Not too long ago I had to visit the doctor about a problem in my ankle.
When she called out my name, she looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, they must have given me the wrong patient”.
To which, I replied somewhat surprised and said, “I don’t think so, doctor.”
“But it says here you’re 53! And that’s impossible! What’s your secret?”
I’m pretty sure she was joking, but to be honest and with all the humility I can muster, I get that a lot.
And I want to share with you because one of my goals is to show my friends over 50, that age does not have to be a limit to exercise more intensely, or to travel and walk 20 km every day, or to feel physically as good or even better than when we were 20 years old!
Yes, because that’s my average when traveling: 20 km every day.
A lot of people think I’m mad.
Many ask me how I manage to stay fit before and during my travels.
And I tell them that everything is in the mind.
And that it’s also a matter of having absolutely no doubt in your mind that in order to travel, you have to be and feel healthy.
If your goal is to travel as much as possible, you have to take care of yourself.
And you have to develop a consistent mindset.
A mentality that does not view exercise as an obligation.
A mentality that encourages you to incorporate it into your routine and practice healthy habits in your day to day and while traveling.
A mentality that always keeps you moving.
That does not believe in “traps” or excuses.
That let’s you fight the concept “I’m going all out because I’m on vacation” …
A way of thinking that allows you to understand that living big has nothing to do with either splurging or indulging in excesses.
To live big is to live to the fullest every second.
And to live to the fullest, you have to feel healthy.
Don’t you think?
I see! You can’t see how you’ll be able to keep a healthy routine while traveling?
Of course, you can!
Let me show you how 🙂
These tips will help you keep your health and energy to the fullest when travelling at 50+.
1. Try starting your daily adventure with a healthy breakfast
Staying at an accommodation that includes breakfast with your stay?
Make the most of it!
But be smart about it!
Don’t go for the mini sausages or the sugary pastries!
A balanced breakfast should include complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Eating carbohydrates at breakfast will allow you to burn them throughout the day, especially if you plan to walk a lot that day. However, I recommend to stay away from white flour bread and opt for alternatives such as whole wheat or seed bread.
Protein is essential to keep you full until lunch and reduce possible cravings.
What kind of protein should your breakfasts include?
Omelets or hard-boiled or poached eggs, salmon, tuna, chicken, ham, etc.
And as for healthy fats, look for avocado, seeds, nuts, coconut, etc.
A balanced breakfast for the average adult should be between 50% complex carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% healthy fats.
If you have chosen other accommodation options, such as Glamping, you will even be able to pick up your own organic products that morning and prepare a dream breakfast for yourself!
2. Have at least one yogurt a day
This is something I do religiously whether I am at home or traveling.
An affordable and easy option, yogurt will keep your intestinal flora happy wherever you are.
Yogurt is an important source of very good quality calcium and proteins, in addition to providing magnesium, potassium, and zinc to your system with hardly any caloric intake.
It can also help you regulate your pH when traveling since an unbalanced pH is more vulnerable to attacks from viruses and bacteria.
3. Drink lots of water
Yes, you will be on a constant search for public toilets but water will keep you full, hydrated and away from undesirable products such as soft drinks.
I recommend that you invest in a quality self-filtering bottle and fill it every morning before leaving home.
That way, you will not only be saving money on water bottles, but you will also be minimising your environmental impact by not having to dispose of used plastic bottles.
4. Always take the staircase!
Even if it hurts.
And even if your travelling companions choose to mock you about it (as they always do with me!!
Always up the stairs and the steepest path.
Do you know how good climbing stairs is for your gluts?
And no, it’s not just a matter of aesthetics!
Your buttocks support the central axis of your body and are the basis of an extensive range of exercises and compound movements.
Strong buttocks help you avoid muscle imbalances that can decrease your long-term mobility, and contribute to various health problems: from poor posture, to lower back pain, balance problems, lack of strength, muscle pain and risk of injury.
5. Tea is your new BFF
If I go ahead and say that tea is a magical drink, you might think I might be exaggerating a tad.
But, there is no doubt that tea gives you energy, acts as an antioxidant to protect you from the damage caused by pollution and is a laxative agent.
Everything you need while traveling.
Green tea, for example, is one of the healthiest teas in the market.
It is full of polyphenols and antioxidants that help improve brain and heart health.
These antioxidants also fight free radicals that can lead to premature aging, including wrinkles and decreased cognitive function.
Several studies have confirmed that green tea is the most effective in preventing cancer.
Four to five cups of green tea are recommended to achieve maximum benefits.
Why not travel with a green tea thermos in your backpack?
6. Nourish yourself with a granola or protein bar between meals
Keep the hunger monster at bay and shoot your metabolism sky-high by eating a granola or protein bar between meals.
You can buy them in bulk at home before leaving, although they are usually easy to buy in many countries.
Protein bars will prevent you from being tempted to eat goodies or nonsense food that will not provide you with any kind of nutrient.
7. Buy and cook groceries instead of always eating out
I know… this goes against everything that has always been instilled in us:
A day is a day!
I’m on holidays and I’m going all the way out!
Enjoy to the max, it’s only four days!
And I say – can’t you enjoy shopping at the local market and cooking at your apartment in Helsinki, for example?
That’s what I always do because I save money, and it prevents me from overeating.
8. Always be clear about what you put in your mouth!
Something that looks good and healthy doesn’t always have to be.
A salad with mustard and honey dressing (bottled ones, I mean) for example doesn’t contribute to your health or your waist.
However, if you are not sure, always ask or investigate food habits before traveling somewhere.
9. Walk instead of using any type of vehicle
Do you really need to take a taxi from the hotel to the train station?
Why don’t you leave an hour before and walk those four, five or six blocks away?
Yes, even if you are carrying your luggage!
Walking burns calories and makes you discover your new environment.
Unless you are in a hard-to-reach place, or it is night and not recommended for safety reasons, or if you have a physical condition that prevents it, there is no reason why you cannot walk instead of always taking a vehicle.
At least partially.
It’s a lot easier than what it seems, right?
I may imply a slight change of mind.
But it’s worth it.