By Kelly Joyner
Traveling and seeing the world can bring about many exciting and life-enriching opportunities. Getting the chance to experience different cultures, foods and taking part in activities that may not be possible at home is something you want to take full advantage of.
The last thing you want is for an illness or health issue to prevent you from making the very most of your travels. While you cannot predict, or stop every illness from catching you out, you can certainly improve your health with exercise and lower the risks of any issues.
With that in mind, here is a list of some exercises to improve your health before going traveling.
Taking part in at least 150 minutes of low-intensity aerobic exercise like walking or steady cycling will help to keep you in good health. The same benefits can also be achieved with 75 minutes weekly of more vigorous aerobic activity such as running or playing sports.
Aerobic exercise not only keeps your heart and lungs healthy but can also give your immune system a boost by improving the circulation of your blood and lymphatic fluid.
Your immune system can really take a hit when traveling as a result of the change in schedule, sleep patterns and unfamiliar bacteria so boosting it with aerobic exercise beforehand is a must.
Squats and Lunges
The primary reason for including squat and lunging movements is to develop your leg strength. In most cases, walking a lot comes with the territory when you are traveling.
You might also find yourself having to walk on some fairly challenging or even steep terrain. Unless your legs are strong enough to cope with the walking, you could find that you aren’t enjoying yourself as much as you should be.
Adding in 3 sets of 8-15 reps each for squats and lunges for 2-3 workouts per week will be more than enough to build that leg strength. If you do not have access to a gym, you can perform bodyweight variations and simply hold something heavy when it becomes too easy.
Core strengthening exercises
A strong core is key if you are to maintain a good posture during your travels, especially when walking around. The result of poor core strength and bad posture is likely to be back or neck pain, both of which can really ruin your plans.
Being bed-ridden as a result of back pain defeats the entire purpose of traveling so including some planks and glute bridges into your workouts is a good idea.
For the plank, build up to being able to hold it for around 60 seconds for 3 total sets. Glute bridges can be done for 3 sets of 10-15 total reps.
Upper back exercises
Again, this is related to keeping a good posture but this time the focus is on your upper back muscles. Spending a lot of time in seated positions like you would do when driving, on a plane or on a bus can create tight muscles in the front of your shoulders and chest, and weak ones in your upper back.
Allowing this to happen leads to a hunched, rounded-shoulder kind of posture that can cause back, neck, shoulder and even headache pains. To counteract it, you need to strengthen the upper back muscles so they are strong enough to pull your shoulders back into alignment.
Exercises like barbell rows and pull-ups are great for your back muscles. 3 sets of 8-12 reps added to your 2-3 weekly workouts should do the trick.
Finally, performing stretching and breathing exercises are an excellent way to keep you mobile and injury-free. You wouldn’t want tight muscles to cause an injury when traveling.
Keeping your body flexible can reduce the chance of muscle injuries and will help to keep you relaxed as well.
Short yoga sessions of 20 minutes can be done 2-3 times per week to see the benefits. The main factor with all of these tips is to be consistent with them over time and you will feel healthier and more able to enjoy your time spent exploring the world.
Kelly is the founder of RegularityFitness, where she and associates blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kellyregularit1