Backpacking is probably one of the most interesting things you could ever do in a lifetime. The prospect of traveling around the world on a limited budget can be so thrilling it makes you giddy (especially if it’s your first time).
However, backpacking comes with its challenges, and one of the most common is managing to stay healthy all the way.
Granted, you may have a ton on your plate that taking good care of your body may not be the first thing coming to mind, but it really should be. The last thing you want is having to cut short your adventure as a result of avoidable health complications.
Here are five simple tips to help you stay healthy on the road:
1. Don’t skip meals
To say that backpacking can turn you into a carefree schoolgirl or boy is an understatement. At some point, you may be tempted to skip a meal to get ahead of your schedule, especially breakfast.
Skipping a meal would be a terrible idea considering you’re going to spend the day roaming around in the sun, burning through your energy reserve.
It’s really easy to whip up a quick breakfast if you don’t have the time. Keep around instant noodles, which you can boil in less than five minutes.
If you don’t have access to a kitchen, you can always go with organic oatmeal. Soak it in a pack of milk you bought the night before.
2. Try your best to eat healthy!
Yeah, the other side of the spectrum is not pretty either.
You can quickly find yourself abandoning any concerns over a proper diet while on the road. After all, you are trying to be spontaneous and living in the moment, right?
The thing is, regularly treating yourself to foods lacking moderation in calories, sugar, and fats will get you looking and feeling awful in a short time.
Eating healthy when backpacking is not easy, not with street food joints lining up every alley. Still, if you are not entirely sure how to get your hands on anything with nutritional value, the fresh food markets are usually your best bet. No matter where you are on the globe, people sell organic produce.
3. Avoid cutting down on sleep
It’s common for backpackers to sleep even less than they would at home. If anything, you better sleep more as your body demands it.
When you are punishing your body with walking all day long, probably every day, currying luggage from one place to another, you need to ensure you’re well-rested every night.
4. Don’t forget to hydrate
For some, drinking water all the time is not very appealing, but when you’re spending several hours under the sun, you better forge a fast friendship with your water bottle.
It’s even better if you have a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day rather than buying drinking water every time. It’ll also keep you off soft drinks.
5. Come up with a workout plan
When you’re backpacking, it’s easy to slack off on exercising, mostly because your previous routine doesn’t necessarily fit into your current schedule.
As much as it’s convenient to just say, “I’ll get back to it when I get home,” you’ll be throwing previous hard work down the drain. Also, you’ll probably fall out of shape long before you get home.
There’s a lot you can do without your gym membership. Some exercises you can do in your hotel room to stay in shape include body-weight squats, incline push-ups, and luggage rows.
6. Take supplements
It’s quite challenging to stay on a proper diet when traveling. That is why it’s important to take dietary supplements whenever it feels like you are losing out on vital nutrients.
You don’t need to put yourself at a disadvantage when there are hiccups on the road that will do that for you.
Here is my parting advice if you feel like you can’t keep up with some of the stuff I mentioned, or you tend to be too forgetful. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; they’ll get you home in one piece, plus, they are usually pretty cheap outside first world countries.