For starters…avoid injuries. Splitting my knee open was the beginning of a bad 2 month spell for me. Prior to that I had been running daily in Australia. I must say, it’s not ideal to run daily when staying in hostels for a few reasons…your stuff stinks, and you need to air it out but you share a room with 7 strangers, you’re the only one going…coming back after 1km still seems like an accomplishment, you are going to have to do laundry more often…which in AUS/NZ is an 8 dollar setback each time. BUT I will say, that I have had the most fun, taken the most photos, and been most keen to try new things when I’ve been fit and feeling good about myself.
I’ve been doing pretty well for the last few weeks in New Zealand, but only running a couple times a week…here are a few tips on getting active (For cheap) regularly while living a nomadic lifestyle…or just going to Mexico.
1. WALK. Seriously…I walked 23km yesterday. I saw more of Auckland than on the $40 grey haired bus, got to stop when and where I wanted. Got to window shop 10s of sweet cafes for lunch and eat it looking over the whole of downtown. All in all I burned around 1200 calories yesterday (Auckland has nasty hills)…and didn’t feel like I was ‘working out’ at all. Free and easy. Check sites like Mapmyrun to see run/walk routes people have already taken…or just ask the info centre where the bus usually goes and follow a route. 20km can take less than 6 hours…it’s actually great time to reflect if you’re travelling alone.
2. lululemon athletica. I am going to free yoga tonight at the Britomart location, and free bootcamp tomorrow at the Ponsonby location AND (for the traveller) they supply mats and/or equipment!! Every non-factory outlet lululemon has free in store classes (or should)…and if they aren’t hosting them they should have passes (free or $5 ish) to other local studios. They should also be able to tell you great runs in the area…be ware of being distracted by 100 pants….it defeats the `cheap workout` purpose…
3. Trial Weeks. Yoga studios (like when I went to Bikram Noosa) will usually have some sort of first week or 3 classes for less than 20 dollars…which is all you ever need when travelling! Also, gyms will usually give you a week for 20 bucks as well…especially if you find ones that are new to the area. I am trying out a gym called lifestyle fitness on a FREE 7day trial in Auckland at the moment!
4. YouTube. 8 minute abs, buns, thighs, arms, back….my heroes thanks to my old roommate Jenny. I’m pretty sure they have all sorts of other exercise programs, but whether you watch and go, or just write down the sequences they are quick [not that embarassing] exercises you can do in your dorm room or at a park close by that dont require weights, and will keep your muscles working without leaving drenched bootcamp style.
5. Take Away containers. Buy one, recycle one…whatever the case, always have one accessible. I find backpacking, it’s excruciating to throw away food…even if it rotting from the inside out. For that reason, before I had my container I was always over eating just out of ‘not wasting food’. Have a container around and spread out small meals…it will make you more comfortable on those nasty bus rides if you don’t eat the whole bag of pasta first anyhow.
6. WATER. Yes, common sense…but it’s free…it keeps you hydrated so you aren’t to tired or lazy to do day long walks or hikes, and it helps you not over-eat. Never mind the fact that you don’t want sun stroke to ruin your limited time in a location.
7. Take the stairs. It may seem minimal…but even if you’re on the 8th floor…if stairs are accessible, take them…if you’re in a shopping centre skip the escalator. I’m not saying run them, or do doubles…you can even walk really slow and pretend to be on the phone if it makes you feel better. Every little bit counts when your travelling. It is extra cardio-and tones those glutes!
8. Long walks on the beach. Walk in the dry sand, get your calves an extra work out. And for the sake of everyone else laying on the beach…DON’T wear your flip flops! On this not of beaches…if you’re near one, go often. My worst month of staying fit was when I was working then partying constantly and didn’t hit the beach for 25 days….day 26-30 was self pity and denial…but having to be in a bikini definitely sparked motivation for me to get it together.
So thanks to the meatheads from Minnesota that I’ve been sharing a room with for the last few days….as they had no interest in hearing about where to travel or what to do…but only how to stay in shape. “You weigh less than 200lbs. hey?” “I’d hope so” “is that lots for a chick? …if I can’t find a gym can I press you?” “no?” “Come on, you’re hot, and I need to stay hot” “was asking if I was 200lbs a pick up line” “yeah…well, and I do need to press something” ……welcome to hostel life.