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Why Do I Work Out While Traveling the World

As I’m typing this blog post, I’m currently in Taipei, Taiwan. Many unknown and exciting destinations awaited for me to discover. Temples, many foods to try at night markets, nature, and more!

But for some reason, I’m always thinking about the gym.

I had never thought myself as that person who works out or people call it these days, a gym rat. Hell, I had never thought I would travel and yet here I am in Taiwan living my dream. I surprised myself every day ever since I started working out in 2015.

Growing up, I was your average skinny kid with awful posture. It’s probably because I sat all of my life playing video games. The truth is I’ve always hated working out. I got tired easily. It feels like a chore. What’s the point, right?

I’ve accepted that I wasn’t happy mentally and physically. So I needed a change and fitness was it at first, then one thing led to another: I found traveling. 

The challenging part of falling in love with travel is to ensure that I also include fitness along my journey. In spite of that, I also reminded myself all the benefits fitness have to be part of my traveling lifestyle.

Here’s why to this day I’ve still managed to get my work out in almost daily, actually the best as I can, while doing what I love (traveling):

My mood is a lot different than before.

Exercising really improves my mood: Having people smile at me and say hello. Fuck, that feels good. It’s easier for me to interact with strangers when traveling! Also, it’s been proven repeatedly that exercise has benefits for mental health, reducing anxiety and depression – in other words, I become happier. 

My posture changed.

I have better posture: Man, you have not seen how bad my posture was before. I used to look at the ground while walking. So with better posture, this was a personally huge win for me since I get to enjoy the view while walking around the city or hiking.

I can tell the difference in my immunity.

Fitness boosts my immunity: I used to get sick randomly all the time back home. At that time, I couldn’t even remember when there are the times I was just not sick. It is terrible to be sick when you’re on the other side of the world. But now, that’s no longer true! I rarely get sick if not it only lasts one day.

I may sound technical but stability, balance and coordination all improved!

Additional benefits of working out are better stability, balance, and coordination. Cool! I never thought I would be flexible but it appeared that I was capable to be flexible.

Getting stronger.

I don’t mean just physically. Though I look more muscular and it makes everything easier when I can pick up and move around heavy stuff that makes me feel like a superhero, but it’s not the main reason why I work out!

It’s a sign that demonstrates my progress and how hard I work every other day. It also benefits me mentally and especially emotionally. Growing my confidence and self-esteem this way helps me overcome my fear of failure and I learned it’s okay to fail in order to go forward.

Significant fat loss.

I wasn’t overweight nor was I picked on about being overweight. I actually grew up very skinny, because I was really picking with food and didn’t eat much. However, my diet changed once I enrolled in college and just eating all that junk food. Call that, freshmen 15, if you will. I didn’t gain so much but I was called “skinny fat,” or looking like I almost had that beer belly. With this fitness journey, I noticed I’ve lost body fat %. Who hoo!

Aging better.

We can’t escape the fact that we are aging every day, unfortunately. However, fitness helps in many tremendous ways. I also have very sensitive skin and some scars, but fitness practically makes my skincare better. Drinking lots of water helps a lot! I literally look 5 years younger, thanks to fitness and water.

Not feeling guilty about eating tasty food.

I always felt guilty before when I eat all that junk food, especially pizza and hamburgers. I didn’t bother eating vegetables or fruits. It wasn’t just satisfying to me like McDonald’s meals. However, fitness helped me not to feel guilty anymore and worrying about gaining fat due to increased metabolism from a workout.

Creating the desire to eat healthily

When taking care of my body better through regular exercise sessions, I start to feel healthier all-around. I eat better and have more energy! 

No need to think about doing it. Just do it.

Motivation isn’t the answer to being consistent with fitness. Motivation is only a temporary, so I learned the art of discipline.  am being able to turn down alcohol and junk food without hesitation! I am able to just get up and do it despite having shittiest days or feeling low or lazy. I reminded myself how fitness makes me feel every time I just do it. 

Getting random compliment.

I never really got any compliment before. I didn’t know what is like to have it, because I grew up as a skinny awkward kid who had an addiction to games. Therefore, having random people compliment me (it’s usually other men, but I don’t mind it, a compliment is a compliment), was really an interesting experience for me at first. It actually makes me feel better about myself, but later I came to realize that I cannot have compliments or their validation to make me feel good about myself. It’s all about having my own validation. 

My stamina is 9999x better.

God, I remember even after walking for one short block outside my home, my heart was beating so fast that I couldn’t breathe and I got rash all over my body. I hated feeling limited. Unexpectedly, exercising makes walking incredibly easy and can actually do long distances without trying to make excuses. Wait me? If you ask my friend, Jason’s hiking? No way.

Sleep better at night.

The physical activity helps me achieve better sleep in many ways, including improving my circadian rhythm, decreasing my stress levels, and have better quality sleep. 

I can see better.

I used to strain my eyes staring at a computer so much. Now, I learned to limit screen time and just enjoy what’s surrounded me. Research actually shows that exercise is good for your eyes too. Weird, how does that work?

Less chance of getting hurt.

Did you know exercise prevents cartilage and joint breakdown? I used to get hurt frequently because I was weak. Now that I’m physically stronger, I have less chance of getting hurt. 

General fucking awesomeness

Before traveling the world, I didn’t care about anything. At all. It’s because I didn’t have any goal or purpose. On top of that, I hated myself for the person I was becoming.

Getting into fitness gave me healthy goals into my life. I learned to create specific goals that are achievable and realistic. Having achieved goals make me realize I can do anything I want. 

I could just go on forever. Evidently, working out has changed my life for the best. I was getting…better and better version of myself. I’ve seen myself evolving and reaching closer to my goals. 

My progress also makes me reflect back how I began to fall in love with fitness, and how glad I am to even go back to school to get another degree in Health of Nutrition. And to this day? I became a personal trainer.

I’ve seen many others and myself accomplishing so much since when I first started working out, and I am glad that I’ve found my ways to incorporate fitness into my travel lifestyle. It is tough but not impossible.

There will be some days or weeks where fitness cannot be part of travel, and that’s okay. Just remember how fitness makes you feel once you’re ready to settle down and work out again. 

If I can do it, you can too in your own ways! 

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