Do you train for your vacation? For your cruises and other fun trips?
I’m not talking about starving yourself into your ideal beach body or spending hours in winter clothes and backpacks running during the hot summer months, but rather ensuring your body is fit for whatever you’re planning to experience.
It would be nearly impossible to enjoy the beauty of the Tuscan hill towns if you couldn’t walk up a few flights of stairs. Okay, many flights of stairs. Just as it would be difficult to follow an Indian swami as he or she called out yoga postures in Sanskrit if you’d never done a yoga class.
It’s fun to believe you could just grab your passport and hop a plane to Destination Anywhere and have a dandy time, but a little research and preparation can go a long way.
I’m all for spontaneity. All for going wherever the wind blows, but it would be foolish to allow the winds to sweep you to a place for which you are unprepared. So my motto, like my beloved Girl Scouts (Troop 654 National’s Capital) is BE PREPARED. For almost anything.
What does that mean exactly?
How to Train for Travel to Destination Anywhere (almost):
Strength: You may not think you need strength to meander the stone streets of Europe, but travel to foreign lands often means lugging your own suitcase up and down stairs and for long distances. Something as simple – I didn’t say easy – as a few push-ups a day can go a long way. Squats are great too for all those hills and rocky terrain. Can you say zip line? You’ll need a few muscles for that!
Stamina: Endurance may be one of the easiest activities to measure. Your phone probably has a step counter on it. If not, a Fitbit or similar device can help you determine your progress. Or, how about walking your neighborhood and going a little farther each time and then doing that even faster. No cash outlay. Don’t forget to incorporate hills, lots and lots of hills. If you don’t belong to a gym and live in the flatland, like me, stairs, lots and lots of stairs.
Lung Capacity: If you’re doing push ups and squats and taking your daily constitutional around the hood your lungs are working too. For more focus and even better results, consciously breathe. A yoga breath like Deerga Swasum is easy, portable and so good for you.
How to do Deerga Swasum
- Sit or stand up nice and tall. Both inhalation and exhalation are through the nose.
- Inhale deeply. Slowly. Fill the lower lungs expanding the belly, middle lungs expanding the ribcage and finally upper lobes of the lungs, lifting the collar bones.
- Exhale, reverse. Collarbones drop, ribcage relaxes, then pull the navel all the way in toward the spine.
- Repeat. For extra credit, do this while walking vigorously and see if you can maintain a slow steady breath. Breather level: expert.
In addition to becoming physically fit, consider your gut health as well. Travel to other countries usually means very different food options. Start yourself on a good probiotic a month or so out from your trip. Reduce caffeine, alcohol and sugar and ramp up raw veggies as much as possible.
I know this sounds like a total fitness plan and I guess it is. No matter where the globe stops when you spin it, you should be ready and pretty darn healthy. Here’s to a lifetime of fantastic voyages!