7 Ways You Stay Fit When Backpacking

7 Ways You Stay Fit When Backpacking

Going backpacking? Worried about your health and fitness whist on the road? You probably don't realise it but in your general day sightseeing and travel activities you will probably be giving your body a workout. Check out 7 ways you keep fit when travelling you probably didn't even realise...

 

1. Quads

Oh, you know what I’m talking about. You ask to use the toilet, the WC, the restroom, the bathroom, only to discover a room you thought was in horror films. Sometimes the seat is wet, sometimes the seat is non-existent, and sometimes there is just a hole in the ground. If it's your lucky day you may find toilet paper, but chances are you’d better have a wet nap handy. I call this the grand thigh workout. Squatting over a toilet seat before touching down, or squatting right over that hole. Until now, you’ve never really felt the strength of your powerful thighs. Heck, bring on the thunder thighs and their power!!  

 

2. Inner thighs

Most of Asia requires a motorbike, because, well, there are a ton of people. A TON. And let’s just say, cars are not the easiest way to get around. Plus, they are hella expensive over here, and people say only the rich can afford them. Interestingly, in some cities, moto drivers wait on the corners offering their services if you are not inclined to jump into the “cultural” madness yourself. But, be prepared to use those inner thighs to hold on until you get your bearings! 

 

Travel Fitness

3. Core

Chances are you are traveling with a backpack. Chances are it is weighed down with some smelly clothes, an extra pair of shoes, and maybe a notebook to jot down some things you think are kind of cool. Chances are it’s really heavy for no specific reason whatsoever. This is what strengthens your core. You walk up a hill that looks easy enough, only to find out you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. You end up using your back and stomach to hold you and your turtle shell up and bam, six pack(ish). Your core workouts inevitably lend themselves to hiding the fact that you’ve been drinking cheap beer non-stop throughout your entire trip. 

 

4. Biceps

After being on the road for a while you will probably get the feeling you want to settle in. Perhaps you opt for a splurge and get an Airbnb, perhaps you are sick of MSG and want some Western food, perhaps you end up Couchsurfing because you can’t handle one more noisy hostel. Whatever the case may be, you are ready for a home-cooked meal. But the thing is, you are so excited with the use of a kitchen that you buy up the whole market; ready to prepare a feast for the Targaryen House, you end up carrying 15 kilos worth of food back home. You will henceforth build the strength of your arms with those carrots, potatoes, and eggs. Not to mention water…we all like clean drinking water.  

 

Ways you stay fit when traveling

5. Calves

We used to be Hunter and Gatherers, foraging for our food, meandering through bushes and across dry land, but today, we roam streets with electrical wires dangling right above our heads. While we still use our legs to walk across cities, we do not necessarily forage food (though many weeds are edible). Instead, we are provided access to multitudes of restaurants, stores, and coffee shops. A far cry from ancient times, but you are still building muscles and shapely calves the more you walk around a city. You develop fast reflexes avoiding motorbikes and cars too. Did I mention, it's cheaper than taxis or tuk-tuks... so you have the pleasure of eating more exotic street foods- just avoid the greens.  

 

6. Lungs

The Great Wall, Machu Picchu, Sapa, Zion, The Grand Canyon...these are all places that require some level of physical ability. Besides strength in the legs, you also need strength in the lungs. Thankfully most of us have two. 

The beauty of traveling is hiking up to some tall peaks just to see the view. But, if you haven't ever been in different altitudes, you may not be used to the thin air. Being physically fit is definitely an advantage, especially because the people who are your guides do this daily and you want to keep up with them! Plus, when you see a woman who is 80 years old-clearly not struggling-you will want to quicken your pace. Good news is, if you are lacking in this department your flight or fight system will kick in and give you an extra boost, at least for a little bit.  

 

7. Full Body

After traveling for a while you may need to reboot, recharge, and relax. In these cases it is recommended to find a nice beach destination. While sipping on coconuts and soaking up the rays you will have plenty of time to get a full body workout in the ocean. Swimming is a natural way to get the blood flowing, and it is nice and cool! Best part is, when you're tired, you can get out and chill on the sand. Just be careful not to get a sunburn. The sun is different across the globe. And, if swimming isn't your first choice, there is always paddle boarding or surfing...each great for balance (and core). Cowabunga dude!

 

By Laci Ulrich

 

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