Traveling is fun! You get to see and try new things, learn some cool shit, and create lasting memories. However, if you’re not in best physical shape, travel can be just downright miserable. I’ve seen this first hand several times throughout my own travels. Many people will have frowns on their faces while trying to catch their breath after a long walk. They clearly weren’t very happy about how their trip was going. And I’ll admit that I’ve been one of these people before. Exhausted after completing something while traveling that I didn’t physically prepare myself for and wasn’t fit enough.
Now I’m not a personal trainer or anything like that, I’m just a regular person who takes health and fitness very seriously. And I’ve achieved several physical feats throughout the years; including running a marathon, winning a cage fight, and completing a Tough Mudder, just to name a few. And while traveling I’m able to cover a lot of ground in a day of exploring and still have energy to spare by the end of it. So the tips in this article are how I personally prepare myself physically for travel. We’re all different, so what works for me may or may not work for you. But I hope these tips are helpful nonetheless.
Train Like You Fight
I first started using this concept when I was in the Marine Corps. During boot camp I was put through some of the most brutal training sessions that I’ve ever done. I remember being clad in body armor, a helmet, and a ton of other gear and having to run through an assault course in the dark of night. The course involved jumping over walls, crawling through mud, and a whole shlew of other obstacles. All while the sounds of explosions and gun fire were blaring in the background. And all of this was done with only four hours of sleep over the course of two days. But this training was meant to simulate the rigors and stress of combat as much as possible in order to better prepare for it.
This same concept can also to be applied to physical preparations for travel. Train for the activities that you’ll be doing while traveling. And perhaps the most common physical activity that one will engage in while traveling is walking. But walking is simple right? I’d like to think so, after all it’s one of the most basic of human movements. But then again I see it easily tire out so many people. And I think that’s because in today’s society we’re doing far less walking, because we’re constantly trying to find ways to make our lives easier and more comfortable. Many people will drive all around the parking lot trying to find a spot that’s closer to the store. I’ve also seen long lines at the bases of escalators, and no one will use the empty stairs that are right next to it.
Now I’m not here to play fitness police and knock on those who do the things that I just mentioned, especially if you have some sort of disability and need to. But I think in order to be fit for the large amount of walking that’s done while traveling, it should be done more in everyday life. So park further away from the store and walk across the parking lot. Chances are you’ll get to the store faster that way instead of driving around looking for closer spot. And when everyone else is lining up at the escalator, make a mad dash up the stairs and beat them to the top!
Also simply find other ways to walk more. Take a walk with your kids after dinner, or do it first thing in the morning as fasted cardio. And if you want to kick it up a notch, fill up a rucksack and go walking with it on. I did this while preparing for a multi-day trek in the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert of Morocco, and it made a huge difference! Also in the case of other activities that you’re interested in doing, prepare for those accordingly. For instance, if I’m going to take a trip to go scuba diving. Then I’m going to prepare for it by doing more swimming and practicing breath holds.
In the previous section I mentioned specific training in order to prepare for certain activities that you’ll do while traveling. However, being fit for travel starts with just simply living a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to be ripped, jacked, cut, shredded, or any of those crazy adjectives, just be fit and find physical activities that you can have fun with and commit to. Any avenue of fitness is valid. Some people choose to be bodybuilders, some cross-fitters, some triathletes, some do team sports, some do bodyweight training and so on. Me personally… I’m a bodyweight warrior!
Also don’t forget to make sure that you’re fueling your body with the proper nutrition. Which I’m going to leave it up to you to figure out how you want to go about doing that. Because nutrition is a bit too complex to go into very much detail in this article. But definitely research it for yourself, because nutrition is just as important, if not more important, than physical training.
To Sum It Up
Again there is only so much that I can share with you in a single article about physical fitness and nutrition. But I hope that the tips that I covered give you some ideas as to where to go from here. It’s great if you have information, but it’s all but useless if you don’t apply it. So get to training, do your research, eat right, and make it a lifestyle. In doing so you’ll be fit and strong and enjoy conquering your adventures!