Exercising and Eating Healthy While Traveling

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This is chapter 16 of an 18-part series about digital nomading and location independence. To see all of the other chapters, click here!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

It can be very difficult to take care of your health as a digital nomad. Because you’re constantly on the move, it’s hard to set fitness routines, make time to meditate, or maintain a balanced diet – all super important elements to your overall health.

But as long as you make an effort, it’s possible to exercise and eat healthy while traveling.

Exercising Tips for Digital Nomads

  • Book a place that’s near a gym or physical activity you like such as boxing, CrossFit, or surfing. You can look up where those places are and then book your housing so that it’s close to where you want to be working out.
  • A cheaper option is to develop a fitness routine that doesn’t rely on gyms or sports clubs. This could mean walking more instead of taking Ubers to different places or doing at-home workouts using just your body weight.

Healthy Eating Tips for Digital Nomads

The evidence is clear that eating a modern Western diet is bad for your health. It dramatically increases your risk of chronic diseases, obesity, and early death.

I’ve been fascinated by how diet affects weight after living in Asia (where you rarely see overweight people). So, in this article, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned from deep diving on this topic.

  • According to The Obesity Code, the most unhealthy foods are sugar, refined carbs (bread/flour), and processed foods. Reducing or eliminating your intake of these three will improve your health. Other things to eliminate include trans fats, seed/vegetable oils (not including olive oil), and snacking.
  • “Don’t eat anything your great grandparents didn’t eat.” – Brian Johnson
    • Eat real, whole foods.
    • If there are more than five ingredients, don’t eat it.
    • If a 3rd grader can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
    • The longer the shelf life, the worse for you.
  • Eliminating something is easier than reducing intake because after a couple of weeks the option ceases to exist in your mind (I’ve eliminated excess sugar, dairy, and most processed foods)
  • Only eating animals, fish, and vegetables is a simple way to eat healthier.
  • Eliminating one unhealthy habit (nightly drinking, soda, snacks, or dessert) can make a major difference on its own.
I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.