As you may know, I am planning on spending the foreseeable future travelling all over the world. One thing that is important to me is maintaining an active lifestyle throughout my travels.
This is not always easy given that I am in Europe, where gyms in general are very hard to come by – let alone ones which have a good selection of free weights! For those moments where I cannot find a gym, I plan to use my own bodyweight as resistance and enjoy the hours of walking which inevitably takes place during any European holiday (yesterday I walked 22 kilometres!).
While hitting the gym and following a strict training schedule will not be my first priority throughout my travels, I do plan to train whenever I can. This is because I am a much healthier, happier and fulfilled person when I remain active. Read on to discover my top five favourite health benefits of living an active lifestyle.
1. Stronger bones and muscles
I have spent the past two years focused on training purely for strength. I love knowing that my muscles, bones and joints are strong, and that I am able to carry out all sorts of daily activities with ease – as well as the other atypical activities I enjoy such as pulling trucks and lifting cars!
I want to remain strong and supple as I get older. By lifting weights and performing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise regularly, I am reducing the rate at which my bone density deteriorates as my body ages. I also feel fit enough to lug all of my baggage from country to country.
2. Disease prevention
There is insurmountable evidence which demonstrates that maintaining an active lifestyle reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis and strokes.
Travelling has prompted me to re-evaluate my overall health and lifestyle, and many people report doing the same once they enter a new environment. While I have never been to a health and wellness retreat, such as Chi of Life, it is something which has always been on my bucket list! But I like to think that my current life as a nomad is the next best thing for improving my emotional wellbeing.
Wellness retreats teach you about the significant improvement that healthy, active habits can make in your life. They focus on nutrition and the skills required to prepare healthy, nutritious foods, as well as the potential for physical activity to improve mood and lower your risk of a range of lifestyle diseases.
I would particularly love to attend a yoga retreat, somewhere like Bali. I could combine the “pray” and “love” part of my Eat, Pray, Love tour 😉
3. Weight control
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that part of the reason I work out is to look good! Given the amount of pizza, pasta and gelato I plan on eating in Italy, I need to maintain some kind of regular exercise regime to prevent me from blowing up to the size of a house.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight involves a combination of regular physical activity and commitment to a healthy eating plan.
4. Improved mental health and mood
When I take a break from exercise, I typically enjoy the first few days but then soon become grumpy and even slightly sad. Training is my precious “me time”, and it is a positive hobby that I always look forward to.
Strong evidence demonstrates that regular physical activity keeps you focused and supports your ability to think clearly, learn well and apply sound judgement skills. An active lifestyle can also reduce an individual’s risk of depression and promote more restful and better quality sleep.
5. Prevention of falls
While this is not something I have personally had to deal with just yet, I have seen great improvements in the balance and strength of my older clients.
Engaging in physical activity, particularly as an older person, can reduce the likelihood of experiencing functional limitation that prevents you from performing activities ranging from using stairs, shopping and being able to play with grandchildren. Research also shows that activities which strengthen muscles and promote balance, as well as aerobic activity at moderate intensity, are important for reducing the risk of falls.
The health benefits of leading an active lifestyle are numerous and important, regardless of your age, current level of ability or location in the world. Every person can make some small changes and enjoy an active lifestyle that enhances their overall health and wellbeing. Life is too short to not feel healthy!
What is your favourite benefit of exercise? Do you exercise when you are travelling?
Full disclosure: This post was sponsored by Chi of Life but, as always, all opinions are my own.