Fitness on the Road


To ensure your adventures don’t sabotage all the hard work you’ve been doing in the gym at home, here are some ideas on how to keep (or become) fit, strong and lean while abroad.

1. Choose as many active outdoor activities as possible. The added bonus of keeping in shape, in my humble opinion, is appreciating nature and experiencing far more that your chosen destination has to offer.  Here are some ideas:

  • Spend a couple of hours playing tennis, rockclimbing, bike-riding, surfing, stand-up paddle-boarding, skiing, kayaking, canoeing or ocean swimming.
  • Choose a trekking path suitable for your fitness ability and take a few hours to digest the scenery  in a national park
  • Start the day with 10 or so sets of 30-50m beach sprints and finish off with an ocean swim
  • Spend a few hours walking or rock hopping around coastal bays
  • Choose to walk around the city over public transport
  • Take a new class such as yoga or a native dance class.

2. Throw in some bodyweight movements every 1-2days (10-20min workout) using your imagination. Examples include;

Single leg squats / pistol squats

Assisted pistol squat (holding onto a bar / rope / rings / person)

Crossed Pistol Squat (very advanced)

Handstands (use a wall for balance if you need it)

Handstand push-ups if you are super strong (use a wall for balance if need be)

Spiral/screwdriver push-ups (for added shoulder stress)

Overhead pressing using a large rock – just don’t drop it.

Swinging a rock in a diagonal path (woodchop action)

Squatting holding a rock

Squatting holding a rock over the shoulder

Close-grip push-ups

Kids playground; chin-ups and pull-ups, monkeybar locomotion, horizontal pulls using a low bar, step-ups

Standard push-ups


Hip bridges progressively extending the legs out for more hamstring stress (this can be done bodyweight, without the barbell)

Harrop curls with the feet anchored or having a partner hold your calves down (natural glute-ham raise). In this youtube video I am using a harness and cable machine, however the same can be performed with a partner holding your calves down as you slowly lower your body.

Skater to Curtsy Squats

Single leg or split stance deadlifts bodyweight or holding a rock

Split stance squats /  Bulgarian split squats

Lying and hanging leg raises

Reverse crunches with your head uphill (nature’s decline bench)

3. Stretch tight muscles or mobilise restricted joint areas, especially prone to develop with long periods of sitting while travelling, carrying luggage/backpacks or previous day activities which you are normally unaccustomed to. I’ve been seen at airports and bus terminals using a wall to stretch or placing down a towel and just stretching what I know needs attention..just avoid downward dogs or other butt-facing-people moves (needless to say, I also admit to performing these in public places).

4. Get plenty of clean, filtered/natural spring water.

5. Eat good quality, whole, real food. Choose hormone, anti-biotic and chemical free food sources where possible. Toxins are stored in fat (possibly a protective mechanism to keep toxins away from organs and the bloodstream), so if we want to keep lean it’s best to be as toxin-free as we can.

6. Timing of food intake. Having larger amounts of food with more carbs/calories just after a heavy workout or after several hours of trekking/climbing/other activity. Just after exercise like this, insulin sensitivity is heightened and glucose receptors have been brought to the surface of muscle cells, favouring whatever is next eaten to be used in the muscle rather than stored as fat in fat cells. Growth hormone is also elevated immediately after exercise compared to when sedentary, so conditions are primed for muscle growth and fat loss rather than fat storage when the next big meal comes. Increase starchy carbs and non-gluten carbs such as rice, sweet potato, pumpkin, turnip, beetroot, corn etc, on days of higher physical exertion

7. Enjoy a good wine/ spirit /beer from time to time, and keep in mind the fat storing and toxic effects of alcohol with respect to your body-shaping and health goals.

Click here for online strength and conditioning programs wherever you go.

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