For many gay men, keeping in shape is just part of our everyday lives. Many of us are a little obsessed with the way we look. We shoot for perfection and usually settle for a decent level of fitness. Call it vain, call it a flaw of our nature, call it whatever you’d like. But the label doesn’t change the fact that many gay men really care about the way they look. In my book, to keep fit means to care about oneself.
I didn’t use to care so much. I basically could get by on my natural looks for most of my life. But that changed when I came into my mid 20s. I noticed my metabolism slowing just a bit and what I eat really has more of an effect on my health and my weight. So a while ago, I decided I needed to focus more on becoming fit and healthy. Now, it’s just part of my lifestyle. I go to the gym 6 days a week and personal training twice a week. I also (try to) watch what I eat and consume relatively healthy, wholesome foods. The results have been noticeable. My body has changed for the better and I definitely feel healthier and have more energy. Looking decent at the beach is just an added perk!
But when I am on the road, how do I stay fit? I mean at home I have a personal trainer and consistent access to gym equipment. That isn’t always the case while traveling. Despite not having constant access to gym equipment, fitness and health have to take priority.
How can anyone travel the world if they aren’t healthy and energetic?
To stay healthy and fit, you don’t really need a lot of gym equipment. If you have access to that then awesome! But, in reality, you can make sure you are keeping fit in a variety of other ways. Of course, it always be easier to do at your gym at home where you are comfortable and have a routine. But if you are planning to travel for any substantial amount of time, thinking about your health every so often is probably in your best interests.
Here are 6 tips to help you mind your health!
It can be difficult to eat healthy while your traveling sometime. A lot of people eat out at restaurants quite often while on the road. But there is another way. Treat the place where you are traveling as if you are at home. You most likely wouldn’t dine out everyday at home. So take a little time to explore the markets and small grocery shops of the area. While in Europe, we often purchase meats, cheeses, fruits, and veggies for breakfasts, dinners, and late night snacks. The core of health is food…so think about what you’re putting in your body even while you are traveling.
2) Being Active
This usually goes without saying but be active. Instead of taking a cab to get to that attraction 10 blocks away, walk. Walk as much as you can. If you are constantly on the move while you travel then you are already making sure you are doing some physical activity. Go for a hike and explore your destinations natural wonders. Rent a bike and explore a city. Take dance or martial arts classes depending on where you are at a given time. There are tons of active attractions so make it happen and keep fit!
3) Work Out
This seems pretty obvious but make the effort to work out. Sure, you might not have access to a gym but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Learn some routines that require minimal to no equipment. Whenever you visit a city, quickly look on Google Maps to find a local park where you can do a quick workout. No matter where you are, you should be able to find the time to work out every so often and keep fit.
If you don’t feel like doing a full-on workout, then do cardio drills. Swimming, biking, and running are all good options to make sure you are active. You can combine these with a workout or do them on their own. I’d also throw burpees, chest taps, and ab exercises into the mix. You don’t need anything but your body to do cardio workouts (with the exception of swimming which you obviously need a body of water for).
5) Small Equipment
You can’t bring a whole squat machine or a set of dumbbells but you might be able to fit something smaller into your bag. Try packing a jump rope, a resistance band, and a heart monitor. Personally, I hate using a heart monitor but it can definitely help you gauge your workout. As for the other stuff, they take up almost no room and can up your travel work out game. Keep fit!
6) Have Fun
While you’re traveling, it can be very difficult to motivate yourself to actually do any kind of physical activity that isn’t fun. When we travel, even if we travel as a job, we tend have a mindset of relaxation and fun. Perhaps, take a leisurely jog through the city and take mental notes of things you see that you can explore more later. Create your own challenge so that you feel a little competitive and actually complete your workouts. No matter what, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re traveling after all and it shouldn’t be a task. As long as you are making some effort, you should be fine and keep fit.
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