Let’s face it – staying fit is a challenge. Not to mention trying to stay fit on a mission trip or as you are traveling in different countries. When you are away from home you don’t have the convenience of the YMCA or your local gym. Your schedule is whack and you might be getting up really early or staying up into the wee hours of the morning. Also, the food is completely different and this could be a help or a hindrance depending on where you are.
Although there is a lot working against you, it is possible to stay healthy and fit when you travel. Setting realistic expectations and staying disciplined while being flexible are some of the keys to doing this. Let’s take a look at some of the practical things you can do:
1. Use what you find
Wherever you go there are going to be things to aid you in working out, you just have to recognize them. Stairs, outdoor park gyms, and sports fields like basketball and tennis courts are a great way to strengthen your body and get some cardio in.
It’s a love-hate relationship right? Some may enjoy running more than others, but even if you don’t, you can run almost anywhere you are. And if you really don’t like running, or for some reason can’t, go for a long brisk walk.
3. Use your body
Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups are only a few of the ways you can use your body as resistance to strengthen yourself and burn calories. Half of the battle is just knowing what you can do and establishing a routine.
4. Don’t eat junk
It’s an important part of being healthy and staying fit. It becomes really easy to go get ice cream every day or drink a lot of soda when those are the only familiar food-related items when you are out of the country. Stay away from indulging yourself in comfort foods every day and let the Holy Spirit be your comfort. Also, drink lots of water so that you are well hydrated!
5. Use some elbow-grease
On outreach you serve, and many times that involves a lot of physical activity. Building houses, digging wells, cleaning dishes, demolition crew – all these things are a great workout. So put your all into serving God and blessing others and you’ll get a good workout in the process too!
Like we said before, the keys to staying fit on outreach are being disciplined, flexible, and realistic. So figure out a workout schedule, fit it in 3 or 4 times a week where you can, and stick to it. Be realistic with what you can do and exercise in ways you enjoy. Do it with a friend to keep yourself accountable. Set goals for yourself so that you will grow and have something to work toward.
In the end, you are on outreach. So if you feel God calling you to serve someone, speak into someone’s life, or maybe asking you to spend time with Him – go do it! It’s more important that you are growing in your relationship with Him and blessing others than growing that 6 pack of yours. Also, don’t forget to sleep!
If you’re wondering what you could do to workout, check out these workout plans: