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It’s a not just a little ironic that I am the one writing a post on exercising here. I’ve always had trouble keeping up with my exercise – if there ever was any – at home, let alone whilst traveling. But. And that’s a big but. Things have changed. From someone who is eating way too many burgers and no salad, who only ran when it was for the bus or airport, and who would make fun of the #detox and #cleaneating hype, I’ve become a little more conscious over the amount of hours I sleep, the quality of the food I eat and the exercise my body needs. And that’s the buzzword. Exercising isn’t just a lifestyle – it’s essential.

Our bodies need exercise, they need stretching, sweating, swearing, breaking down, getting up again… All of that. It took some serious alarm signs for me to realise that fitness gurus and Cameron Diaz are right, but now I wouldn’t wanna miss my daily yoga session and stretching – on the road or not.

Speaking of Cameron Diaz. I’m allergic to books on diets, on how to look hotter and on guides that help you fit into some kind of stereotype. But her Body Bookis a challenging, inspiring and an easy read for anyone that wants to understand the bigger picture.

So, enough with the warming up. Let’s get down to business. Here are a few ways to help you keep fit on and off the road.

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Laptop yoga

You need: Silence, laptop/tablet, yoga mat

After taking a couple of physical yoga classes recently, I’ve started using an online yoga site in the new year because I was curious (and very pressed for time). Having a portable yoga class with you seems like a great way to maintain your routine on the road. Here’s how it works: you sit in front of your laptop, one of approximately 20 teachers gives a class, you close your eyes and try not to get distracted by Facebook. Especially on trips that are longer than a weekend, I always have my laptop with me – and, as of late, my imaginary yoga group.

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Swimming in pools, oceans, lakes

You need: Time, a pool or ocean, a bikini, patience

Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Going out for a swim is probably the easiest of all if you’re anywhere close to watery spheres. Imagine you’re holidaying near a beach, temperature is above 15°C and you’ve come to get a tan. Well, how about jumping into the waves after having you finished reading that magazine or washed down your cocktail? I’m always surprised by how little swimming people do despite being so close to water – it’s the most beautiful thing. Bonus points if you manage to swim for longer than 60 minutes.

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Hotel facilities

You need: A strong immune system

Ha. If you’re staying in a hotel, chances are their fitness facilities will be gross… Shush, I’m just speaking from experience! But it’s always worth giving them a shot and do some running or lift some weights… I’ve heard. But if you’re serious about the fitness business and stay somewhere for longer anyway, you could just opt for a local gym and get a weekly or monthly pass.

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Go running

You need: Good trainers, a motivating soundtrack (or stunning scenery)

You see, none of these activities are rocket science, you just gotta get out there. Running is easypeasy at least in theory. I’ve yet to come across a place where it’s not possible to get out and go running for 30 minutes. The area suddenly becomes a whole lot more familiar, you can grab some brekkie on the way back and meet like-minded early birds en route. If you’re out on the countryside or doing a road trip, running can be just another way of exploring the wide nothingness. But there’s still some #traveletting that needs to be done, so don’t forget to take your camera!

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Morning exercise

You need: Comfy clothing

If all else fails, ten minutes of gymnastics always does the job. Do a variety of push ups, squats, stretches and so on. Set phone reminders 10 minutes after you wake up or before you go to sleep. You often don’t need a lot of gear and your body will love you for it. I got this blue band (right), it fits into every suitcase and you can use it to stretch pretty much every muscle.

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Ballcushion

This is a little bonus item because it’s as good for home as it is on the road. If your job requires you to spend more of your time sitting on a chair, your back can quite easily turn into a hurting monster. If you’re traveling for longer and want to get some work done, take it with you! Here’s why: I got the ballcushion (left) last month because my back was feeling worse every day and my dentist (!) told me about these mysterious cushions that magically make the pain go away. They’re filled with air, relatively light, and once you sit on them your spine never stops moving and adjusting which creates a close-to-ideal posture. This little thing is worth every penny, I hate sitting on chairs without it now.

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But in all of that… a healthy lifestyle doesn’t only include physical exercise. Try and stay away from the burgers for a while and eat fresh, local food. Get enough sleep (enough is a different number for everyone).

I hope this helped inspire you that being active on the road really isn’t a big deal, it is super achievable. So go for it!

What are your fitness routines whilst traveling?

All photographs taken by Caroline Schmitt