Living life abroad means a world of new. New foods, new activities, new cultural norms, and new routines. With all this newness, it’s no wonder why it can be so difficult for nomads to stick to a balanced diet and fitness routine.
Fortunately, Sharita Jennings from Sweat Season, fellow nomad and certified fitness coach who works on creating online fitness workouts for digital nomads, has decided to share sharing her 5 tried-and-true tips to help you get back to (or start for the very first time) your healthy lifestyle.
We’ll let Sharita take it away from there.
Get Familiar with Your Local Grocery Store
When you’re living abroad, particularly in countries where your money can stretch as far as the eye can see, you may no longer see a need to pay a regular visit to your local super market. However, purchasing your own groceries, even if it’s just for snacks and small meals, can give you greater control over what you consume. As head chef of your household, you decide portion sizes, amounts of oil, salt, sugar and everything else that restaurants may go crazy with in the name of taste.
If you’re not a cook and prefer to venture out for your meals, you can still use your trip to the grocery store to purchase the foods that may be missing from your restaurant diet.
Consider buying fruit to have between meals, a few servings of vegetables, like broccoli and zucchini that you can whip up in just a few minutes in the afternoon, and additional sources of protein like almonds and eggs to make sure you get enough to support your active days.
Keeping your fridge stocked will also keep you from making less-than-healthy choices when hunger strikes. So be sure to stock up on your favorite healthy munchies and things you can take with you on the go.
Get Active at the Same Time Each Day
Once you leave the comforts of home for a life abroad, that typically means leaving your daily routines behind as well. A great first step to reestablishing a healthy routine is to do something active at the same time every day (or at least several days a week). The time of day isn’t important, so long as you can block the same time out for the foreseeable future. After you keep this going for a few weeks (21 days is usually a great start), you can reprogram your brain to make your active time become second-nature and requiring less effort to leave the house to get a move on.
Challenge yourself now to find 4 days a week to be active for at least one hour. You can go for an active walk (rather than a stroll), a jog, a bike ride, hit the gym, or try follow along with a Get Fit Like That workout online! Anything that gets your heart pumping and makes you break a sweat is perfect.
Don’t Slack on Your Sleep
Life away from home can make tempting to stay out all night just to experience your new surroundings as much as possible. Of course, a few long nights are worth the sacrifice of sleep in exchange for lifelong memories. However, if this becomes your norm and you also jump out of bed at the crack of dawn, you stand to put your body at greater risk of illness, lack of focus and energy. You know yourself and your sleep needs better than anyone, so aim to get that perfect amount of sleep (around 7-10 hours) as often as possible.
Planning to attend a local festival or event soon? Plan to sleep in a bit more after a late night so that you can live your best life the next day. Or, if you know work or travel will have you waking up earlier then usual, plan to move your bedtime up a bit to make up for those early mornings.
Your good sleep habits will also help you stick to your regular routine to get moving and make healthier food choices (sleepy people crave lots of junk food).
Make Your Workouts Portable
When its time to get your regular workouts in, you don’t need a gym or any complex equipment to have an effective sweat session. To boost your strength, you can invest in a set of mini resistance bands that you can easily pack with you and store in small living spaces. These bands can be used for lower and upper body exercises, in place of weights or machines. You can even purchase a set with a variety of resistance levels to challenge yourself more.
For cardio, you can invest in the world’s smallest piece of cardio equipment: a jump rope. This innocent piece of equipment can help you increase your heart rate and boost your endurance in just a few minutes a day. Set a goal to do 10 minutes straight of jump roping without stopping, or do 10 minutes with 1 minute breaks between each round.
Keep Your Hydration on High
No matter where on the globe you call home, getting plenty of water is key to living your healthiest nomad life. When you stay hydrated, you keep your immune system working like the powerful disease-fighting-machine it is.
Keeping your water intake high can also boost your brain power, helping you stay focused while working abroad. Water also aids in digestion so that you can handle that special cuisine of your new home. In addition, guzzling down water can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight, even when you over indulge in a few local delicacies from time to time.
When abroad, you may have to be more intentional about maintaining a healthy water intake. If you live in a country with clean tap water, invest in an environmentally safe water bottle and fill up whenever you can.
If water isn’t so safe to drink from the tap, look into more advanced water bottles that serve as water purification systems so that you can still hydrate when you’re on the move.
How much water should you drink each day, you ask? That depends. My general advice (which may or may not apply to you: always check with your physician) is to drink 64 – 100 ounces of water a day, depending on your activity level, and even perspiration levels (looking at you Thailand, and other humid destinations).
Do those five things and you will be off to a good start!
Do you have any health and fitness advice for digital nomads of your own? Let us know in the comments!