Being on the road can be quite stressful. Even more so for those who just love their strict diet and fixed gym schedule. If you’re about to be a digital nomad, you probably want to leave that membership home, and bid one last goodbye to your smoothie blender. It’s time to embrace the Marine Corps motto “improvise, adapt, overcome” – or Bear Grylls’s catchphrase, if you’re riding the memes waves. This probably sounds more tragic than it actually is. What you want to look for is a great chance to reinvent your routine. And we’re not just talking about staying fit: the whole process of taking care of yourself, in any imaginable way, absolutely matters. There a few helpful tricks and tips you can adopt to nourish that temple of yours. This is not just a guide for a fitness plan; here, we’ll discuss all the ways to make your nomadic experience as comfortable and healthy as possible.
Pack up the right attire
Hey, I see you throwing those flip-flops in your backpack! And by all means, don’t leave them behind. But remember: whether you end up on a sunny beach, in the middle of the jungle or in a congested city, you’ll walk a lot. Think about investing in a good pair of shoes, they’re going to be your faithful companion on a worldwide journey. Honestly, I can’t stress this enough: I’ve been in the middle of the woods with cheap, generic trainers and I was terrified my feet were going to pop out of my shoe tips. It got even worse when it started to rain. In retrospective, I keep thinking of how negatively that affected an overall good experience; and simply because I wasn’t comfortable walking around! Online you’ll find many options and deals for nice trainers that won’t completely clear your bank account – and if you’re as over dramatic as me, here’s some good waterproof shoes.
Now that those beautiful feet are blisters-free, let’s focus on the rest of the outfit. Surely you can save some space for a cute shirt, just in case you’ll have a formal online business meeting or a fancy night out with fellow digital nomads. However, the general rule is to travel light and smart. Whether you’re a slow or a fast digital nomad, you’ll have to catch a few planes, sit in front of your laptop for hours, as well as infinitely walk and explore: trust me, you want to be comfortable. Hence, activewear is your best option – cozy sweatpants, yoga leggings, soft shirt, and anything stretchy really (the paranoid grandma inside me would suggest rainproof apparel too). And here’s a pro-tip: if you happen to get an extra pound because of that delicious local food, stretchy pants will be a blessing! All kidding aside, try to prioritize fabrics that are breathable and dry quickly. Remember that you won’t be able to fit your entire closet in your backpack. Especially if you work out a few days a week, you want your sports clothing to be washed and ready to use in no time.
Finally, don’t forget the swimsuit; because yes, you can do more in the water than just staring at pretty fish.
All set. Where do I sweat now?
If you tear up at the idea of giving up all your shiny equipment, go on a hunt for gyms wherever you travel to. Airports have gyms, hotels have gyms, city centers, communal houses – gyms everywhere! And once your hunt is over, it’s pretty easy to get an hourly or daily pass. There are even apps coming to the rescue. Here, you can easily find a gym near you regardless of your location, and if you’re feeling picky, you might be able to check the gym beforehand.
In case you’re less of a gym fanatic and more of an Airbnb kind of gal, there are other good options for you. It may sound obvious, but you’re in a new place: what better excuse for a stroll or a run than to explore the area? Trust me, a simple workout session can turn into a magical experience only by stumbling upon fascinating corners. And it’s also a good way to mentally note down all the cafes to try out once your post-workout shower leaves you fresh and clean.
Of course, if you’re shy, you can always go for a run during quiet hours and in a more isolated place, like a park or a countryside area – depending on your location. You might want to avoid busy streets full of tourists or it’ll all turn into a bumper cars carousel.
What if you really, really don’t want people to smell your sweat? I’ve got you covered. There’s tons of exercise routines you can try out without leaving your bedroom at all. You don’t need proper gym gear or a super large space to exercise. Some bodyweight exercises are equipment-free and help your calorie count as well as your posture – no more hunched-over-the-laptop syndrome. The options are endless: from lovely lunges and squats, to dreadful burpees. Because who doesn’t hate those burpees.
By the way, why not combining wild explorations with a hint of sweat? Some of the most rated destinations for digital nomads count mountains to hike, trails to walk, waters to swim into. In some places, you can also sign up for organized excursions or experiences – kayaking, horse riding, snorkeling, group hiking, climbing, paragliding and whatnot! Always check what your destination has to offer. Airbnb is of great help: this website, mostly known as an accommodation platform, actually developed whole sections where you can look for experiences and adventures. Sporty ones included. Otherwise, you can also make good use of that swimsuit and hit a local pool. Water aerobics is extremely exhausting – in a good way. My grandmother can vouch for that: 70 years old and still kicking it thanks to her mermaid sessions.
What kind of workout routines should I go for?
Your phone can become your new personal trainer (and a cheaper one I might say). There are so many apps out there to help you develop a good workout routine, even a tailor-made one. The most famous one is certainly Seven, which offers you both customized workouts and virtual motivation – because we all know too well how hard it is to stay on track. Another widely used app is Sworkit, which functions in a similar way to Seven. And for all the ladies reading this: a favorite of mine is definitely BBG, a digital workout guide that fosters good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. The BBG workout sessions are only 30 minutes long, and you can count on a wholesome community of fitness pals.
Before you even ask – no, those apps are not completely for free. Yet, you can always resort to our favorite platform; yeah, you guessed it – Youtube! I’d especially recommend MadFit workouts, but with thousands of workout channels you’ll be spoiled for choice. Just make sure to look for equipment-free routines and you’ll be good to go.
This must be the number one favorite slogan of all millenials nowadays. Truth be told, I’m not complaining: it’s a great message. Proper hydration is the cure of all evils. Well, kind of, but it’s still a great companion on your health journey. Invest in a refillable water bottle: you’ll save money, support the environment and help in reminding yourself to drink – all thanks to a cute, trusty object. I personally recommend Klean Kanteen, or Sigg for a cheaper option. And if you’re running out of space in your backpack, they also invented collapsible water bottles that you can easily fold! Water is extremely beneficial: it helps you get through the day, eases your headaches, improves your digestion, and even contribute to loss weight. Through thick and thin, stay hydrated! To make the task easier, get hold of tracking apps such as Drink Water Reminder n Tracker or cute Plant Nanny. Alternatively, if you’re feeling more old school like me, manually keep track of your water intake in your personal journal.
Diet? It’s all a question of balance
When you’re traveling around the world, it’s simply a sin to refuse that juicy local food! Don’t get too scared of calories, it’s ok to indulge at times. Being healthy is not about cutting on fats and becoming a no-man; it’s about finding a balance and maintaining consistency. As a general rule, moderate your consumption of that bad added sugar, which will only make you feel inexcusably tired. But do stock up on healthy sugary snacks like fruits!
If you can, try to get an accommodation that provides a kitchen. Cooking your own fresh food is always the healthier choice, and the easy way to control your overall consumption. Remember that the eyes are larger than the stomach; but also, don’t miss out on tasty treats!
Get a good night’s sleep
So many people underestimate the benefits of having a good sleeping schedule. Unfortunately, being a digital nomad can turn it all into a hard task. Just think about it: you’re on the move a lot, so you might end up sleeping at the airport, on a train, on a plane – even more so if it means to get a cheaper travel deal. Your work completely revolves around the use of a laptop, and we all know the negative consequences of staring at a screen for too long. Sometimes, your sleeping environment of choice won’t be that fancy: the bed is squeaky, the dorm is full of people coughing and snoring, the temperature is just not right. And what about online meetings and calls from different time zones? Ultimately, finding a moment to crawl inside a comfy bed becomes a race. Nevertheless, the benefits of sleeping are endless, as both your body and mental health depends on it. Do your best to book accommodations that offer quiet spaces, or rooms located in a peaceful area of the city you’re in. Buy earplugs, avoid getting a coffee every time you work at a café, and make your traveling naps more comfortable with a travel kit.
Move the body, stop the mind
Maybe the most important point of all, certainly the dearest one to me. Sadly, everything can easily crumble apart when you don’t allow yourself to breathe. As I’ve previously discussed, the digital nomad lifestyle is hectic in many ways. Loneliness and stress can get overwhelming if you don’t come up with a method to manage it all. Give yourself a deserved break and try out some breathing exercises to calm your soul. If you feel like involving your whole body in the process, combine breathing techniques with a simple yoga session. Journaling can be a great way to keep yourself grounded and release all those bottled emotions. If activities such as reading a book or listening to a podcast keep you grounded, give it a go when everything around you is spinning. And ultimately, guided meditation can definitely assist you in finding the mental peace you’re longing for – Headspace is a great app to dive into it. If you’re already struggling with mental health before embarking on a digital nomad journey, or if you feel like things are just getting too uncontrollable, know that today many psychologists offer online sessions. Prioritize your mental peace over anything else. We get lost inside our minds more easily than in the real world.