Whether you’re a seasoned traveller who’s finally starting to notice the effect of those all too frequent airport fast-food chain trips on your body, or you’re a travel novice looking for ways to optimise your holiday experience, keeping fit and healthy on your trip is a crucial factor to ensuring you get the most from the place you’re visiting.
From watching what you eat to swapping long and costly means of travel for something a little more mobile and a lot more fun, in today’s post courtesy of the outdoor cycle specialists at Start Fitness, we’re revitalising the concept of health and fitness in Europe, in a way that will refresh both your body and your mind.
Sustainable healthy diet
It’s most likely been made known to you your whole life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, when it comes to travelling to foreign places, regardless of their food culture, remember to bear this in mind and make sure breakfast remains your highest priority first thing in the morning to help prepare you for a day of moving around in the heat.
Alongside this, it’s vital that your diet remains balanced and packed with foods filled with nutritional value. Try to ensure that every meal you have consists of at least one vegetable and one source of protein (meat or otherwise), and while dairy and grains are good in moderation, try to avoid eating these as frequently as you might when at home. In reality, these foods are packed with calories and carbs that will make you feel tired and groggy – two feelings you definitely don’t want to experience when exploring the Italian coastal villages of Cinque Terra or cycling through Monte Brè in the Swiss Alps.
Fun, adventurous exercises
Whether you’re visiting family in busy Berlin or planning to spend your seaside trip laying on a sunbed in Mallorca, there are plenty of ways to inject some fitness and exercise into your holiday.
One of the best ways to explore a vibrant European city is by bike. Take your own with Shuttle Direct’s hassle-free transfer services and nip in and out of unusual alleyways and climb uphill to explore residential areas where locals sit and watch the busy city packed with eager tourists below. Whether you choose to hire a bike from a rental shop or bring your own trusty cycle along with you, cycling around a new area gives you a local sense of inclusivity and adventure, all whilst allowing you to stay active.
If cycling isn’t your thing then why not try a trek? Research an approved, designated route (preferably with a waterfall!) and set off before sunrise, bringing plenty of water and fruit and nut bars filled with protein with you. Or, for those wanting to keep fit without the feeling of working out, then utilise the warm European sea temperature and go for a swim. Range your pace and mix up your strokes for a comfortable and idyllic way to keep fit on your beach holiday – because water makes you feel weightless, you’ll find you can work out without even breaking a sweat.
Know when to rest
It’s important for your body to rest, recover and rejuvenate for the next day of activities on your fun-filled holiday schedule. To make sure you don’t feel tired before climbing the steps to Buda Castle in Budapest or visiting the many art galleries in Florence plan your sleeping schedule appropriately by making sure you have at least 8 hours of sleep at night. Where possible, head to sleep early and rise with the sun to view the area you’re staying in in a completely different light.
Another great reason to make sure you get a good night’s rest and are able to wake up early is that you’ll feel less tired and therefore less inclined to take mid-day ‘sun naps’ and potentially miss out on brilliant experiences. Fill your day with activities, even if this means substituting your taxi ride from the authentic Parisian restaurant you’ve just eaten at back to your hotel with a sunset walk, or taking the stairs instead of the lift to soak up panoramic views of London. Simple active alternatives to stationary travel will help your mood and wallet!
When you think of going away, you would be forgiven for planning a fitness-free trip that includes indulging in local pastries and doesn’t require much more movement than shuffling from a Croatian cafe to an ice-cream parlour and back again. Having said that, keeping fit and healthy when you’re away will help you feel and look better, enhancing your holiday experience and leaving you prepared and ready for your next one.