If you are a digital nomad, you must probably feel very lucky, and rightly so. But being constantly on the road requires some extra physical effort through your poor body; you only have one and this one keeps you going. So, respect it.
Three factors will determine your fitness level while you are on the move. Firstly the inner strength to achieve the desired results, then the actual body workout to remain in shape, and last but not least the healthy eating habits. Let’s have a look at them.
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Tips for staying fit as a digital nomad
1: Work on your motivation
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, digital nomads need that extra motivation to convince themselves that they have to stay strong when following the nomadic lifestyle. Your routine has now changed; you find new ‘homes’ every now and then. It’s difficult to stick to a daily program. And what about all these wonderful temptations out there?
You can’t easily resist. And you don’t have to; at least not always. Just remember to make a commitment to yourself that you will find the courage to make up for that crazy last night. Everything is part of the journey. Finding the right balance is the key.
2: Try to exercise once a day
If you decide to live and work in the developed world, and especially in big metropolises, things are rather easy regarding your workout choices. You will definitely find a gym around the city, where you can usually ask for a membership according to the length of your stay.
If your nomad budget allows it, you may also stay at hotels that provide swimming pool or again gym. Look for yoga or pilates lessons as an alternative workout; you can easily fit them into your schedule (Yoga is a very healthy habit!).
Remember that since your job is mostly done through a computer screen on a seated position, it is advised to take regular breaks; for the sake of both your eyes and your body. A brief rejuvenating workout will not only get your blood flowing but help you concentrate better as well. You are fine if you manage to exercise 3-4 times a week, while in the meantime you do some beautiful full-body stretching exercises.
3: Keep moving around!
A good idea to keep you moving while working, would be to change often corners within your workstation, or simply change the workspace (if possible) a lot of times, daily. Sitting for a prolonged time at the same spot will only harm you, and you don’t want that.
When it comes to living in the developing world, trying to find and stick to a workout routine might be a more challenging task. Here, you probably have to improvise a lot. The easiest thing you can do is to walk around the place, which has a double benefit: sightseeing and exercise. Same with hiking; find out about hiking trails in your location and start walking.
Depending on where you stay, you may also take part in local recreation activities, which is also a great way to meet new people. For example, you can take salsa lessons in Brazil, practise martial arts in India or go for snorkelling in Zanzibar. Biking is another good option since you can find it almost everywhere and it’s cheap as well.
The point is that wherever you are, look out for workout facilities. If you don’t really fancy the gum cause you find it rather impersonal, try a local park during off-peak hours; or go for jogging early morning when the town is still asleep. You may even do some bodyweight in your room (if there is enough space): you need no equipment, it can be short in time, plus, you do see results.
However, exercise alone won’t be enough to get the results you want. And this is where eating habits come in the game.
4: Master your diet and eating habits!
Don’t freak out; by diet, I definitely don’t mean a weekly diet plan or the like, neither I am planning to bombard you with do’s and don’ts. It’s just that there are a few nice tips that seem to keep up well with your workouts. Cause creating healthy eating habits is one more vital factor to keep you strong as you move.
Number one on your list should be the hydration, especially when you live in hot-climate countries. Keep a bottle of water with you when you go outdoors and don’t underestimate its necessity.
While preparing for a trip, it’s good to pack some healthy snacks; this way you avoid eating here and there like a pig (aka junk food). And try to eat healthy meals most of the time. Alright, you don’t have to be perfect. Besides, you only live once. So, yes, go for that yummy extra fattening local speciality without feeling much guilty (well…once in a while).
As to what this ‘diet’ would be nice to consist of, here we are: Look for protein-based food. Protein will fill your stomach with ‘healthy’ calories, plus it will help build muscle. Moreover, be generous when consuming vegetables, especially the green ones, as they are very rich in nutrients, much needed for your body.
PLANT BASED DIET: Having a Vegan plant based diet has improved my life many times over, and I can’t recommend it enough. To learn more just have a look at Vegan Superpowers!
The combination of a regular workout with a relatively right diet, will not only make you stronger and healthier, which you need when you travel often. It will also make sure that the calories are there to build muscle instead of making you fat. Remember that no one expects from you to follow advice 100%.
More nomad fitness tips and challenges
Here are some great exercises, habits and challenges for a life on the road, that will keep you fit and healthy. These challenges are not for everyone by the way, and the pushup challenge is designed more for men who might want to build or maintain lots of muscle mass.
The 300 pushup challenge
In this challenge, you’re going to try and do 300 pushups in a day, 3 times a week. I say 3 times a week because that gives your body at least a bit of a chance to recover. The original challenge was to do 300 a day but that’s not going to give you enough time to recover and grow back stronger.
Start by doing as many as you can in a day and keep a count in a notebook or something. Work your way up to be able to do 300 pushups in a day. This is a great workout because it’s a compound movement that works several muscle groups, and you can do it anywhere!
The 30 day cold shower challenge
Cold showers are very good for you and can actually lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and make your immune system stronger. They’re hard to get into at first but if you commit to just having ONE cold shower a day for 30 days, you’ll never look back! An added bonus is that by making your body cold you force yourself to burn calories to heat yourself backup again, which forces you to lose weight and boosts your metabolism.
The 1 hour walk
Probably my best exercise I like to do when travelling, just walk for one hour a day. It has to be one hour solid, and not one hour spread out over a day. The best time to do this is first thing in the morning, before eating anything. Just put your headphones in, listen to your podcasts and walk. First thing in the morning is when your mind is the most receptive to new ideas and mouldable, so ONLY listen to ideas you want to adopt and don’t turn on the news!
The squat gauntlet
find something fairly heavy in your apartment and hold it in front of you. Now do 100 squats. Do this challenge 2-3 times a week but do the squats IN A ROW or as many as you can in a row before falling over! This builds core strength, builds leg muscle strength and helps you stay fit! Legs are probably one of the most important things for a digital nomad because with strong healthy legs, you can more easily hike around, run, climb etc!