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3 ways to stay fit in Dominican republic

exotic fruit

I found online a very informative article about the best beaches in the Dominican republic which gave me an idea to write the following post. If you are visiting the second largest Caribbean country, then the below tips might be helpful for you.

We all know how it goes on holidays, especially if we tend to stay at all-inclusive resorts with abundant food 24/7. We spend days tasting many local meals and alcoholic drinks (in Dominican republic we are talking of for example interesting mamajuana – a mixture of red wine, rum, honey and herbs).

But you don’t want to put on weight while on holidays, do you? If not, keep reading.

 

3 ways to stay fit in Dominican republic:

 

1.Water sports

All-inclusive resorts might be awesome, but there more than anywhere else is staying very active the key to not returning home heavier than before. Dominican republic offers a bunch of various activities, mostly water sports. I can only recommend snorkeling, swimming, scuba/snuba diving and surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing or practicing yoga on one of the white sand beaches. Just make your way along the coast and find the right sports for you.

 

2. Coconuts

My favorite drink on the planet is no wonder young coconut water. And in the Dominican republic you are able to get many coconuts, especially on the beach. Coconut water is rich in nutrients and electrolytes, it keeps you hydrated on hot days (more effective than energy drinks), reduces blood pressure, facilitates digestion and it’s very low in calories.

If you do any of the above mentioned sports, then drinking coconut water is a necessity for you to regain the minerals lost when sweating. When I am in the tropics, I cannot go a day without coconut water and trust me, I could even drink up to 5 coconuts per day and not get bored of the refreshing taste.

 

3. Fruit

Being located in the Caribbean, Dominican republic gives you an opportunity to fully explore all the tropical tastes. There’s so many different exotic fruits to munch on all day long. Do not settle for those you can get back home or you’ve tried in the countries you’ve visited before, but definitely give the unknown a try, too.

Go to a local market or to street vendors and ask for guanabana, guava, limoncillo, sea grape, noni, sapote, tamarindo, starfruit, bread of fruit, pineapple, avocado, mango, papaya (lechosa), cacao, passion fruit, acerolas, chayote or cashews. I am sure you will find a new favorite taste. Personally, I am a huge fan of papaya, pineapple, guanabana and mango but occassionally enjoy more of a sour taste, too.

Fruit might be high in natural sugar, but it’s the one your body can easily burn. So just swap heavy cooked meals for tasty fruit and you will be surprised at how much your weight might change. I am mainly eating just fruits and coconuts in tropical destinations to stay hydrated and have loads of energy and to be honest I’ve never felt better than on mostly raw vegan diet.

 

exotic fruit

 

Add a lot of walking around the hotel and beach, hiking in the mountains/jungle, and a sport massage to tone up your muscles and you might even go back home in a better shape than when you left.

 

If you are visiting the Dominican republic, get some time if you can to hop on the surrounding islands for more adventure in the Caribbean. Highly recommended!

 

Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Puerto Viejo

Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (3)
I stayed a week at the Samasati Nature Retreat close to Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica. Disconnected from the online world, connected to the nature, animals, myself and yoga. I took a few yoga classes with Max and then also one with Stephanie. Their style is very different but I always love to practice under various yoga teachers as it stretches more parts of my body and it also shows me what I want to do and do not want to do one day when I become a yoga teacher myself.
Max has been practicing the attitude for some 35 years, and hatha yoga as exercise for 18 years. He’s been in Costa Rica for 20 years already.
Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (1) Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (2)

What I learned at yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat with Max:

Yoga 1
 
No goal, movement itself is the goal. Being in the present moment is the goal.
Savasana is art of conscious meditation.
Yoga teaches us patience.
Use the breath to go deeper into the pose, not muscles. Using muscles can cause injuries, using breath is softer. Do the positions according to your own breath.
Max kept telling us not to follow him, but our own inhale and exhale instead.
Yoga for me is not only a workout, it’s more about lifestyle and incorporating it into life. It’s the attitude towards life.” Max said. ”Yoga is better with a mind of a beginner. Then we are open to learn new things.
Our body changes and it’s different every day.
Seated forward bent – East towards the Sun (in Sanskrit it’s what it means) vs. reversed plank pose should be done towards the West.
Yoga 2
 
Steady and easiness (suka means good space) are the 2 main principles of yoga. It’s balance between strength and struggle.
 
When doing the headstand – torso should be on top of the shoulders so then we don’t need to kick but just to put the legs up.
Women have to practice more arm strength, men more hip opening.
 
After Savasana at the end of the class ”May all people be happy. May all people be free. May all people be in peace.”

Face the fear – it’s painful but it pays off. It’s worth it.

We have emotions, it’s natural to have them but there’s a way to deal with them. If you get angry, it’s ok, but you can choose to forgive.
Forgiveness is to forgive yourself, not the others.
Being responsible for everything sets up free. It’s the most we can achieve in life – to be free. If we blame other people or things for what happens to us or what we do, we give away our freedom to them.
 
Yoga 3
 
I had at least 15 new mosquito bites from today which was not fun when I had to practice yoga and keep calm.
Om is a special vibration. Let it penetrate into us.
Ujjayi breath = victorious breath: ud = power, ji = victory
Meditation = when we touch the 2 fingers together it means knowledge and wisdom. The thumbs represent universal power while the index fingers mean individual power.
 
 
Yoga 4
 
Patanjali speaking about yoga – the 1st three sutras are the most important.
Yoga = to quiet the mind. It’s experience in mind to realize the true self.
Yoga 5
 
We did a meditation when we closed up all the holes on our faces. Nose counts as 1 and it was the only one we did not close completely but left some space to breathe through as we were not experienced enough yet to not to breathe like life long yogis.
Yoga is meditation, pranayama and asanas together. Hatha yoga is focused on positions.
Meditation – we have to be in it. There’s different ways of meditations. We meditate to get rid of negative thoughts, harmful thoughts and shut the feelings for a certain time in general. It calms us down.
Yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat Costa Rica (3)

What I learned at yoga at Samasati Nature Retreat with Stephanie:

We started in a seated cross-legged position with a sort of meditation when Stephanie guided us trying to realize parts of our body.
Meditation in the middle of the class before going down for shoulder stand and twists and final savasana.
OM MANE PADNE OM mantra at the end of the class – to reach intellectual and emotional balance.
Steph really appreciated us waking up so early in the morning (it was a morning yoga class) and she was also thankful for our beautiful practice. Steph encouraged us to use yoga practice every day of our life which could help us.

How to be fit in Bocas del Toro – Bocas Yoga tips

at Bocas Yoga Bocas del Toro (2)
My love for yoga started back in 2012 when I took 2 sexy yoga classes at Bocas Yoga with Laura Kay. For some reason, like many of us think, I also thought yoga is boring and not a proper workout.
Boy, was I wrong!
At Bocas Yoga Laura kicked my ass at every single class and I fell in love with yoga so much, I revisited Bocas Yoga in 2014 twice. I even stayed at Laura’s room for rent at the back of the yoga studio so I could practice yoga sometimes even twice a day.
I learned tons of things from Bocas Yoga classes:

  • spread the toes – it makes our muscles to work harder and we are more stable, also it prevents the external rotation of the knee so if you have any knee injuries, open your toes to activate your leg muscles
  • my first wheel since I was a kid
  • my first wheel with one arm and also with one leg only
  • my first head stand without a wall (even though Laura does not like to practice them in here as she hurt her neck once I was practicing them on my own as I was on a mission of learning how to do them)

 

 at Bocas Yoga Bocas del Toro (2) Crazy sexy fun traveler with Bocas Yoga Laura Kay

Yoga lesson 1: You deserve gratitude and abundance.

 

Yoga lesson 2: Being a child feels awesome. Be playful.

 

Yoga lesson 3: You have light in you. Bring it with you all the time, even when you travel. Shine it out. Show light you have inside the whole day wherever you go.

 

Yoga lesson 4: It’s good to live in abundance and be able to select. Yoga teaches us also how to be selective, to know our value. You do have a right to say no. It’s good to say no sometimes if we recognize we are worth more than what we are getting offered.

 

Yoga lesson 5: Passion is the key. Do everything with passion. Practice each yoga pose with passion.

 

Yoga lesson 6: Yoga is a creative process. Be creative. We create yoga poses, it’s art, too.

 

Yoga lesson 7: Through yoga you overcome your fear. Some poses seem fearful but you become fearless slowly. The same applies to your life. Do what you are afraid of and after a certain time you will learn how to deal with fear.

 

Yoga lesson 8: We are perfect inside where it matters. Choose to witness our inner beauty.

 

Yoga lesson 9: Cultivate gratitude. Look for the things you take for granted and be grateful for them. There’s so much to be grateful for. You have many things that others do not.

 

Yoga lesson 10: I am glad to see my friends at this yoga class. Celebrate the friendships and relationships you have.

 

Yoga lesson 11: Remember, you always have a choice. Choose your perception, choose to see the positive.

 

Yoga lesson 12: Karma does pay back. It’s worth it. Give more and you will get more.

 

at Bocas Yoga Bocas del Toro (1)

Interview with Trekking around with Jess Brown

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Explorer and storyteller at heart, I find inspiration and stories waiting to be told everywhere. From international shores, to my own backyard in Seattle, it’s never hard to find. When I’m not giving into wanderlust and traveling, you can find me kayaking the waters of Washington, snowboarding the Cascades or Rocky Mountains, and climbing everything I can get my hands on.

Calling the Pacific Northwest my home and favorite romping grounds has had a huge impact in my journey and my story. It’s where I grew up and where I discovered two of my deepest passions in life, photography and the outdoors. They allow me to create amazing relationships with the environment, the people of the outdoor community, and to build a life I love. I call myself a sports and lifestyle photographer but everything inspires me and it’s constantly evolving. In the end, all I hope is to meet amazing people, see the world, love the environment, and live a life that tells a great story. Explorer, photographer, hippie, my name is Jess Brown. Check out more at Trekking around with Jess Brown.

 

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1.   Honestly, do you find it hard to stay fit when traveling? If so, what is the biggest challenge for you?

It depends on how long you are staying somewhere I think. It is so easy to stay fit when you are constantly on the move, the momentum of traveling sort of just keeps propelling you to move. But when you stay in one place like I am currently and all your work is on a computer, sometimes you have to be really intentional about moving your body. I’m a photographer, videographer, and writer and yes some of that involves moving to get the photos, the videos, and to experience the things to write about. But what people don’t realize is the behind the scenes editing and writing involves sitting on the toosh, for hours and hours at a time, day after day.

Luckily I love moving my body, I crave adventures, and I am really into sports. So in that sense it’s really easy to stay fit when I am doing the things I love. But it is a little harder to motivate myself when I am in the groove of editing and sitting and being lazy feels really good. But I never look at it like I have to exercise today cause I feel fat, or I need to get my body in shape, or get the body I want, for some reason that’s never motivated me. What motivates me is knowing how I feel when I am moving my body, I do it to stay sane, to get out of my head, to get inspired, to get into the present moment, to interact with the environment around me, and to feel happy, all of those things really motivate me. When I am not doing the fun adventurous stuff I love like climbing, snowboarding, hiking, I love to bike, swim, and do yoga. Biking is probably my favorite and it’s an awesome way to explore a town. I really think it’s about the headspace you are creating for why you are staying fit. It’s to keep my head and heart fit, and the body sort of just follows suit when my head and heart are in the right place.

 

2.   What do you think about vegetarian/vegan/raw food diets? Do you follow any of them?

I tried the vegetarian thing for 8 months a few years ago, and it was great, I really got to discover food in a new way. I realized though that I really love meat and so does my body, in moderation. When I do eat meat I try to make sure it’s responsibly fed and cared for, and try to keep the portions smaller than my iPhone. I also discovered a year and a half ago that I am gluten intolerant, like severely intolerant. So that changed my diet for sure and I got to explore so many news foods because my old go-to’s were basically plates of gluten ha. Now I have incorporated a lot more raw fruits and veggies because I know you get more nutrients from them that way, un-processed foods, and more fish and meat.

I think there are a ton of benefits to being a vegetarian, vegan, or following a raw diet. But when it comes down to it I think everyone’s body is different and no one way works for everyone. I think everyone needs to listen to the needs of their own body and try to nourish it in the best way for them, not necessarily following a strict regime and that is what I try to do and sometimes that means no meat, sometimes it means raw, sometimes it means I need a big bowl of ice cream. I just try to listen and love my body.

 

3. What sports do you practice on the road?

 

What sports don’t I practice would be easier. I started sports when I was young. I was into gymnastics at age 3 and then a select soccer team by the time I was 6. I will join in on anything when sports are involved. I usually seek out climbing, board sports of any kind (snowboarding, surfing, longboarding, wakeboarding), biking, swimming, yoga, and dancing. But I will join in on Frisbee, beach volleyball, a pick up game of soccer. To be honest I am usually on the road because I am going somewhere to do some sport of sport.

 

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4. Do you think mental or spiritual side is also important when staying fit? Is meditation close to you?

 

100% yes. I think it takes huge mental stamina to be traveling and still make time for a workout. But like I said I do it for the mental benefits but sometimes the internal debate I have with myself to just change to go workout is exhausting in and of itself haha. Meditation has been huge for me in that department. When I meditate I shut up my head and get to hear my body, I also find myself meditation when I am moving my body whether it’s yoga or a bike ride a mantra will usually pop up and carry me through the tougher movements. Meditation has been a game-changer for me. I used to be really weak mentally, sort of beating myself up with negative talk in the middle of a workout. Meditation not only taught me to quiet that nagging lying voice and gave me strength to tell myself something new over and over again until it sticks. So it’s sort of re-wired my brain for positivity and strength.

5. Your top 3 tips for other travelers to stay fit when traveling?

 

My number 1 tip is always to find ways to move your body that you absolutely love. Whether it’s swimming, biking, yoga, or dance make sure you love it. When you love it you look forward to doing it and working out isn’t a drag.

 

Number 2 would be to pack and wear clothes that you can walk around in and workout in. This has a few positive effects. One it leaves more space in your bag when clothes are multi-purpose. Two if you are intentional about making them for walking around and working out you’ll probably buy cuter workout clothes. When you have cute workout clothes you feel more confident and want to wear them. And most of all this makes it easier to participate in fun ways to move your body, and when the mood strikes to workout you are already dressed and ready to go.

 

And number 3 is just do it. Work it into your travels with fun excursions, explore a new city by bike, stay in a place with a gym or close to the beach. It’s easy to make happen and usually you get to experience a place with such new eyes when you are doing it from a fitness perspective and it’s a fun way to bond with locals or fellow travelers.

Interview with GlobetrotterGirls

dani and jess torres del paine
The GlobetrotterGirls are Dani and Jess, a German-American couple who set off to travel in 2010 and never looked back. The Girls run GlobetrotterGirls.com, a travel website sharing everything from inspiring travel stories to the hard-earned information and experience to help independent travelers plan and make the most of their own authentic adventures. They also host the Break Free podcast, are the authors of The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting and have just launched their GlobetrotterGirls Getaways, hosting small groups of like-minded independent travelers to explore destinations around the world, together.
dani and jess torres del paine

1. Honestly, do you find it hard to stay fit when traveling? If so, what is the biggest challenge for you?

Staying fit while traveling is definitely a challenge for us both. There are a few factors that play into the difficulty. First and foremost, fitness relies on at least some sort of a routine. When moving on each few days or even weeks, we need to locate ways and places to work out, healthy food/restaurants, etc. Also, because each hotel/hostel has a different vibe, sometimes getting enough sleep can be difficult as well. The hardest part is eating right, and this is usually because a. we want to try all the local foods – many of which tend to be some sort of fried dough and b. if we are traveling through places where drinking the water is not advisable, eating salads or fresh fruits and vegetables in general means risking getting bouts of traveler’s belly 🙂

 

 

2. What do you think about vegetarian/vegan/raw food diets? Do you follow any of them?

We are both vegetarians – I have been since birth and Dani since she was 12 years old. Neither of us could imagine ourselves eating meat, despite how much easier this would be on the road. We don’t follow a vegan or raw diet, and I can imagine this would make travel all the more difficult. I am sensitive to gluten and avoiding bread and pasta is already a big enough challenge!

 

3. What sports do you practice on the road?

This depends where we are traveling and what is available to us. Dani is a runner, so whenever we are somewhere where she feels comfortable, she throws her shoes on and takes off for an hour or so. But in small colonial towns with cobblestone roads, for example, running can be more difficult. I practice yoga wherever I am, and always have my mat with me. When we are somewhere with park space or doing a housesit where there is plenty of room indoors, we do Insanity whenever possible.

 

4. Do you think mental or spiritual side is also important when staying fit? Is meditation close to you?

This is a realization I’ve only had recently, but I think that the mental aspect of fitness is equally as important as the physical. Traveling has really lightened both our moods and our outlook on life, and that has helped tremendously in terms of our mental health – we have an appreciation for our lives now that went totally overlooked when focused on the day to day slog of our previous jobs, no matter how long we used to spend in the gym. When every day is something new and an adventure, it makes us feel like we are really living. Neither of us meditate – unless you count sitting still for 20 hours on bus rides!

 

5. Your top 3 tips for other travelers to stay fit when traveling?

1. Find a form of exercise you can do that you really enjoy – that doesn’t take up much space – you can’t carry much more equipment with you than shoes and a yoga mat, for example.
2. In terms of eating – do the best you can do. You can’t always eat right, plus where is the fun in that? You need to try the local foods and every once in a while pizza and other comfort food is necessary for the soul. But on a daily basis, make 80% of your food choices as healthy as possible, and leave the other 20% for the fun stuff.
3. Drink water. Lots of it. Between walking miles around a city, hiking or other outdoor adventures and of course the drinking that goes along with socializing and meeting people, making sure to drink enough water is really a key factor in maintaining health and wellness. To reduce plastic bottle waste, you can pickup a steripen which rids any local water of bacteria etc.

Interview with DJ Yabis

DJ Yabis runs one of the most fabulous European adventure blog, Dream Euro Trip. He is a self-proclaimed gourmand, music festival freak and loves traveling in style. He also helps his readers plan their dream eurotrips.

1. Honestly, do you find it hard to stay fit when traveling? If so, what is the biggest challenge for you?

 

Before, yes because I was generally lazy. But now I enjoy walking and do a lot of adventure activities when traveling so it sure beats seating at home. I think the biggest challenge is always a change in mindset. If you can change the way you see fitness, then you can definitely stay fit while traveling easily.

 

2. What do you think about vegetarian/vegan/raw food diets? Do you follow any of them?

I like my delicious dead animals so I try to balance my diet with meat, fresh vegetable and fruits. I am more a Paleo person than a vegetarian ;D

3. What sports do you practice on the road?

Swimming mostly and walking (if you can call it a sport!)

4. Do you think mental or spiritual side is also important when staying fit? Is meditation close to you?

Totally. As I mentioned in my first answer, your mindset will be your biggest challenge. I’ve never tried meditation though but would love to!

5. Your top 3 tips for other travelers to stay fit when traveling?

1. Walk if you can!
2. Eat fresh local food (avoid processed stuff and fast food!)
3. Easy on the alcohol!

 

Interview with Jeff Johns

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Jeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. His true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you’d like to get ahold of them, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

 

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1. Honestly, do you find it hard to stay fit when traveling? If so, what is the biggest challenge for you?

I always feel better when I have a good routine, and traveling is one of the best ways to ruin that! While traveling can be unpredictable, hectic and exhausting, it is possible to make your fitness a priority and make sure you feel healthy and energized during your whole holiday. The biggest challenge for me is finding the best time of day to work in a quick workout. Usually I opt for an early morning jog, which is the best time for me to workout – unless of course we are out late the night before! If running is not an option (but seriously, you can run anywhere), there are some easy in home workouts you don’t need anything but your own boy weight to complete.

2. What do you think about vegetarian/vegan/raw food diets? Do you follow any of them?

While I do not follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, some of the best foods I have eaten on the road have been vegetarian or vegan, such as in Nepal and India where most of the population does not eat meat. I think that the most important thing to staying healthy on the road, or at home, is to know your body, eat when you know you need and make sure that it is of high quality.
 

3. What sports do you practice on the road?

I love playing basketball, but rarely am I able to find a basketball court while traveling. I stick to running, as you can really do it anywhere, and it is as easy as stepping outside. Running is great because it allows you to get some exercise and explore the surroundings around you. Before we moved to Phuket, I registered to run the Phuket International Half Marathon, which was a blast and helped me stick to my running routine during the first three months living abroad.
JeffJohns_Latitude34

4. Do you think mental or spiritual side is also important when staying fit? Is meditation close to you?

Mental and spiritual strength is very important when staying fit, where you’ve got to put mind over matter. Especially while traveling, maintaining mentally strong is critical to staying fit. Plans easily change, your diet can go out of the window and it is really easy to throw it all out and loose your momentum. While I don’t meditate much, I do make certain that I spend portions of each day without technology. While we work online and it takes a lot of work to run Latitude 34, our travel blog, I have to take a time out away from the articles, posts, tweets and all that to breathe in the fresh air and realize where I am.

5. Your top 3 tips for other travelers to stay fit when traveling?

For me, the most important things to help me stay fit on the road are to always bring my running shoes, to wake up early no matter what and to make sure I find yogurt wherever I am to start my day out with a healthy breakfast and help my tummy manage the change in diets.

 

Interview with Jessica Festa

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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie on a Journey.

 

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1. Honestly, do you find it hard to stay fit when traveling? If so, what is the biggest challenge for you?

 

It depends on where I am. When I’m in a place where I have access to a lot of fresh, healthy foods I find it easier than, say, when I was in Peru and the food consisted of a lot of starches and multi-course meals. The biggest challenge for me is staying on a budget while still eating healthy. Many times the cheapest option — which is usually what I would like to go for when I’m backpacking — isn’t the healthiest option. Sometimes it’s worth it to spend a little extra to eat something healthier.

 

2. What do you think about vegetarian/vegan/raw food diets? Do you follow any of them?

 

I was a  pescaterian  for 10 years, although now I eat meat. I think these diets can be healthy when done correctly and with a varied diet; however, as someone who writes heavily about food I think it’s important for me to be able to try all kinds of dishes in the places I visit. For me, I feel best when I incorporate meats into my diet that are sustainably and morally farmed.

 

3. What sports do you practice on the road?

 

Some of my biggest active passions – both home and on the road – are running, cycling, hiking and kayaking. When you’re in a city, cycling and walking can allow you to see more and really feel the beat of the city. It also helps you stay fit. Runseeing — or sightseeing while running — is another trend that can help you explore a city while staying fit. Additionally, getting outside of a city to hike or paddle is a great way to explore a more natural side of a destination while staying active.

 

4. Do you think mental or spiritual side is also important when staying fit? Is meditation close to you?

 

Absolutely! I try to meditate when possible, although it can be hard to fit in time to do this everyday. I’m working on it, though. This can be an excellent tool for helping you to evaluate your health and listen to the needs of your body without distraction.

 

5. Your top 3 tips for other travelers to stay fit when traveling?

 

For my top 3 tips, I would say:

1. Explore local culture in a more active way by taking classes that incorporate movement: dance classes, martial arts courses, horseback riding, sailing, walking tours, etc. Try to do something that really pertains to the destination, for example, samba classes in Brazil or karate in Okinawa, so you’re also getting a truly cultural experience.

2. Book an accommodation with a kitchen. This will allow you to purchase fresh, natural ingredients from local markets and cook your own healthy meals.

3. Travel with a Thera Band. These elastic workout bands take up essentially no space in your luggage and allow you to exercise almost any part of your body. This is a great tool for a workout you can do in your hotel room.

Interview with Brian and Noelle

Brian and Noelle at the top of the Cho La Pass during the Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal

Brian and Noelle are an Irish couple set out to explore new places, have amazing adventures and live a life of travel! They have built their lives around the idea of visiting as many countries and experiencing as many different cultures as they can. Through their website they share their travel stories, photos and tips with you as they continue wandering on.

Brian and Noelle after hiking to the top of Indonesia's tallest volcano, Mount Kerinci in Sumatra.

after hiking to the top of Indonesia’s tallest volcano, Mount Kerinci in Sumatra

1. Honestly, do you find it hard to stay fit when traveling? If so, what is the biggest challenge for you?

 

It is always a challenge to stay fit when travelling but if it is important to you, you can always find a way. When you’re travelling every day is different, one day you could be sightseeing in a city, the next day all day on a bus or a train and the next rafting or hiking somewhere. While this variety is what we love about travelling, it can also be one of the biggest challenges to exercising, you have no fixed routine and so you have to take your chances when they come.

 

2. What do you think about vegetarian/vegan/raw food diets? Do you follow any of them?

 

We have no problem with vegetarian or vegan diets but we don’t follow them. We think we could quite happily live without meat and have done for extended periods before, particularly in Nepal. There are power outages everyday and so refrigeration of meat can be an issue, to avoid any chance of getting sick we stuck to a mostly vegetarian diet. In that part of the world it’s really easy to eat vegetarian as a lot of the locals follow a vegetarian diet for religious reasons and the food is really good!

 

3. What sports do you practice on the road?

 

We like to keep as active as we can when we travel. We love to go hiking which is a great workout, Brian surfs any chance he gets and Noelle practices yoga when she gets the opportunity. Just being on your feet all day, sightseeing, waking to view points, exploring a new place, it all helps with staying fit and healthy. If at all possible we’ll walk rather than taking a taxi or a bus, it keeps costs down and you see things you otherwise wouldn’t.

 

Brian and Noelle at the top of the Cho La Pass during the Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal

at the top of the Cho La Pass during the Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal

 

4. Do you think mental or spiritual side is also important when staying fit? Is meditation close to you?

Meditation is something we’ve never really gotten into, practicing yoga would be the closest thing we do in terms of a mental side to exercise. Getting out in the mountains and hiking is a great way to switch off and be in the moment, a kind of meditation in itself.

 

Brian and Noelle at the summit of Hallasan, South Korea's Highest mountain, located on Jeju Island, South Korea

Hallasan, South Korea’s Highest mountain, located on Jeju Island, South Korea

5. Your top 3 tips for other travelers to stay fit when traveling?

 

1. Be mindful of staying active. You don’t have to get up and run everyday but if an opportunity comes up to do a yoga class, go rafting, do a hike or whatever, then go for it. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be a lot of fun, especially when you’re travelling.

2. Eat healthy. Often when travelling on a budget, people will eat whatever local food is cheapest and a lot of the time this is deep fried, unhealthy rubbish food. Spend a little more on the healthier option and enjoy what you’re eating. Go to local markets to buy fruit and vegetables, they are usually super cheap and you can mix with the local people while you’re at it.

3. Drink plenty of water. Be extra mindful of this in hotter climates, when the weather is warmer you should drink even more to stay properly hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle to save on money and do your bit for the environment too.

 

Interview with Agness Walewinder

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Agness Walewinder is a Polish travel blogger who has been travelling and living in different Asian countries since 2011. She is well known for travelling the world for less than $25 per day and she shares her tricks and tips with the readers of her blog called eTramping.com. Moreover, she is a food lover obsessed with Chinese cuisine, yoga passionate, life enthusiast and photography freak.

 

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1. Honestly, do you find it hard to stay fit when traveling? If so, what is the biggest challenge for you?

I’m a real foodie. I love to eat, but at the same time I want to be healthy and fit. It’s hard to combine those two things especially when you travel so I must admit that being in a good shape on the road is difficult for me. I am not able to cook my favourite healthy meals on my own so I often need to rely on local food which is mostly deep-fried in China. There is not much time to do my daily workout either when I am busy with sightseeing and blogging. Thirdly and most importantly, there are so many temptations around (cakes and fatty food) and your friends screaming “C’mon! You gotta try it!” while licking their sticky fingers are not helping at all! However, there are always some local markets from where I can grab some fresh fruits and veggies and have them for my snack so it’s not too bad.
Right now I’m working and living in Dongguan, Dalang in China. My job as an English teacher in one of Chinese kindergartens requires me to do a lot of jumping and hopping with my students so I burn a lot of calories every day and I can catch up with local sweets and delicacies without gaining any extra weight when travelling :).

2. What do you think about vegetarian/vegan/raw food diets? Do you follow any of them?

Although I don’t eat much meat weekly, I love raw fruits (bananas, mangoes, kiwi fruits) and veggies (chopped carrots with hummus and pumpkin sticks) I would probably never go 100% vegetarian/vegan or follow the raw diet. The reason being, I strongly believe that my body needs and craves different types of food, all in moderation of course, in order to function properly. I used to restrict myself from consuming carbs and ended up binging on food so I’ve learnt my lesson and I keep my current diet well-balanced. Fruits and veggies will be always my best friends and they play a major role in my busy daily schedule, but I can’t imagine my week without indulging in a freshly baked salmon or grilled chicken breasts.
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Collage 1 – Top left – sliced banana, dried kiwi and plums with some cashew nuts sprinkled with cinnamon, Top Right – Steamed carrot and eggplant, Bottom left – gluten free pancakes with goji berries and sliced grapefruit, Bottom right – a plate of fresh fruits
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Collage 2 – Top left – porridge with dried fruits, nuts and cinnamon, Top right – Bananas with peanut butter and goji berries, Bottom left – gluten free fruit cake with goji berries, Bottom right – banana and mango smoothie.

3. What sports do you practice on the road?

I am a runner and I go jogging very often (at least 4 times a week). That’s definitely the easiest cardio workout for me and most convenient when traveling. You just put your shorts and top on, turn on your mp3 player and start running – as simple as that. I also do a lot of yoga in the morning before having my breakfast. I stretch all my body and get physically and mentally ready for a busy day in Chinese kindergarten.
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4. Do you think mental or spiritual side is also important when staying fit? Is meditation close to you?

Of course it’s important! Your body often follows your mind so you need to make sure you stay calm and positive throughout the day. There are so many health benefits of meditation scientifically proven such as:
  • It appears to boost immunity in recovering cancer patients.
  • It helps you keep emotional balance.
  • It increases fertility.
  • It lowers blood pressure.

I’ve been practicing meditation for over a year and I’ve seen many benefits in my own life, such as an improvement in key relationships in my life, as well as my overall health improving. I have definitely more ideas for my blog and new posts on how to travel the world for less than $25.

 

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5. Your top 3 tips for other travelers to stay fit when traveling?

1) Drink a lot of water and try to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. It’s gonna be much healthier and cheaper for you, believe me!

2) Stick to fresh fruits and veggies ( local fruits shakes are amazing), nuts and lean fish/meat. Eat as clean as possible, but don’t forget to treat yourself with some nice local delicacies.

3) Do at least 20 minutes of cardio every day and practice some yoga before going to sleep. Try to move as much as possible, so forget the cab, walk everywhere!