Keeping Fit When Traveling

On the Road to Hana
On the Road to Hana

How do you keep fit when you travel? Do you try and stick to a certain regimen when on the road? Do you maintain healthy eating habits and/or walking routine when traveling within the cities/countries that you visit? What do you do to stay fit when you are away from home?

I never really thought about it….. Not until recently…. Not until I went to Maui for a week in March. I wondered what I could do for a week to maintain my weight. Or at least not go too overboard with eating while on vacation. I know it can be difficult when you want to maintain healthy habits on vacation but the word vacation alone can elicit the word ‘bad eating habits’ to many people. Well, at least they used to for me.

When I went backpacking through Europe years ago, my daily habits were definitely not the best. I was overweight. I ate too much. But I felt I made up for it by walking as much as I could in the cities I visited. But when you are overweight, your energy is down and you can only walk so far before you feel that you can’t take another step.

You might be asking yourself what I did in Maui that I didn’t do on previous vacations. What made this vacation the prerequisite of vacations in my future? A lot of it had to do with attitude. Mind over Food. Walking…. Everywhere I went, I walked. It became a challenge for me. Are you scratching your head at this point wondering how it became a challenge for me if I am used to walking every day. I basically started my first day of vacation where I walked 7.21 miles within the day. By the end of my time in Maui, I had gotten up to 16.03 miles. Now mind you, I didn’t do all those miles at one time. I ended up doing three, sometimes four walks in a day. In maintaining my walks while on vacation, it helped me maintain my healthy lifestyle. It helped me when I ended up eating some foods on vacation that I wouldn’t normally eat when I was home (eating out).

Walking helps balance the foods that we eat…. If you feel you are going to eat more then you normally would while on vacation then you need to think of ways to help maintain your weight.  You want to enjoy your vacation. You don’t want to feel you are depriving yourself if you have bad eating habits while you are away from home. Find ways to combat these habits. Make better choices. Or if you are like me, if you want to eat whatever you want (within reason) then do something to combat your ‘vacation’ eating habits. Walk….Rent a bicycle. Enjoy the outdoors.

You are probably wondering how I knew how far I was walking every day. Did I use Google maps or MapQuest? How did I do it? Last year, I bought a Garmin Forerunner 405 because I wanted to know how far I was walking. I needed to know that I was challenging myself to walk more than I did the day before. It was the best thing I could have bought for myself and I wasn’t even training for a half marathon at the time. I just wanted to for lack of a better word challenge the way I did things in my healthier lifestyle. It doesn’t mean buying a Garmin is for everyone. You have to decide how you are going to work through your vacation woes and have the time of your life. We will see how I do when I go to Dublin, Paris and Rome next June. Will another challenge be around the corner for me in these cities? I hope so…. And yes I am sure I might eat my way through these cities but at least (for me), I will be combating my ‘bad eating habits’ by walking everywhere I go.

Thought I would show you a before and after photo of me so you can see how far I have come in my quest to stay fit.