Foreign Travel Can Be Fun
Overseas trips can be memorable experiences that last a lifetime. Yet there is a lot of work and effort to prepare for such a rigorous trip, that requires long distances of walking and stress. Whether going on a cruise, exploring Europe, seeing Asia, or vacationing in Mexico, these trips require enough preparation to truly enjoy them.
To make an overseas trip a memory you can look back on for a lifetime, preparing your body for the trip is an essential step.
How You Exercise Changes On a Trip
One of the best preparations for a long trip is to become physically fit through exercise. Long distances through airports, climbing stairs, in and out of public transportation, and simply exploring, will place a heavy demand on your body.
Exercise, both gentle and rigorous can help for overseas travel in ways such as:
- Greater stamina to explore more
- More wakefulness to experience each point of interest
- Better sleep
- Faster recovery from the transportation to and from your destination
- Recovery from travel hangover
- More energy throughout the entire trip
A study in the British Medical Journal showed substantial increases in stamina exist from simply walking, especially when done together in the company of friends (1).
An easy way to start is walking, daily.
7 Walking Exercise Routines You can Practice Before Your Trip
These walking routines can bring the focus on full-body movement, along with using muscles that rarely get used. By alternating and having variety in your exercise routine, you can keep it fun and enjoy the experience. This makes the preparation for a trip an experience in itself. Much of this focus is on walking, as it is the easiest way to start, can be done in many environments, and is effective. It is even better than running, or other rigorous exercise forms (2).
Overall, moderate walking should add up to 2.5 hours or more a week, to be truly effective for fitness, weight loss, and trip preparation. (3).
This is an easy start as you can do it from your home. Start with walking several blocks, 10-15 minute each session. Later, after a week, you can pick a destination on the edge of your neighborhood and walk round-trip to make it interesting.
Right after meals, especially early evening after dinner, a gentle walk will go a long way to help with digestion, as well as reducing the amount of carbohydrates that convert into fat. This is an excellent way to maintain weight and lose weight.
One-hour walks are essentially any walk you can do in roughly 60 minutes. Two or three times a week, these lengths of walks go far towards preparing for a typical 1-hour leg of a day on your upcoming overseas trip. On a trip, going through an airport, walking through a city to a destination, or simply going around a cruise ship, can all take about an hour. These 1-hour walks, whether in a park, in your local downtown, or a mini-hike, can be excellent preparation for your overseas travel.
Integrating into any of these walking routines, mix it up with a section of uphill walking. Inclines of up to 10% can give you the necessary resistance to add to heart cardio, which allows for greater blood pumping and breathing. This natural resistance will give much-needed walking strength training to prepare for long distances and difficult trips.
Gym treadmill and cardio
Mixing up your outdoor routines with going to the gym can help add variety to the fitness mix, and give you specialized focus for good exercise training. Treadmills have come a long way. Now with video screens, music, links to TV channels and adjustable terrain, a 20 minute brisk walk on a treadmill can easily go by quickly, with fun and enjoyment. Take advantage of these technological advancements and include treadmill and ski machines. This will add uniqueness and break up the monotony in your routine.
Half-day hikes are an excellent weekly activity to truly build endurance and strength for your body. Look for wilderness trails at regional state parks, forest service trails, BLM trailhead, or even a cross-city walk. A 3 hour round-trip walk has a high potential for resembling the average day in a long trip.
Half-day hikes can be short enough that you can make a rhythm of them on weekends and your off-days. Saturday mornings are often a popular day to do hikes like these, especially if you work a normal Monday-Friday job. If you are retired, take advantage of the weekdays, to avoid the crowds and have more personal space on your hikes. During the winter, consider hiking in the afternoon, when weather is warmest, and finish with an early healthy dinner.
Full-day hikes, being much longer than a half-day hike, are not essential but can be a good addition to your walking exercise routine in preparation for a long overseas trip. It does not have to be often, just one time, before your big trip. Pick a trail or a trail network, to plan a spectacular destination to achieve. It may be hiking up to the top of a mountain. It may be hiking to a waterfall, or walking along a riverwalk trail. Pick a major destination spot to rest, have lunch and enjoy some views and relaxation. And on your way back, you’ll start feeling the strength, calorie burn, and endurance build-up that can prepare your body for a long, rigorous trip.
Because of the length of these hikes, and the long distance of walking involved, preparation will make the hike smoother and more effective. Wear loose-fitting clothes with wicking fabric to help sweat evaporate, consider bringing walking poles, especially nordic walking poles for travel, and bring plenty of water and food.
The Fun and Preparation of Travel
Travelling across the world is an exciting adventure. Seeing a new country, a major city, or even a destination that you’ve already been to can give you memories, adventure and relaxation. The process of travelling, including the transportation, baggage preparation, what to bring, currency, and activities to plan, all are part of that excitement. You’ll enjoy the trip far more when you are physically fit, and in good health.
Enjoying the Trip Before and After
Our bodies are a major deciding factor if we will enjoy our trip, and recover well. For example, extra excursions are often foregone, because we are simply tired, jetlagged, and mentally exhausted. A simple walking plan, to develop a walking routine for travel, will prepare our bodies, minds and spirit for your next upcoming overseas adventure.
About the author: Mike Cutler writes on active senior lifestyles and is a healthy lifestyle Blogger as well as product tester for Earth Trek Gear. He lives with his family in Reno NV and enjoys going to the Sierra Nevada mountains for hiking and family activities.
- Hanson S, Jones AIs there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysisBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2015;49:710-715 https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/11/710