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Posted by Eric Guilmette on Jul 27th 2018

Traveling the world is one of the greatest experiences you’ll have in life. You can dive head first into new cultures, adventure through different countries, eat new cuisines straight from the local kitchens and make the most incredible memories that’ll last forever. But what if you want to be healthy while traveling… that’s impossible, right? Luckily with some planning, a little discipline and a few simple adjustments, it is not only possible, but fairly easy to stay on track with your fitness goals while venturing all over the globe. 
First things first: Find a way to workout regularly while traveling. The easiest option most of the time will be finding a gym that is near your accommodation or in some cases, located in the place you're staying. If that is the case, there are a few things you should do before you go: check their business hours, make sure they do day or week passes, see how long it will take to transport there, determine how much it’ll cost so you can budget, and make sure they have enough equipment for it to be worth your money. Having a gym lined up before you even get to your destination will be a huge help when you are planning out your days abroad. The best time to workout is usually bright and early so you have the entire day to do what you need to do, but if that isn't possible, find a way to fit some gym sessions in as regularly as possible. If you have absolutely zero access to a gym, it’s the perfect opportunity to GET CREATIVE. You’d be amazed at what you can do with just your bodyweight or using your luggage as a form of resistance. Bodyweight workouts aren’t always the greatest if you’re an avid gym goer or high-level athlete, but it is better than nothing and is also a good way to change it up!

Just as important as regular exercise, is proper nutrition.Be mindful when eating! You’re going to indulge... it’s inevitable. One of the biggest parts of traveling is trying other culture’s cuisines and treats. Don’t feel guilty! Have snacks here and there, try the traditional dishes from that culture, BUT for the majority of your other meals, make nutrition a priority instead of an afterthought. It's shocking how little nutrition can be found in some other culture’s cuisines... For example, in Vietnam the main dishes are Pho & Noodle dishes. They have "protein" but not much, maybe 1-2 oz. of protein per meal. This is where you need to really think outside of the box. Visit a local grocery store or convenience store. You’d be surprised by some of the healthy options that you’ll find. Case and point, most 7-Eleven stores carry pre-cooked chicken breast in their cold foods section. It may not be the best chicken you’ve ever had, but it is definitely one of the quickest and cheapest protein sources you’ll find while traveling. Probably the greatest nutrition hack I use is to supplement my protein!!! That’s what it’s there for… hence the name SUPPLEMENTS (cue the light bulb moment). Just 2 scoops of RIVALUS Promasil gives me 50g of protein a day. That’s a huge help if my other meals are the typical high-carb, high-fat juggernauts. Not only from the macro-nutrient side of things, but I know RIVALUS protein is of the highest quality without extra additives or harmful substances so I have the peace of mind of knowing that I’m giving my body the proper nutrition to fuel up and recover.

This next one is important: Walk everywhere! If you’re the person taking the golf cart around at the zoo, you’re literally asking to turn into the hippopotamus you just drove by. I know it isn’t the most luxurious thing in the world, but WALKING is a lifesaver and will help prevent fat gain while you're traveling. It is a great way to keep your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) up. Heck, you might even end up burning more calories in a day on your vacation than you usually would just from walking places instead of hopping in the car. The best part of all: it is FREE, so if you're traveling on a budget like me, walking is a big-time money saver. Of course, there will be times where walking isn’t practical. Please don’t walk to the airport dragging your luggage behind you on the freeway because I told you to walk everywhere. But walking to places within a reasonable distance is great for all of the reasons I listed. Even if you walk there and get a taxi back, you still save money and do more physical activity than you would’ve if you doubled down on an Uber that day. In all honesty, you see more stuff when you walk places, so if you really want to dig deep into the culture, become a walkoholic.

My final fit-travel tip for now is to RELAX. Be as stress-free as possible while traveling. Stress is horrible for your body composition and if you work a stressful job or have a lot of stress in other areas of your life, traveling is a great time to check in with your stress levels and work on being calm. If getting to the gym is only going to add stress to your life, it is perfectly OK to take a day off. However, that doesn’t mean you should lock yourself in the hotel and abuse room service that day. Use your extra time away from the gym to go explore. Get into some adventure and don’t stress the little things. WARNING: There WILL be little things (and potentially some big things) that go wrong on your travels. Do your best to turn Zen mode on and overcome any stressors you face with a positive mindset. 

Traveling is one of my greatest passions in life and if you're anything like me, you're itching to adventure in new countries and cultures as much as possible. Whether you travel for work, pleasure or just happen to take vacations frequently, I hope you'll enjoy these fitness travel tips that have helped me live a healthy life while ticking off new destinations from my bucket list.

Eric Taylor Guilmette