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The wonderful women who are part of the Female Travel Bloggers group, form a very interesting community. And to stay that we talk about everything is pretty accurate. That’s how the topic of living a healthy lifestyle arose.
You see, we are not the typical 9-5 office worker. Oh no! while many do hold full-time jobs, we also run blogs. And that’s another part-time job in its own right. Many ladies are freelancers (myself included) while others run their blogs and businesses full time.
If only reading that sounds busy, trust us, we all are. Oh, and we also travel. A lot.
How on Earth can anyone stay fit and healthy given our crazy schedules which are anything but routine?
Below some lovely ladies have shared with us what they do to keep a healthy and fit lifestyle.
- 0.1 Katalin from Our Life, Our Travel
- 0.2 Penny from Globe Trove
- 0.3 Priya from Glorious Sunrise
- 1 Cris from LooknWalk
Katalin from Our Life, Our Travel
Winter is the most challenging part of the year in Finland, especially for foreigners from warmer countries. It can be freezing and dark and it lasts for roughly half a year, but my family and I still love spending our time there throughout the coldest months. As we work from home, we often need extra motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be outdoors too.
What to do if you stay in one of the Nordic countries for winter and you lack the desire to get up from your comfy warm couch? First of all, make sure, your home is bright enough and that you take D vitamin supplements. Don’t count on the sun. These are small investments, but believe me, they can change your attitude to opt for a walk instead of watching another movie working more.
Okay, we are outside, time to do something fun. I love just wandering among the snow-covered trees – it looks indeed magical, and you can take very cool pictures – if you need extra motivation. Winter walking in the snow (with or without snowshoes) is already a good exercise. My other favorite activity is cross-country skiing. It is demanding physically to ski up and down on hills, but I found it the best way to exercise and have fun outside during the long winter. Finnish cities have a network of maintained trails that you can use for free, you only need to invest in your equipment once. I enjoy exploring places around on skis or just do a short and fun loop nearby. I’m impatiently waiting for the next winter, how about you?
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Penny from Globe Trove
I’ve never been a person to fall off the bandwagon where food was concerned. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The best advice that the doctors could give was to experiment with the food I ate until I found what worked for me. To say that it made me ponder over my dietary choices a lot is an understatement. After trying a variety of different diets: lactose-free, gluten free, fructose free… You name it I had tried it!, I found that oil was my biggest culprit. Anytime I ate anything that was slightly oily my stomach would throw a tantrum.
IBS combined with a lot of weight gain made me make a life choice. I needed to stop using oil in my cooking. At first, I found it really hard. It is hard to find anything in India that is cooked without oil or ghee. I learned to cook using water as a substitute for oil. It took a little getting used to, but it helped me in the long run. Grilling food turned out to be a great alternative and it did not compromise on the taste factor either.
It has been three years since the switch over. I’m 10 kgs lighter, more active and my IBS doesn’t bother me quite as much as it used to. In fact, the oil-free diet helped my husband bring down his cholesterol levels too. Now our oil-free diet has become a part our routine and our lives are better for it.
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Priya from Glorious Sunrise
A mommy blogger would literally have no time to do anything else other than those exact two things, mommying, and blogging. But what about the time for fitness to stay healthy to do these two jobs? I know that only when I am healthy and fit, I can take care of my kids and my blog.
That is why as a mom of two little ones, I know the value of time. Especially as I treat my blog as a business. I know that taking time out from my busy schedule to nurture my body with exercise and good food is critical for a happy life.
To stay fit, I practice yoga every morning without fail and try to squeeze in some time to walk in the evenings with the kids in tow. Food is as important as exercise, if not more, to stay healthy. Currently, I am vegetarian, but I am trying to go the vegan way. So, eating clean has become one of my top priorities in the recent months.
Also, even when I work, I try to get up every one hour or so to take short walks to refresh myself and avoid straining my neck, eyes, and hands. This is very important for bloggers as we tend to get lost in our work!
Fortunately, as a family, we are a very active team. We prefer hiking, climbing, swimming and other such activities instead of just sight-seeing. This helps us stay fit when we are out and about too. Our recent trip was to Muir Woods in San Francisco, where we took a long trek to reach a gorgeous beach through the beautiful woods instead of taking the bus straight to the beach. Being outdoors in the midst of nature also helps lift our spirits and puts us in a positive mind-frame too!
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Cris from LooknWalk
I have always loved to walk a lot and from 2014 I’m a FitBit user. The gadget is always with me, reminding me to be active and tracking what I do during the day (as well as my sleep).
But I wasn’t always like this. Back in 2005, I was bigger, my stamina was inexistent, and I was one very good step into the obese range (for my small height). The same year, my now late grandma had a stroke. It was the catalyst to help me change my diet and lifestyle. I gave up the traces of red meat I was still eating, tweaked my calorie intake, walked everywhere, and started to shed weight. By 2007, I went a step further and choose the vegan lifestyle. I was walking, jogging, and playing tennis regularly.
Then life happened. Exactly ten years later I’m back on the vegan bandwagon, this time determined it would be for life. Yes, it is hard to stick to it when I travel. This past July I was having a heck of a time as a vegetarian in Romania, let alone a vegan. But I have a favorite app (Happy Cow) to help me find places to eat when I travel and make sure I stay healthy while traveling.
As a freelancer, my “work day” is at least 8 hours followed by work on my blogs. I am stuck at the desk whether I live at home or abroad. So, I try to find reasons to be active. Recently I started tango lessons (and I go with my beloved husband). That racks up anything from 3000 to 5000 steps, depending on the class. A walk to the farmer’s market gets me another 2000 steps and to my parents another 8000 steps. A walk to the woods and exploring a bit inside is about 20000 steps. Yes, I’ve learned the distances in steps.
I try to hit either 10,000 steps a day or 70,000 steps a week. If I don’t plan properly I fail miserably. Or I compensate over the weekend.
Needless to say, when we travel it is much easier to get the steps in. during my 5 weeks in Italy, I barely had any days below 10000 steps and many, many, many flights of stairs. Hmmm, maybe I should move to the Mediterranean.
All in all, a vegan diet combined with walking everywhere is helping me keep my weight in check, be active, and healthy whether I’m at home, I travel, or I live abroad.
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Cory from You Could Travel
It can be difficult to keep healthy when you are a freelancer. I know, I had difficulties with it at first, as all I wanted was to work long hours and focus on building a portfolio. I had days when I didn’t leave my office until 11 pm which, I am sure everyone agrees, is not healthy. Both my husband and I are outdoorsy people, so it was pretty easy to change our lifestyle. We now wake up at the same time every day, have a nutritious breakfast and make sure we walk a minimum of 10 km a day.
Of course, there are days when we can’t go out, but we make up for it with a 30-minute vigorous exercise where we work our abs, legs, arms, and buns. Paying attention to our diet was also important for us. I used to drink 3 liters of green tea a day, which has now been replaced with water. We never drink more than one cup of coffee a day and we reduced our meat intake significantly. Our diet relies on seasonal fruits and vegetable and we rarely buy any processed food. I learned to do the 5:2 diet, which taught me to reduce my portions and focus on drinking more water, rather than eat an unnecessary amount of food.
As a tip, I would say it’s very difficult to start applying any changes to your diet and lifestyle. But after about 2 weeks, when one morning you wake up and feel like iron (wo)man, it’s impossible to go back to your old routine. No more excuses, start right away!
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Susanna from Wandering Chocobo
I moved overseas recently and began a life of self-employment all while pursuing a crazy travel schedule. With all these changes in my books, I’ve found that sometimes the hardest part of my life is maintaining a lifestyle diet. I’ll be the first to admit when I moved to Europe, quit my fairly active 9-5 and began traveling twice a month I gained some weight. I also struggled, being a vegetarian with a low carb preference living in a place known for their meat and carb based diet (Munich, Germany). So I’m here to pass along my tips for how to maintain your diet and normal eating habits while you’re on the road and one thing I found works well for me when I am at home.
I’ve never been a big travel planner, but I’ve come to terms that the one thing I do need to plan is food. Before I set out on any trip I download Google maps and research healthy restaurants, vegetarian restaurants and look for things near where I am staying. I also look up fresh markets or supermarkets and star them. That way whenever I get hungry I don’t just dive into the next place I see, I have a healthy diet approved place right on my map nearby. I also used to make excuses when I traveled, “I’m in a new country, I need to try all this food.” or “I’m traveling that means it’s ok to drink at 11 am, right?” Sound familiar? Well, I’ll be the first to tell you this doesn’t work when traveling is part of your career, otherwise, you’re always making excuses. So, as a foodie, I select one gourmet and traditional meal and pair that with a night of drinking and consider that my cheat meal. I also always plan an active day trip or scenic city walk to keep me active as well.
Now comes the crisis of being home. It’s hard to go to the supermarket when you’re only home for a week or two at a time. On top of that, I found a lot of my food was going bad since I was trying to eat fresh veggies. I felt awful going to the market, buying food, leaving to travel that next week, and tossing a lot of it when I got home. So, I made the decision to sign up for a meal delivery service. Three times a week, on weeks I opt-in for it, I get the ingredients for a fresh vegetarian meal delivered to my house. I know this sounds really lazy, but when I get into a creative mindset, I often forget to shop and then I end up ordering take up. Additionally, all the food is portioned for each meal to reduce waste, I’m learning to cook with my husband and it’s all local produce shipped sustainable. I highly recommend you look for something similar near you!