Travelling is a lot of fun, but it can also lead to weight gain. There are a lot of delicious foods and yummy local wines to sample and it’s hard to keep up an exercise routine. Your nomadic lifestyle will make it impossible to join a gym and it’s hard to carry any exercise or sports equipment in your backpack. One of the best habits I have found for staying healthy and active is running while travelling.
Running is great hobby for travelers because you can do it anywhere. Whether you are running along the canals in Amsterdam, down National Park trails in Canada or along Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janiero, all you need is a pair of trainers and a set of headphones. There’s no need to find a new gym in every destination or sign up for a class, you can simply put your shoes on no matter where you are and head out the door.
However, this portable form of exercise doesn’t just keep you fit and help you burn calories, it offers you a lot of other benefits as well.
You’ll See More of Your Surroundings
When I go running while travelling in a destination, it’s also a chance to explore my surroundings and experience them with all my senses. I’ve run on long dusty roads in the desert in Chile, through lush rainforest parks in Australia, on beaches in Brazil and through many other gorgeous settings. As I run, my eyes are wide open and I am admiring the beauty all around me.
You’ll Get a Lay of the Land
As well as getting to see more of your destination,running while travelling somewhere new will help you to orient yourself to your surroundings. You will be able to see where things are and you might even spot some interesting shops or attractions you want to visit. You can make a mental note of where they are so that you can return to them later when you are sightseeing.
Running Has Mental Benefits
Many people see running as a type of moving meditation – a chance to clear their mind, de-stress and improve their focus. There have been numerous studies showing how cardiovascular exercise, such as running, is very beneficial for the brain. This is very helpful when you are travelling the world, so you can be mentally sharp and prepared for any curveball that your journey might throw at you.
You’ll Have More Energy
What better way to beat jet lag and fatigue than to head out the door and go for a run? Physical exercise improves your energy levels and will give you more oomph, so that you can explore more and make the most of your travels.
Running While Travelling Safety Tips
- Ask the locals about which neighbourhoods are safe to go running in and which ones you should avoid.
- Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the country you are in. In conservative countries, such as in many parts of Asia and the Middle East, running in tiny shorts and a crop top will ensure many unwanted stares.
- Watch out for uneven or broken pavement in third world countries. Sidewalks are not always well maintained everywhere in the world.
- Check on Google Maps to find a park or running trail near you, or ask the locals about the best place to run.
- Get out of bed and run in the early morning. The streets will be less crowded, it will be cooler and you’ll have accomplished your exercise before breakfast!