So, I’m probably going to sound like your Mum now! Will try really hard not to though…
Anyway, staying fit and healthy whilst backpacking is important. Being on the road can be tough on you’re body. You don’t want illness to spoil your fun! That could ruin your trip. However, chances are, especially on a long trip, you will get ill at some point. I was ill twice on my gap year, not severely, but enough for it to be annoying! So after you’ve had your jabs and got your insurance, here are five ways to help you to healthy on the road.
Keeping hydrated is so important. Especially in hot and humid climates or when you’re doing a lot of physical activities.You should be aiming for at least two litres a day. Water is so important to the human body, we’re 60% water! Water helps your body to get rid of toxins, lubricate your joints, regulate your body temperature and transport nutrients around your body, to name just a few functions! I always carry a refillable bottle of water with me. If tap water is not safe to drink, either buy water or a way of making tap water safe, such as purification tablets.
Hostels normally have kitchens, so cooking fresh is easy! Great for your body and your budget (just don’t eat noodles for every meal). Cooking healthy isn’t difficult. Why not get a group and cook a ‘family meal’ every now and again? Make sure you are getting plenty of fruit, vegetables and protein. Avoid junk food, fast food chains and alcohol. (I’m not saying completely, but every day will take it’s toll on your health). In some countries it may be cheaper to eat out, if that is the case (or you want to eat out for a change) eat where the locals eat. The food will be better quality. If you want snacks for during the day and long journeys, take healthy snacks. Not just crisps and chocolate. I find this easy on the road, as on a budget you realise just how expensive these treats are!
Another one I find incredibly easy on the road, to a point. The easiest way to get exercise is to walk. Everywhere. It’s a great way to explore a new city too. And great for your budget! Some hostels may rent bikes, another great way to get some exercise and see the city. Run if you can and try everything. Hike, swim, kayak. Stretch in your room or try Yoga. You can use outdoor gyms and even playgrounds to keep your strength up! Why not try local exercise classes (especially if you’re in a place for a while) and see how the locals stay fit? Surfing in Australia, Muay Thai in Thailand, you get the idea!
4.Get Your Beauty Sleep
This can be difficult! There’s so much to see and do, why waste it sleeping? You can do that on the bus right? All well and good for a short trip, but not for a long time. Try to get eight hours a night. I’m not saying don’t party hard, just make sure you get enough sleep the next day! If you have trouble sleeping in a dorm room, try earplugs and eye masks. Occasionally it may even be worth splashing out on a private room to get some shut-eye.
5.Wash Your Hands
Ok. Now I really do sound like your Mum! But this is so important. Make sure you are washing your hands before you eat, after ‘doing your business’. You never know what you may pick up when outdoors, using communal facilities. Make sure you use plenty of soap and water, rinse well and dry properly. At the very least always carry some hand gel with you.
I’m not saying these tips will keep you completely illness free on your trips, but they are good precautions to help. You don’t want illness to ruin you adventure! I’ve seen many backpackers that don’t look after themselves on the road and then end up stuck somewhere for a few weeks that they didn’t plan. Don’t let it happen to you!
Do you have anymore tips for staying healthy as a backpacker on the road?