I found the best part of travelling around Asia to be the food. From the Penang curry in Thailand to the Pho in Vietnam, it was just insane. Oh, and the crispy duck in Hong Kong. YUM! I’m a real foodie so I was in my element, however, I had to ensure I didn’t go overboard.
I always think it’s so important that you try different types of food from all different cultures when you are travelling. You discover so many incredible dishes that you wish you’d discovered years ago. Wherever you go, you will always find that they cook their own dishes much better than when they ‘try’ to cook something British. Don’t opt for the burger because you don’t recognise anything else on the menu, just give it a try. I was often googling random dishes in restaurants!
Here are my 5 top tips on how you can stay fit and healthy whilst you travel...
1. Walk everywhere. Why jump in a taxi when you can walk and discover little coffee shops, funky market stalls or cute souvenir stores? Walking not only keeps you very fit but you get to see so much more. You will come across all different types of weird and wonderful things if you wonder the streets of South East Asia. Let’s not forget that you have your 65L backpack on your back too, it sure will be a good cardio workout!
2. Eat three meals a day. You will find that you haven’t got much of a routine when travelling. You might sleep until 12pm or be up at 6am to catch a 12-hour bus, but it’s so important to eat properly and not shove three meals into a big binge session at 5pm. You need to spread out your meals throughout the day so your body has time to digest and apply the nutrients. It also makes you feel much more energized throughout the day. If I had to catch a super early bus, I would always ensure I had bought some fruit for the following morning so that I was not left starving whilst stuck on a boiling hot bus.
3. Water, water and more water. It can be so tempting on a sizzling hot day at the beach to buy an ice cold can of Fanta, however, it can actually make you more dehydrated. There is over 42g of sugar in a can of Fanta, that is 10 teaspoons! 10 TEASPOONS! It’s crazy! Water will hydrate you, keep you cool and is also great for your sun-kissed skin.
4. The beach is the new gym! Remember running on your treadmill at the gym and staring at the boring, ugly wall? Why don’t you trade it in for the golden sands and run down the beach whilst watching the sunset. I know where I’d rather be! If you want to stick to your fitness regime then running down the beach is a fantastic workout, it’s great for those calf muscles! But remember not to run at 12pm or you will literally melt. The best time to run is before sunrise or as the sun sets.
5. Fresh is best. Try and eat as much fresh food as possible, not only does it taste better but it is so much better for you! Fresh seafood restaurants are everywhere in Asia, I found there was so much choice. The gorgeous street food is also fantastic; you can pick and choose what you want and its cooked right in front of you! Don’t be scared of trying new things and then opt for a McDonald’s, the fresh food is so much better, I promise you!
It is not impossible to stay fit and healthy whilst travelling, but remember you still have to enjoy yourself! An ice cream or a few glasses of wine is ok, just remember the saying ‘only in moderation’.
I also found that I ate so much more fresh fruit than I usually do. Especially when they have ladies strolling down the beach each day with bowls of mangoes, pineapple, and bananas all freshly prepared! They were also super cheap and a great snack to keep you going throughout the day.
Finally, if you like to keep super fit and want to break a sweat, then HIIT is the perfect way to exercise wherever you are. You don’t need any equipment just a bit of space and a pair of trainers! My favourite HIIT workout is squat jumps, burpees, side plank, mountain climbers and leg lift crunches. I do each workout for 30 seconds, followed by a 10-second break and then straight on to the next one. After you finish the whole session break for 90 seconds and do it again. I usually repeat this four times and it’s a killer session! You will feel the burn!
So, the answer to the question is, YES you can stay fit and healthy! Just remember these two key points - enjoy yourself and everything is acceptable as long as it’s within moderation!