Traveling can really screw up a fitness routine. There’s new cuisine to first sample, fall in love with, and then pack into your gut. Booze is a’ plenty. Rabid bastard dogs try and kill you on morning runs. And how the hell do you say “fitness center” in Chitumbuka, anyways? It’s not uncommon to get a little voluminous while on the travel trail, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Below are five tips to keep off the flab no matter where you are in the world.
Fortify the Mind
It’s due to laziness more than anything else that we don’t actually accomplish any working out while abroad. There are other things to go see and do, we have hangovers, laundry is a bitch and you don’t want to sweat in the few articles of clothing you brought, whatever. But if you make it a point and a goal to stay in shape while away, develop a plan to do so, and bring some lightweight exercise tools for guilt and encouragement, then you’re far more likely to see it through. Which brings us to point number two.
Pack Exercise Equipment
No, I’m not talking about weights or anything heavy or bulky at all. All you really need to stay in decent shape is yourself (push ups, crunches, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, etc…). If you want a little more resistance, pick up a resistance band. They’re super light, very small and can be used in a variety of ways to tone the muscles.
If you go out on a binger, you may as well benefit in the physical realm as well: dance your ass off. Do a shimmy shake or thirty, swing yer pardner round n’ round, learn some sweltering salsa moves and swivel those hips. Or if it’s one of those thump-thump-thump techno beats and you’re so swirly with intoxication that all you can do is jump up and down repeatedly because more complex movements would send you crashing to the floor, just roll with it. Jump jump jump. Works the calfs, the quads, the glutes, and certainly helps with cardio.
Find A Gym
If you can learn the words “fitness center” in Chitumbuka, or whatever the language is of the region you’re in, use it. Day passes are cheap all around the world and pretty much every major city will have one. Go.
Connect With the Locals
Sports pick-up games exist everywhere. It might not be a casual game of tennis, but you can find something. Soccer is the fever of the world. Other options are more intriguing. Borrow a steed in Afghanistan and kick a little ass in a game of Buzkashi, in which opposing teams attempt to gain control of a headless goat carcass. Wrestle a camel in Turkey. Don some pink undies and wrestle a Mongolian. Play a game of chess boxing in Finland, where you alternate between rounds of boxing and rounds of chess. That might be the best one, both cerebral and physical.
All it comes down to, really, is getting off our asses and moving them around. Master tip #1 and the rest will follow.
By Bryan Schatz