day. And as you’re generally time poor when travelling, short workouts are a real HITT (see what I did there..)
- Pack activewear and sneakers. This is a case of “fail to prepare and prepare to fail”. It’s scientifically proven that wearing activewear while doing any sort of activity (yes even shopping), burns more calories. Look it up. More importantly, it also prepares you for fun spontaneous activities, like hikes and bike tours.
- Carry healthy snacks with you. While it may be tempting to pop into every bakery you pass in Paris, your taste buds are definitely going to get more out of this habit than your waistline. While it’s definitely important to indulge, having some pre-prepared healthy snacks on hand really help when you’ve worked up an appetite playing tourist all day. I like to carry mixed nuts, bliss balls or protein bars in my handbag so that I’m never stuck without a healthy option. (BONUS- this also really helps with my hanger issues).
- End your night with a herbal tea. This is a habit I practice at home and try to maintain while I'm overseas. Having herbal tea as the last meal before bed aids digestion and also helps curve any late night sweet tooth cravings. Hotels usually have peppermint tea, but I like to bring along a couple more herbal options just in case!
- Take every opportunity to be active. Whether it’s climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, cycling around Amsterdam or dancing the night away in Ibiza (this definitely counts), incidental activity is the best way to stay healthy during your travels.
Don’t sweat it too much. Travelling is all about trying new food and exploring different cultures, so if you’re spending all your time stressing about fitness and #cleaneating, you’re doing it wrong! Remember that you can always pick up from where you left off when you return back home :)
If you’re not going away this winter then check out how to stay motivated in the cooler months here