So, you made it! You finally took the chance and the leap of faith and made it overseas to see the world!
But, after a few months, you started to notice something.
Whether or not you were super fit before you left, you seem a little "softer" than you were before. It seems that during your adventures and gallivanting around, you forgot to make a little time to "pick things up and put them down."
The truth is, it's hard to stay fit while you travel abroad — hard, but not impossible.
Now, you probably won't come back shredded and ready for the next CrossFit Games, but you can most definitely avoid coming back with a little extra baggage around your mid-section.
The key to staying fit while you travel is not to focus on gaining, but maintaining.
Now, if you are going to be in one place for an extended period of time, it's certainly realistic to become a regular gym-goer and keep up a routine.
However, if your plans are to be ever-changing, here are simple ways to help keep your body on point while you let your spirit wander:
8. Cook Your Own Meals
This is a no-brainer for anyone who has ever done a proper training program before.
Eating out is expensive, and depending on where you're traveling (In Australia, for instance, it's almost impossible to find a decent meal for under $20!), and it's usually loaded with other flavor-adding extras, packed with calories and fat.
When you're traveling, the important thing is to eat a healthy and balanced diet, not necessarily an exciting one.
I'm a TERRIBLE cook, but thank God for the Internet with its millions of easy, cheap recipes anyone can make.
It's great to sample local cuisine and get a taste of local culture through food, but when traveling in expensive countries, eating out will tear a hole through your budget and your belt faster than anything else.
When I was in high school, I ran six to 10 miles every damn day. It's been a LONG time since then and I hate running now; in fact, it's probably one of my least favorite activities.
But, it's effective; it's free; you can do it anywhere, and it's a great way to take some time for personal introspection.
When you're on the road, constantly moving, it's nearly impossible to gain size or mass (well, good size or mass). Since the key to traveling is simply to maintain, cardio is one of your best weapons against building a gut from all the other fun you're having.
I still hate running, but I make a point to do it at least three days a week. When I'm not running, I walk — everywhere!
Public transit is a great option and many places around the world have much better systems for it than we do in the US, but there's no better way to get acclimated to a new city than walking.
Of course, sometimes, public transit is probably your best option, but for simply getting around town, walking is a great way to get in your cardio without even trying.
6. Outdoor Park Gyms
Certain cool, hip cities in the US have started to incorporate outdoor park gyms, but in some places, they're everywhere.
If you've never been to a park gym, it's pretty much a variety of body weight resistance training exercises available for free to the public.
Some are extremely basic and just consist of adult "monkey bars," but every once in a while, you'll find one that offers a vast array of equipment that uses your own body weight as the counterbalance.
You can't get massive pumps here, but you can do great, high-volume circuit training, which is perfect for cutting out pesky fat and keeping you nice and lean for your adventures.
5. Day Hiking And Other Outdoor Activities
Any place worth visiting in this world (at least in my humble opinion) offers a few areas of selected land that are protected and have turned into national parks. Think Yosemite, but with all kinds of crazy plant life you've never seen or explored.
The best thing about these parks, and camping in general, is you get to experience the beautiful outdoors and nature, but it's also a great way to get a free workout.
Hiking is free anywhere you go, and by simply checking park websites, you can find great trails and free activities in most National Parks.
If you can swing it, you can also book some paid activities, like kayaking, canoeing and white water rafting, which are all blasts to do and great workouts.
4. Sports Parks
Whether it's pick-up basketball or pick-up cricket, in most major metropolitan cities, there are always free sports parks where you can play. Outdoor recreational sports are fun, free and also a great opportunity to meet new people and make some new friends.
It might be a little out of your comfort zone to just walk up to a group of people and ask if you can join, but in reality, sports unite all of us.
In my experience, nothing is a better conversation starter than giving sports fans an open invitation to tell you all about their favorite sports.
Whether you walk away with a grasp for the game is not the point; the point is rugby involves a lot of running and a lot of camaraderie, and playing sports is a fun, easy way to stay fit.
If you have a sport you're already more passionate about, look online and see if there are any free (or cheap) rec leagues available in your area.
Making sports a regular part of your routine on the road will keep you active, meeting new friends and in tip-top shape.
We all have our own personal gyms built into our bodies. No matter where you are, you can always have enough space to do pushups and sit-ups and, occasionally, even find a makeshift pull-up bar.
If you make it part of your daily routine to incorporate a few hundred pushups and sit-ups throughout the day (50 here, 50 there), you'll create a habit that will hugely benefit you when you don't have time for a "proper" workout.
There's a story I love about legendary running back Herschel Walker in college: When he first came to the University of Georgia, he never participated in the team's group fitness training because he had his own regimen. The coaches said either he had to come in or he couldn't play.
Legend has it, he came in for one training session and shattered every weightlifting record in the school's football program.
After that, coaches agreed to let him continue on his own. Well, his training regimen included no weightlifting whatsoever.
Instead, Herschel did more than 1500 pushups and 2000 sit-ups every day — that was it. All calisthenics, and the dude was a beast.
2. Develop A Yoga Practice
Yoga is not for everyone, but it's done wonders for me. I always played sports and lifted weights growing up, so for years, I put a lot of stress on my joints and muscles without giving them any love.
Since I began a regular yoga practice over a year ago, I've seen a tremendous difference in both my physical and mental wellness.
I still can barely touch my toes, and my balancing is "iffy" at best, but no gym session can compete with the feeling of overall health and well-being I get after a 90-minute yoga practice.
The problem with yoga studios is they tend to be very expensive, but there's a solution: Almost all yoga studios offer an introductory rate for either a week, 10 days or, sometimes, even a month.
If you're thinking about adding yoga to your fitness regimen, I implore you to take advantage of one of these offers.
Go in and learn the basics from a certified teacher; see if it's a form of exercise that speaks to you, then simply start a practice of your own.
There are thousands of free videos online you can watch; I even use a yoga app, right on my iPad for a private class anywhere in the world.
While you're out there seeing the world, it's important to take some time to reflect on your new, positive experiences, and yoga allows you to do so while also keeping you toned and fit.
1. Be Committed
At the end of the day, fitness is all about the effort you put in. Remember, you're not out here seeing the world and intending to come back with a chiseled six-pack, but you also don't have to come back as a fat slob.
Use this list as a starting point; find something that works for you and stick with it.
If that means you run every day, make the investment and spring for some new shoes. If you decide yoga is more your thing, look online for a cheap deal on a mat and take it with you wherever you go.
The point is, if you commit to something and make it a habit, after awhile, it won't seem like work anymore, but simply something "you just do."
So, go out there, see the world and just do it!