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The 5 Biggest Barriers to Staying Healthy and Fit as a Digital Nomad (and how to overcome them!) - Part 2 of 2 posted Nov 1, 2017

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If you have not read Part 1, please do so now. Part 2 start right where 1 left off.

So what do I suggest?

  • Access & Consistency: While traveling, I found that the only way to ensure easy access and consistency wherever I went, was to bring it all with me. Unfortunately, with a 23KG checked bag limit, it is hard to bring your own dumbbells, treadmills, blenders, or personal trainers. You can, however, bring (1) a handful of easy to pack power bands for resistance training and 1 jump rope, (2) a workout program that is designed to be done in limited space (3) a knowledge of proper food choices and strategies that you can apply both in a kitchen and during a street food outing, (4) an online trainer, capable to being a coach in your corner no matter where you are in the world
  • Accountability
    • There are many ways to maintain accountability and what works will really depend on you. You could set up daily reminders in your calendar to tell you to do stuff. You could have a fitness tracking software that reminds you via email of your workout. You can have a community of fit friends that encourage you to push through.  You can have a reminder note card taped to your bathroom window.  You can use the STICKK app to monetarily incentivize you. Etc. Do whatever works, but the trick, especially while abroad, is 
      1. Make the task you are trying to accomplish both reasonable yet challenging (Tiny Habits),
      2. Pre-plan out how you will accomplish you nutrition or fitness goals ahead of time so you can make sure that you understand the personal, social, and structural barriers that may be present and how you can remove them
      3. Track your compliance.
    • Understand WHY, truly why, you want to do this health and/or fitness task. Own that why. Then grit your teeth and get it done.
  • Time
    • I guarantee you have some amount of time. You may not know it the day of but if you look at your calendar for the next week, you will find options. It may not be 2 hours a day, 7 days a week but you have some time. It might only be 15 min in the morning before a shower and work. It may be an hour a day but only at 6AM or 8PM. It may be a 30 min lunch break. It may be an hour but only 2 or 3 times per week. The trick is to pre-plan it, stick it in your calendar and own it. When you pre-plan you will find time that you will not know exists the day of. How to do it? Sunday night, take a look at your calendar and see what is scheduled.
      1. Then at a time you think you can workout - before you pencil in the workout - make an educated guess on which times will likely get overtaken by something else planned during the week. 6PM workouts typically get interrupted by happy hour or drinks. 7AM on Saturday only works if you don’t go out Friday night. Etc. Once you figured out when you can workout. Determine how long your workout can be.
      2. Review the results and make sure it is reasonable. Ask yourself, “on a scale of 1 to 10, how confident am I that I will do this”? If it is not a 9 or a 10, what alteration should you make to get to a 9 or 10 confidence?
      3. Stick it in your calendar and do it. BONUS - If you have a coach, ask them to help you craft workouts or active activities that will fit the schedule & time you have available
    • You can do the same for nutrition.  Incorporate food availability, kitchen size, scheduled events, predictable yet unscheduled outings, and food storage space into your assessment.
  • Choices:
    • The trick here is to first have a base of knowledge about what choices you should make. Knowing what portions of what types of foods to eat and where you can get them is key. With a constantly changing environment, you can’t rely on a step-by-step meal plan that just gives you recipes because you don’t always know what food is available where you are and what kitchen supplies you have to even prepare it.
    • Once you have a level of education about proper choices, then you can also help make better decisions even when faced with non-ideal options. Understand that health runs on a continuum (unhealthy <————> healthy). So just because a choice is not the healthiest choice, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a healthier choice. Having basic nutritional knowledge will help you to know what those healthier choices are. Additionally, added knowledge will allow you to be a bit creative and create even healthier options that you would not normally know were available

Wow, that is a lot to consider

It is a lot to consider, and you won’t get it perfect in the beginning.  It took me quite some time to develop a strategy that works. The key is to have a game plan and not be afraid to change it.

What if you don't really want to figure this out or you have no clue where to begin?

No worries.  If interested, you can work with me.  I developed a physical wellness practice-based curriculum while I was a digital nomad specifically for digital nomads. Essentially, through constant testing evaluations and tweaking during my own nomadic journey, I have figured out all the above for you. 

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