Hiking near Trefin in Wales

In 2012 my resolution is to get fit whilst travelling.

I have other resolutions and personal goals that I want to pursue and as always I have my ever expanding bucket list to attend to when the opportunity presents itself. But regaining my fitness is very top of my list.

I left Australia in June 2011 and one of the biggest changes that I have noticed as the months have gone by is my steady decrease in fitness. I have tried hard to stay healthy on the road by eating well, sourcing lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and trying to limit my intake of all the carb heavy, thigh busting, delicious snacks and deserts that rear their cheese filled, cream topped, deep fried head around ever corner. But I will admit that as hard as I try to refrain from wrapping my lips around some of Europe’s finest food offerings, more often than not I give in to the temptation. Easing my guilty conscience and justifying my purchase by the fact that I am ‘only in this town once’ and ‘I might not get to try this again’. In many cases this is actually true, I am only here once, but I would rather have some great photos to remember a country by than a 50 euro bill for the new clothes I needed when my old ones stopped fitting. Something needs to change. 

My problem is motivation.  Before I left Australia I was fit,  I played on two netball teams, went to kickboxing classes and trained three times a week with my Dragon Boating team.

Competing with my team in the Australian Dragon Boating Championships, 2011

The key word here is ‘team’. I enjoy exercise if it has a point. I am a competitive person, so if there is a goal at the end, a competition to win, I will give it my all. In short, a jog around the block does not interest me in the slightest. Unless of course you ask me to race you!

At the beginning of our trip it was summer, we stayed fit by doing a lot of walking everyday.  The weather was great and we made the effort to work up a sweat when we could. In Kotor we climbed to the fortress over looking the bay and in Cinque Terre we walked the mountain trails instead of the coastal trails.

Looking back on our fit(ter) days - hiking in Cinque Terre during summer

But then summer ended, there were less daylight hours and walking is not nearly as pleasurable in the rain. I found out just how unfit I had become when we spent some time hiking part of the Pembrokshire Trail in Wales. Suddenly I was struggling a lot more than I should have been.

This was hard work! Trefin, Wales

We set ourselves a goal that we would find a hiking path and walk for at least one hour a day, each day. For a while this lasted and it felt good to be exercising regularly with a bit more vigor.  But as winter approached, we were spending less time outdoor and more time indoors. Keeping fit had slipped of our agenda.

But, 2012 is going to be different. This year when we arrive in a new town and are told there is a great one hour walk that has excellent views over the town I want to be thinking “brilliant, let go”, not “oh god, how far is it?”. Which is where am I at right now.

My goals for 2012

The first thing I plan to do is increase my incidental exercise. This might sound obvious but it is so easy to take the metro instead of walking because it is cold or cross something of our sightseeing list as that cafe across the road looks warmer. I am planing to buy a second pair of gloves, an additional beanie and thicker socks so I have no excuse not to walk.

I always take the escalator at train stations and airports, from now on it will be the stairs.

My backpack also has wheels, which I use the majority of the time, so from now on I am going to carry on my back more.

Secondly I am going to start a fitness routine. This will be a huge challenge for me, as I said before if I am not training in a team, playing sport competitively or attending an fitness class I find it very hard to be committed as I am a hopeless self motivator when it comes to exercise. I am not going to set the bar too high as it needs to be an manageable amount that I am capable of maintaining without losing interest. My aim is to do a regular amount of aerobic exercises (push ups, sit ups etc) and go for a run/power walk several times each week.

Thirdly, I will focus on my travel plans for 2012 that I need to be fit for and aim to get back to a decent level of fitness that enables me to partake in these activities to the best of my ability.

  • Snowboard in Bulgaria, Northern Italy and Switzerland.
  • Trade food and accommodation for physical work through a helpx, wwoof-ing or workaway positions. Starting in Bulgaria in mid January.
  • Hike Mount Kosciusko in Australia

Now that my resolution and goals have been written down and declared publicly I hope this will increase my motivation to stick to them. This post came about as part of the Boots ‘n’ All Indie 2012 Indie Travel Challenge and the 18 Travel resolutions to keep this year topic for week one of the challenge.

If you have a regular fitness regime whilst travelling, what do you do and how do you motivate yourself?



Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge