How Travel Taught Me To Get My Health Back After Lockdown
You don’t need a gym to stay healthy If you are already active. You just got to get a little creative.
By the time lockdown restrictions eased, I had gained weight from the slow lifestyle. Being stuck at home with limited gym access, I had to get creative.
1. Creative Exercises
When you are living a nomadic lifestyle, routine goes out the window. You have to be extremely flexible and creative. This is especially imperative regarding fitness. I am a former fitness trainer and a twenty-year fitness junkie. Even while traveling, I still need to exercise. Sometimes I am able to have access to a gym. But those times I don’t have access, I have to improvise. I had spent time in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I had no access to a gym. My room was small and full of mosquitoes to give you an idea of what I was working with.
The key to getting creative with your workouts is substituting weights for everyday objects.
You can only do bodyweight exercises until your body adapts. I used my ten-pound lamp for dumbbells. I bought huge water jugs for overhead squats. As long as you get the resistance on your muscles, it doesn’t matter if it is a weight or a table.
2. Fat Burning Exercises
When I first started lifting weights, I would stand by and watch the gym rats and meatheads and do what they would do. This would consist of standing there doing biceps curls all day. As I educated myself, I realized that this was a waste of time. My goal was to build lean muscle overall. This meant I had to stick to a consistent routine. As any traveler knows, sticking to a routine of any kind is the most challenging thing.
Where people get into trouble is not knowing what to do without a gym and a routine.
Building muscle is just one challenge but most travelers want to maintain their current health or continue to lose weight. You need to do high intensity workouts. Anything involving your legs, back, and chest coupled with a heart rate in your fat burning zone will burn calories during and after your workouts for maximum results.
3. Meal Proportions
If you are an avid traveler then you know the early struggles of budgeting. In these struggles of course is how much money is being allocated towards food. When I was in Bangkok, Thailand, my money lasted longer than expected. There was always this worry about how much money I was spending each meal. My meals were healthy of course. I would pull out my currency converter and found out I was barely spending anything because of the baht to us dollar ratio. With this in mind, I only ate three big meals a day consisting of healthy carbs and protein.
I was able to get all of my nutritional needs in only three meals.
This simplified everything because I only had to make sure my nutritional needs were being three times a day. This will vary from person to person. The simplest way to determine that is using a macro calculator
In my early years of traveling, I did not budget my money correctly. A few times my money only lasted to a few days out until my return back home. Domestic traveling is one thing but this was international. International and budgeting is a different monster. We, travelers, are willing to sacrifice comfort for the experience. If this means not having food for a few days to enjoy the experience then we do what we have to do. This isn’t ideal but I did learn something from that self-inflicted fasting. I learned discipline when I had to ration my food.
I had more energy due to my body not having to use energy to digest food.
My body was still lean and I kept on my muscle. Sometimes fasting is a good thing. It gives our mind, body, and digestive system a break. These breaks keep needed stress off the body and lowers cortisol.
The joy of solo traveling is having the time, energy, and focus to enjoy every moment of your trip. The joy of traveling with others is the comradery. You get to create memories with other people. As someone with a lot of introverted tendencies, I value my downtime. That is the challenge of traveling with others. You are constantly at the pull of others and their attention. You don’t have time for yourself. For introverts, our alone time gives us energy, it’s our mojo. Too much socializing without breaks is our kryptonite.
In those chaotic times, I used meditation to clear my head and restore me to sanity.
Meditation allowed me to have a clear head. It discouraged me from behaving like someone who hasn’t eaten from a Snicker’s commercial. Times are crazy now and our minds will play tricks on us with all the misinformation being out there about the virus. Find time by yourself to clear your mind, gather your thoughts, breathe. We need that moment of silence to figure challenges day by day.