We’ve all been there- at least if you’re into fitness like me, going abroad can be a struggle. How do you find the balance between letting your hair down and enjoying the local culture, and maintaining your diet and training schedule so you can meet your fitness goals? I’ve been in Costa Rica for a month now, and I’ve come up with a few tricks and tips to find the best of both worlds.
The most helpful thing I think I’ve done has been taking my protein shake with me. Yes, it added an extra kilo to my luggage, but it’s great for a quick and nutritious breakfast that fits within my macros and allows me to splurge a little more on my calories for dinner. Another thing that will just ruin my intake for the day is alcohol. Try to avoid beer (yes, I try…) and opt for spirits and a diet mixer instead. I also enjoy cooking, so I’ll go to the grocery store (or better, the market) and buy lots of delicious local ingredients and find some tasty local recipes to try. Restaurants add a lot of oil and butter- it’s why the food tastes so great! Cooking yourself means you still get to tickle your tastebuds with local flavours, but you can modify recipes to make sure you’re still giving your body the fuel it needs.
That being said, you are on holiday- enjoy yourself! Frankly half the fun of being abroad for me is day-drinking and eating freshly made local food, so don’t let thoughts about food get you down. As long as you eat relatively well 80% of the time, the other 20% you can eat whatever you like without worrying too much. Life is too short.
Exercise-wise, I’ve been struggling a little without regular access to a climbing wall. However, I’ve been incorporating more activities into my day-to-day lifestyle. Staying near a beach, I’ve gone swimming every day- it’s free, it’s a great way of meeting other beach-goers, and it gives you fantastic surfer babe hair. I walk everywhere as I haven’t rented a car, and I’ve also been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to try sports I wouldn’t usually try. So far I’ve been surfing, taken an intensive stretching/yoga class, and of course done a lot of hiking. Obviously I’ve also taken my hangboard to train on for some climbing-specific activity. My body has definitely appreciated the shake up and I’m feeling fitter than before I left. With a little creativity, travelling could just change your fitness routine for the better!