When we started this life of full-time travel I imagined getting in awesome shape while we traveled. But it hasn’t been that easy. In fact, it’s one of the more difficult parts of this ongoing journey – getting and staying in shape. Not at all what I was expecting. Over the past few weeks as we have sat in lockdown in Cyprus, I’ve begun to see again how lack of routine can wreck havoc on travel and staying fit in My Fab Fifties Life.
Keeping a healthy weight has never come easy for
me. I am not a tiny girl…a comfortable size 12 or 10 is my USA size. But I fluctuate a lot and always have.
A decade ago when I began running I found a wonderful new outlet for both stress release and weight control. I love to run!. But in that decade I have also experienced some severe injuries that kept me from running up to as long as a year. Suffering from sciatic nerve damage and plantar fasciitis being two of the worst things that have sidelined me.
But even when I am healthy, travel and staying fit, particularly running is not always feasible on this travel journey. I was surprised to find as we circled the globe how many destinations are unsafe for running; dangerous roads, uneven sidewalks, vicious dogs (remember the dog bite?) not to mention many countries where a woman should not be out alone. These surprises stymied my running for months at a time.
We are currently in Argaka on the island of Cuprus, day 42 of lockdown. I am really enjoying running here. Rural Argaka offers a flat and easy routes direct from our villa. I have regularly been running 4-5 miles daily.
Swimming is another favorite work out of mine, but alas, in four years of travel I can only think of three places we have been where a swimming pool was large enough to swim laps. Most pools are very small, and open ocean swimming isn’t something I’m comfortable with.
My best tool in my travel and staying fit goal is I can do yoga just about anywhere, and I do. I do it on my own nearly every day, and take classes when they are convenient and affordable. Yoga builds strength and flexibility as well as clears the mind and helps focus, but I really need to have a good strong regular aerobic exercise to keep my weight down. I carry a travel yoga mat and styrofoam block and use them religiously.
And then of course there is the food. And the alcohol. I love to eat and cook and try lots of new foods in every country we visit. Some countries the food is better than others, but I’ll try everything once (well
almost everything) and we enjoy food as a cultural experience wherever we are. Although I believe we are eating fresher and more organic and locally grown than in the USA, we still eat with pleasure and sometimes too much, despite the fact we usually only have two meals a day.
During our first part of the Grand Adventure I drank alcohol every day, usually a gin and tonic or two, sometimes beer. But this past winter I decided the caloric intake of alcohol just isn’t worth it to me, particularly when I am in countries where I feel like I’m not getting enough exercise. So I cut way back on alcohol. However, I have found being on lockdown has created a routine of drinking daily again…alas there are some vices we need to just accept right now, no?
Hopefully we will be back in the USA in a week or two, where I have access to safe running roads
and trails. If the YMCA reopens, I’ll begin swimming again. And yoga will continue daily on my own.
It’s not easy right now to be motivated to do anything…I know. I’m restless and not sleeping well. But having some kind of a routine, especially a work out routine helps keep me stay sane. I’m particularly thankful I can get out into nature each day. A definite blessing for travel and staying fit.
Be well my friends. Be healthy and be patient.
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I love this post. I’ve been doing some of those high intensity interval training videos online and really like them. You don’t need equipment and can do them anywhere!May 3, 2019 at 12:06 pm
Great idea. Might try it!May 3, 2019 at 12:40 pm
OMG Laureen, you wrote this just for me! I read me in every paragraph. I have similar challenges and need to return to some good fitness habits. Thank you sharing your challenges, makes me feel normal. kxMay 3, 2019 at 1:17 pm
I’m up for the challenge! Thanks for sharing your tips.May 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm
Challenge on!May 4, 2019 at 3:35 am
Good post. We went to Singapore for 3 months in the winter. We gained weight during the first 2 weeks then immediately started exercising every day and walking a lot. It made a big difference. and, it’s hard to prioritize while traveling and when home!May 3, 2019 at 6:33 pm
Yes it is! But we must persevere!May 4, 2019 at 3:34 am
Sticking to a regular routine when traveling is hard! I find on true vacations, I log more steps and get more activity overall. I also practice yoga in my hotel room frequently.May 4, 2019 at 12:41 pm
I do walk a lot too. It’s great exercise!May 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm
It’s always a challenge to balance exercise and travel. Especially as we get older! Thanks for your honest look at this subject.May 4, 2019 at 1:15 pm
Just keep trying!May 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm
You go girl!April 22, 2020 at 12:26 am
I am not much for exersice… I dont even run if I am about to miss the bus, I’ll just take the next one 😛 I wish I had more of a healthy lifestyle though, but I am guessing my daily walks at work dont really count as healthy 😛
My hubby and I are trying to get our for walks a few times a week to get fresh air and stay sane through this crisis. We do a lot of walking when we travel, we just need to ensure we do it when we can’t!April 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm
Great post ! I didn’t bring my running Shoes or I’d be running more! And I had plantar fascitis for two years….sucks ! Good on you for exercisingApril 24, 2020 at 9:13 pm