Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fitness Travel Tips


Wherever you are traveling, being fit and healthy will help you with everyday activities. It is so so important to maintain a healthy
 body while traveling... and I will tell you why...

1) Unfamiliar Foods. This can make or break a trip. Having a healthier immune system will help your body fight off unwanted ingredients that my not necessarily agree with your body.

2) Poor Transport. Sitting on a train for 9 hours in India is not like sitting on a 9 hour train in Canada. The conditions may be uncomfortable and awkward for our bodies. So having stronger muscles and more flexibility within your muscles will aid you along this dreary experience. 

3) Backpacking. You think backpacking is easy? Not when you have 20lbs lugged onto your back and you've been walking for 30km. Training your muscles ahead of time for heavy lifting while walking will ease you into the process.

LOOKING at BACKPACKING... A few things you need to know before you get on that first plane.

Backpacking has its own set of requirements. You need strength, a good back, and some measure of hardiness since you'll probably have to walk either long distances or a certain amount of time.

So before you leave, concentrate on training both for strength and cardiovascular health.

1. Research your destination
How fit do you need to be? Are you climbing mountains or lounging on a tropical beach? Is there good public transportation from A to B or will you have to carry your pack for miles? Are you away for a month or a year.

2. How fit are you?
If you're already super-fit, chances are you'll have a bit of leeway before you have to work at it. But if you're puffing by the time you go up a flight of steps, climbing Kili your first week away might not be wise.

3. Start ahead of time.
Don't wait until you've got your plane tickets in hand - start now! Unless you're a regular at the gym, you'll need a few months to get into optimum shape for the road.


Most people who backpack carry somewhere between one-sixth and one-third of their own body weight on their backs. Regardless of how much stuff you decide to carry, you'll have a much more comfortable hike if you increase your physical fitness before you ever set out.

Backpacking requires two types of fitness -- cardiovascular and muscular. Cardiovascular fitness is built through aerobic exercise, and muscular fitness is built through weight training. Some people choose to improve their fitness by walking on a treadmill or around town with a weighted backpack on their backs. But you can also prepare for a backpacking trip with more traditional exercise.


  • Walk walk walk! The more walking to you do prior to your trip, the better. Start small, then work up to one of the biggest treks of your trip. 

  • Work on your muscular strength, a lot coming from your legs and back. Walking with a big backpack is tough, make sure you have the muscles to support the rest of your body. (lifting heavier weights at the gym will help
  • Fill your backpack with 15-20 kg of books, rocks or clothes, and carry it around with you until it feels 'normal'. You should be able to lift it on your own, get it on your back, and carry it for a few kilometers without fainting.

  • Really work on that aerobic exercise! You'll be happy when you're running to catch the last train of the day and your lungs don't collapse. Train by running at a constant pace, fast enough where your heart rate is at its 80% maximum.

  • Join a yoga class. (especially if you're like me and plan to do yoga while traveling) It'll strengthen you and make you more flexible for those nights on the beach or on hard bamboo beds.

  • Exercise in similar conditions as your trip. If you're headed for the mountains, practice on hills if you can. (for me, I've been putting the treadmill on the highest inclination to practice those mountainous treks of the Himalayas)
Whatever you do among your trip and before; stay healthy and have fun! :)


  1. great ideas! any tips for exercise while being stuck on a 10hour + flight?

  2. Keep those legs and ankles moving and drink lots of water in the plane.

    Have a great trip Jeffery and take lots of pics of the Taj....i am sooo jealous