At first glance, travel and fitness might seem like strange bedfellows. But on closer inspection, they are a natural pairing. Depending on the type of travel you are doing, that paring will take a bit of work to demonstrate.

After all, vacations are sometimes specifically for relaxing and eating. Overindulgence in the bad things and moderation with the good things is the order of the day for such trips. Coming back home from such a vacation is the time many people hit the gym.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Every trip (even the lazy ones) offer all manner of opportunity for fitness, a lot of which happens quite by accident. There are numerous ways to stay fit while enjoying yourself on vacation. The keys are being mindful of fitness opportunities and doing the slightest bit of planning.

What you need to know is that staying fit while you travel is not a chore. It is a natural occurrence with many types of travel and is easily worked into other types. Here is why travel and fitness go together like sand and sandals:

There Is Always Something to Explore

Traveling is about exploring. Even when it is business travel, there is always something new to see. The next time you see a pair of military combat boots for sale, you might want to grab a pair for that next trip you have planned.

Your only hike may be down the boulevard. But if you have the right footwear and want to add a little fitness to your trip, you could also explore something a little more interesting. Head out to the woods and get a closer look at nature.

Even if shopping is your goal, nothing is more natural than walking and shopping. Perhaps yours is a beach vacation. The greatest treasure you will find while walking on the beach is the exercise you will get while doing it. There are all kinds of ways to take a hike. And they are all natural parts of traveling.

Photo Safari

These days, no one travels without a camera. Your camera might well be one of the best fitness devices you take with you. Gamers are starting to realize that Pokemon Go is secretly the best exercise app out there. And that is just a game that uses your smartphone’s camera to walk around and catch nonexistent digital creatures.

Some people actually travel to take part in Pokemon meetups. But you don’t have to be tricked into using your camera for exercise. Just walk around and take lots of pictures of interesting things. You can go on your own. Or you can go on group photo safaris that you can find in every location where tourism thrives.

Go for the amazing pictures you will have for a lifetime. Stay for the fitness you are gaining along the way.

Eat Local

For the most part, when you travel, eating local means eating fresh. Ans eating fresh is usually better, healthier. You don’t go halfway around the world for a Big Mac and fries. You go for the pad Thai salad, the caesar’s pizza soup, and the spanakopita meatballs with tzatziki.

Along the way, you might even pick up a healthy habit or two. In Japan, the smaller portions are a good idea in general. In China, chopsticks serve the healthy purpose of eating slower and less. From the Mediterranean region, we get foods with lots of fruits, legumes, grains, and vegetables.

In Sweden, you get a lot of rye bread as opposed to white or wheat. One benefit is that rye is higher in fiber. Another is that it tends to keep you fuller for a longer period of time.

France offers a most interesting set of lessons because French cuisine is not particularly interested in health, but pleasure. Yet despite this fact, the French tend to have lower rates of obesity and heart disease than Americans. Eating local doesn’t just mean eating healthy. It means learning healthy lessons.

If travel makes you more tired, more lethargic, malnourished, and dyspeptic, then you’re doing it wrong. Good travel is one of the healthiest things you can do. With all the hiking, photo hunting, shopping, beach combing, and local cuisine, you should come home happier, healthier, and more refreshed.

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