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Being Travel Fit

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

So you've retired or quit your 9 - 5 desk job to travel Australia?

Everyone wants to travel — I get it. Travel has become a part of the Australian ethos and is a frequently used bucket list item. But have you ever thought about if you weren't really fit for travel? I mean, getting to these beautiful places we read and write about is not an easy task…travel requires a lot of physicality's.

Tripping through the Himalaya on a Royal Enfield
Ashley - Himalaya

There are countless moments that make anyone question their fitness for travel…

like the big moment when you’re standing on top of Kings Canyon crying because your legs feel like jelly from all that hiking, trying to catch your breath whilst you stair at the heart tribulation machine for those who may have a heart attack once they reach the top; slight surreal moment!

Bluff Knoll hiking
Bluff KNoll

Lets look at Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges; a steep 3km Stairmaster hike with a few extra steps to the top, and a slippery rock track which requires you to go down the same way to get back... oh did I mention the altitude and cliff edges you walk along!

Now be honest, could you leave your desk job today and do this 3km Stairmaster tomorrow remembering that you'd be walking almost 7-8km? If you say yes, then you are either:

  1. Hiking mountains on weekends - regularly!

  2. hitting the Stairmaster and gym - 3-4 days a week!

  3. Believe your invincible!

  4. You're one of the few that are fit...

Now this may seem like an extreme example, however it isn't. Most iconic destinations in Australia - like on the Gibb River Road; Bell Gorge or Manning Gorge requires some level of fitness.

Its rare that people TALK ABOUT how to make sure that your body is up to the challenge of travelling and is a important subject that is not often spoken about!

So read on to start thinking about your fitness levels, and what can help you reach these iconic destinations!

Prepare yourself to hike and get to the iconic destinations

Firstly, Here is what I know

I'm NOT a professional PT trainer, nor a doctor but personally, I did not prepare myself enough for travelling Australia for 6 months. I sat at a desk, worked my 9 to 5 job and thought going for 30 minutes walks each morning, hitting the gym for 2 sessions/week to do some weights would prepare me.

Oh I was so wrong! on the upside - I'm glad I incorporated some exercise into my daily life but not only didn't I do it enough I wasn't doing the RIGHT TYPE of exercise!

Calvin from CM30 Fitness who bases himself at Goodlife - Marion, SA was my PT trainer for several months. This professional really knows how to identify weaknesses you have and its not about weight loss. He noticed my poor balance, and weakness in upper strength, and got to work with me straight away. I noticed my body react and start to get stronger as the training was tailored to me. Teaching me the importance of controlling my breathing once your body was working harder and how to condition myself to respond and push through it. These are things you don't get taught when you walk 30 minutes a day.

From personal experience, research and asking a few trained professionals, this is what they suggested:

BEFORE you take your trip, maybe work on these things:

  1. Balance and core strength

  2. Condition your breathing for when your body works harder & needs oxygen

  3. Work on your mindset; this is a big one, sometimes your mind will say no when you can do it!

  4. Join a gym and find a PT who can tailor to your goals

  5. Start finding places locally that you can hike to build confidence, strength and stamina

  6. Eat healthier in general.

  7. Take the stairs at work.

  8. Don't forget to rest up after a strenuous hike

  9. Stretch and warm-up

  10. Drink water...lots of water with electrolytes!

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Please call me Milli! I've had a passion for wandering since a young age, raised in the Netherlands, growing up in Australia. I believe in a work & life balance; setting yourself up. Professionally, I work in the Wine industry, alongside DERIVE + SEEK where I can wander with purpose!