Are you preparing for a backpacking adventure? Besides buying a guidebook, packing your bag and booking your flights, your travel preparation checklist should also include working out.
Let’s face it; while traveling is a lot of fun it is brutally hard on the body. Jet lag numbs your brain, cramped airplane seats stiffen your muscles, strange food confuses your digestive system and heat, humidity and sensory overload leave you exhausted at the end of the day.
Being in shape while traveling will help your body to handle the rigors of travel and enable you to enjoy the experience more.
(By being in shape I don’t mean that you have to be a body builder or an Olympic athlete. I’m talking about a decent level of cardiovascular fitness, strong muscles and a healthy body weight. )
Here are some of the reasons why being in shape while traveling will improve your next worldwide adventure:
Advantages of Being in Shape While Traveling
Carrying Your Stuff When You Need To
You arrive at the train station in Paris, London or Rome and it is a 35 minute walk to your hostel according to Google maps. Could you walk the entire way carrying your backpack without collapsing on the sidewalk in exhaustion? If not, you will have to wait in the queue for a taxi and pay some of your hard earned travel money to get where you need to go.
Not only will staying in shape while traveling allow you to walk comfortably for long distances while carrying your backpack and save you money on taxi and bus fares, it will also mean that you have the freedom just to get moving instead of waiting for a ride.
Running For Last Minute Transportation
“Okay, which bus are we supposed to be on? Let me check the timetables… Number 14… and it leaves… RIGHT NOW!”
There are moments in your travels beyond your control when you will need to move like the wind at short notice in order to catch a train, bus or plane. Your stopover flight in Zurich might arrive late, requiring you to do a mad dash through the terminal to catch your connection to Rome. If you can’t accelerate to a full-out sprint from standing still, you could end up with a lot of missed travel connections.
A Strong Body Means a Stronger Immune System
According to several studies, being in an exercise routine actually improves your body’s immune system. Working out kick starts your T cells into action, a type of white blood cell that protects you from infections.
This is good news, because when you are traveling there are many opportunities to get sick, as you are in tight proximity with coughing strangers in transit and exposed to different illnesses in other countries than you would be back home.
More Energy and Stamina for Travel Adventures
If you only have two or three days in an amazing city during your travels, you want to make the most of every moment. However, you can’t enjoy a full day of sightseeing if your legs are tired by 2pm and you just want to go back to the hostel and rest.
Working out and staying in shape while traveling will build your stamina and enable you to do more for longer, so that you will be running around from ancient ruins to museum to restaurant to beach like an Energizer bunny without missing a single moment of the fun.
You’ll Look Better in Your Photos
Last but not least, besides all of the practical reasons, staying in shape while traveling will also help you look healthier, stronger and fitter in your travel photos. You might only visit Paris, Rio de Janerio, or Bangkok once in your life and you will look at your photos and share them with people for many years, so don’t you want to look your best?