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How to Keep Up Your Exercise Routine When traveling

Taking a trip abroad or even to another city is a nice way to break out of the everyday monotony and expericence something new and exciting. It is also a common reason for having your exercise routine disrupted and going overboard with eating tons of unhealthy food. But it doesn't have to be like that. Read our recommendations about how to stay in shape and maintain a healthy diet while spending a holiday in Vienna.

1. Pay attention to what you eat

You have probably already heard the saying that losing weight and staying in shape is 80% about diet and 20% about exercise (and enough sleep and fighting stress). What it means is that the bulk of your "work" on your health will go into being very conscious about your food choices. But how do you do that during traveling? After all, visiting another country is about getting a taste of the place's culture, which includes the cuisine! And it's needless to say that the Austrian cuisine offers countless delicious culinary 

First of all, don't fret too much about the food. Have a pragmatic but laid-back attitude to it. If you really want to try the famous Kaiserschmarrn or the popular Marillenknödeln, then go for it. Just make sure, that the most part of your diet consists of clean, healthy dishes.

What are considered clean, healthy dishes?

  • meat
  • fish
  • eggs
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • nuts
  • flours made of nuts (coconut flour, almond flour, sesame seeds flour, pumpkin seeds flour, etc)
  • milk made of nuts (coconut milk, cashew nut milk, almond milk, macadamia nut milk, etc)
  • animal fat, coconut fat, extra virgin olive oil
  • spices, herbs
  • natural sweeteners: stevia, xylitol, coconut sugar, date syrup, coconut sugar syrup, honey, maple syrup (in moderation)
  • herbal teas

What are considered non-clean food choices?

  • sugar
  • artificial sweeteners: high corn fructose syrup, etc.
  • grains
  • margarine
  • dairy made of cow milk (dairy made of sheep or goat milk is a better choice for your stomach)
  • energy drinks, soda beverages
  • processed food with added artificial crap
  • excessive alcohol consumption

As you can see, most of the food that is sold on the shelves in supermarkets is not good for you. The best way to reclaim and maintain your health is to start cooking from scratch. Which isn't necessarily a choice if you are on the road.

How to eat healthily when traveling?

  • if possible book accommodation that has its own kitchen (e.g. Airbnb apartment rentals, community kitchens in hostels and at camp sites)
  • in your hostel or hotel look for these items at the breakfast buffet: scrambled eggs (combine it with veggies), sausages and bacons with salads, fruit salad, some meat with veggies, coffee or tea or unsweetend fruit juice
  • go to organic delis and buy healthy snacks like granola bars, fruit bars, paleo muesli bars - Denn's Biomarkt always has a wide selection of these
  • many organic delis and even the supermarkets (e.g. Merkur, Spar, Interspar) have yoghurts (e.g. Harvest Moon brand) on the fridge shelves that are made of coconut milk instead of traditional dairy
  • in most supermarkets (e.g. Merkur, Spar / Interspar, Billa, Aldi, Lidl) you can buy ready made salad mixes coming with free plastic forks, try them
  • take a microwaveable plastic cup with slid on it with you to heat food in it if you stay at a hostel with public microwaves
  • if you have food allergies and have to stick to a very strict diet, try hitting the baby food section at a Drogerie Markt, then heaten up the food (you might consider bringing a mini travel hot plate with you in your luggage, and use it in your hotel room)
  • in restaurants go for nutritious soups with lots of healthy vegetables and meat in it
  • hit Naschmarkt or another farmers' market in the city and buy fresh fruits
  • in restaurants order food that has many healthy ingredients in it
  • when you try a local specialty that is made of rather unhealthy ingredients, don't stress about it, just eat it, but also eat healthy food at the same meal
  • drink lots of water!

How to do exercise on your trip?

One of the things that exploring a city involves is a lot of walking. That's exercise for you right there! And what a fun way of doing physical activity, getting acquainted with the place while strengthening your muscles. An alternative is to do sightseeing on a bike. Many tour operators in Vienna offer this. (link)

Engage yourself in physical activities in the city:

There are quite a lot of places where you can burn off some calories apart from gyms. Extreme sports, climbing walls, aqua parks, etc. Check out our list of recommendations, here.

Other choices:

  • go for a run
  • do some yoga in one of the many parks of Vienna (if the weather is mild enough for that)
  • if your hotel has a gym, do a short HIIT training or burst training
  • go for an excursion in the Vienna Woods (Wienerwald)

A simple workout routine that you can do in your hotel room:

1.) quick warm up
2.) exercises:
- 10 squats
- 10 push-ups or knee push-ups
- 10 weight lifts for each side (use your luggage as weight)
- 10 lunges on each side
- 10 crunches or some other abs exercise
  (do 2 or 3 sets of these exercises)
3.) stretching

Music for working out

You don't need to bother with putting together a fitness playlist on your phone. Several German speaking radio stations offer so called "Fitness" channels on their websites. They usually broadcast dance music or high energy music for working out. Check out the "Fitness" channel for the Austrian radio station Radio Energy Wien or the "Work Out Hits" channel of the Bavarian station called Antenne. (You can read more about Austrian radio stations, here.)

Staying healthy while traveling can often be challenging, but if you pay attention to what you eat and grab the awaiting opportunities to engage in physical activities then you are more or less sorted. As mentioned before, don't stress too much about it, and enjoy your trip. Have fun in Vienna!