One of the best parts of travelling is the chance to live on a diet of cold beer and cheap street food. However, at some point in your travels, you'll realise that this is taking its toll on your once semi-visible abs and, as your arse continues to head south, something must be done!
In London, the gym was a big part of our lives. After hours cooped-up in the office or hospital, it may seem strange to have found enjoyment in instantly transferring yourself to a more cramped, sweaty and testosterone-fuelled environment, but the UK's rare summer evenings often made it the only option.
On the road, we've had to try and come up with cheap ways to train and live smarter - whilst still allowing us to enjoy the odd greasy fish taco and cerveza.
#1 make the world your gym
Look around you. That chair will work your triceps; those stairs are ideal for a few pull-ups; if you squat that 25kgs backpack you'll feel the burn. Hell, even bench-press your girlfriend (permission advised before attempting this manoeuvre).
There's an abundance of equipment-free circuit training routines available on the blogosphere, to provide you with a well-rounded cardio and strength workout. Here are a few of our favourites:
#2 run free
Having become so used lunch-time running at work and joining the masses on the weekend in one of London's many parks, it's almost strange to run on a deserted beach barefoot with the crashing waves providing the soundtrack, rather than your carefully honed running playlist (yes, this did include JLS and Katy Perry).
Running is also a practical way to cover more ground in a new place and see some of the sights in a few hours.
If you've never enjoyed running in the past, starting on your travels is a great idea. There's less of the social pressure or weird hierarchies you see in running circles at home and you might just discover some hidden gems.
#3 pack one set of work-out gear
You've deliberated for weeks on those final few treasured items which get stuffed into your backpack. One more bikini? A few more vests? Do I really need that Downton Abbey boxset?
Making the decision to sacrifice some room to take a dedicated set of work-out clothes and a decent pair of trainers is the first step. Once you've brought it with you, you might as well use it!
Also, a hi-wicking running vest doubles up for all those hikes you plan on doing and a great option for travel-days on hot, sticky buses.
#4 use technology smart
Most people now choose to travel with a smartphone or laptop. Instead of solely using it to post jealousy inducing pics of beautiful beaches on facebook and watching re-runs of Breaking Bad, there are an abundance of free apps, videos and tips available to make exercise a little easier (or tougher, if you choose the right workout!)
Here's some to get you started:
#5 if staying somewhere for a few days - try to find a class or deal
Whether you settle down in a town for a week or more because of friends, volunteering or you just love it so much, it's a great opportunity to sample some exercise classes. On our trip, we've enjoyed offers such as 7-day unlimited yoga for £3/£5 each in Guatemala.
These classes are a welcome change to your routine and a different way to meet locals and travellers.
#6 bike rental = happiness and fitness
Almost every place we've visited has had a bike rental, and whilst the quality has definitely varied (apparently a chain that remains attached to your bicycle is not as essential as one would have thought) we have enjoyed exploring new places on two wheels.
In bigger cities it provides an alternative to public transport and, if you have only a short while, allows you to cover the sights quicker. It is also a bloody good way to keep fit - especially if you point your single-gear 'fixie bike' towards some steep inclines and pedal like hell to make it to the top!
#7 skip yourself fit
Before we left the UK, the most skipping either one of us had done was on the playground at primary school, but with new studies suggesting that 10 minutes can be equivalent to a 45 minute run, we should perhaps have taken it up again much sooner. Not only is it an excellent cardiovascular workout, it can also help to stave off osteoporosis, improve muscle tone and co-ordination and even lower blood pressure!
#8 don't just stare at the sea, get in it
Hours spent languidly lying on beautiful beaches is one of the many perks of travelling to far flung places, the cool waters of the ocean providing a welcome break from the blistering heat and soothing your sun-parched skin. But, as the final page of your latest thriller is turned, the beer has lost its chill and the sun is beginning to set, transform that final dip in the sea to 10 minutes of front crawl and you'll have exerted enough energy to deserve that next beer.
#9 some prefer it first thing, others late at night
Working-out of course! Although the mantra that it takes 21-days to develop or change a habit has been busted, there's no doubt that having a routine and sticking to it helps you achieve your fitness goals. Listen to your body, and if you're really not a morning person, don't make yourself hate exercise by attempting a push-up whilst still in your pyjamas.
What's important is deciding when and how often you want to work-out whilst on the road, and trying to keep to that schedule.
#10 remember, drink lots of water
Your skin, your hair, your body and your mind will thank you.