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The Digital Nomad's Guide to Staying Fit While Traveling

The Digital Nomad's Guide to Staying Fit While Traveling

Traveling the world as a digital nomad is great but can make it tough to stay fit. Follow this guide to stay in great shape anywhere in the world.

Having no borders or boundaries, working anywhere you want and seeing the whole world is an amazing way to live.

If you are a digital nomad, consider yourself fortunate.

Many will dream of having your life but will never achieve it for themselves. Now that you are enjoying the nomadic lifestyle, you may have discovered that staying fit can be a bit of a challenge. You can't always find a gym. Trying new cuisines, restaurants and street food can lead to some pretty quick weight gain if you're not careful.

This guide will show you how you can still enjoy the nomad life while taking care of yourself.

Fitness Guidelines For Digital Nomads

Work up a sweat once a day.

Keep it simple. Do a bodyweight workout, go for a run or go hiking. Just be active and get your heart pumping. Even if you're short on time you can still squeeze in a bodyweight set here and there. Take a break from your work every ten to fifteen minutes to do 25 push-ups and 25 squats. If you do this several times over the course of a few hours, you will have done a hundred or more of each. Do this everyday and I guarantee you will see results. You may also find that your focus has improved when you go back to working.

Stay hydrated.

Water should be your drink of choice anytime you're thirsty. By drinking more water instead of sugar-filled drinks, you will reduce your intake of empty-calories dramatically. Even when you're out enjoying the nightlife, consider making every other drink a glass or bottle of water. Always keep a water bottle with you while you travel.

Eat right.

Follow a 90/10 approach to eating healthy while you travel. This will allow you to enjoy some of the local foods that you can't resist trying. It will also ensure that you're getting the right foods ninety percent of the time. Consume plenty of vegetables, especially greens, and consider skipping breakfast or pushing it back a few hours to keep your body in a fasted state for a bit longer. This will keep you lean while preserving muscle.

Bodyweight Training

The key thing to remember about staying fit when you're always traveling is to keep it simple. You don't need a gym or any fancy equipment to stay fit. You can get a great workout anywhere with nothing but your own body.

Here's how you can do this.

If you're a football fan, odds are that you've heard of Herschel Walker. If you haven't, let me fill you in. Herschel Walker was a running back in the NFL in the 1980s and 90s. He was also an Olympic bobsledder and a mixed martial artist. Walker is unique because he has achieved an elite level of fitness with nothing but bodyweight exercises. His daily fitness regimen consists of up to 1,500 push-ups and 2,000 sit-ups. Learning about Walker convinced me to rethink my entire approach to strength training and I have included bodyweight exercises in my training ever since.

 Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker

Here are some of the many benefits of bodyweight training.

It's time-efficient.

Research has shown that higher intensity workouts of shorter duration are even more effective than longer, less intense workouts. It should come as no surprise. By pushing your body close to its limits for shorter periods, you'll improve your cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and mechanical functions.

It's free.

All you need to perform an effective bodyweight workout is some floor space. 

You'll build strength.

Always improve on what you did yesterday and you will get stronger. Add more reps. Use variations and progressions. This will help you build muscle and strength as you get better at exercises. 

You'll lose fat.

You will burn more calories and lose more fat with compound bodyweight movements. You'll crank your metabolism during your workout and your body will continue to burn more calories long after you finish. Jump on a treadmill or go for a long run once in awhile but don't make them the only exercise you do. Add some bodyweight workouts to your routine. 

With bodyweight training there is no excuse to ever miss a workout. Take a break from your work every fifteen minutes and do some push-ups. Do a set of squats before you take a shower. Bodyweight exercises are highly effective and can be done anywhere and at anytime. 

Try performing your workouts for a set amount of time (10 or 20 minutes) and set your timer. Record your results every time you perform a workout. This is a great way to track your progress as you become more fit. Aim to do a workout three to four days a week.

Here's a great workout you can do anywhere.

For Time:

  • 100 Push-Ups
  • 100 Squats
  • 100 Burpees

You don't have to complete all 100 repetitions of each exercise consecutively. Instead, try partitioning the repetitions like this: do four rounds of 25 push-ups, 25 squats and 25 burpees. Break it up however you choose.

Looking for more?

Check out these travel workouts.

Don't forget that doing bodyweight exercises in beautiful locations can make for great Instagram material.

Bottom Line

It's totally possible to stay in great shape while traveling as a digital nomad. Gyms are great if they're available, don't consider yourself out of the game just because you don't access to one. Bodyweight exercises are effective, time-efficient, and require no equipment. 

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