Healthy Tips For Travelling Bloggers
When I decided to venture into the world of travel writing, I had to idea what skills were needed or how my amateur blogging would change my life. My hobby of sharing travel stories and holiday photographs with family and friends soon turned into a full-time business.
Most travelling bloggers wear many hats and unless you’re a blogger, you may think travel blogging is a just about taking pictures and writing about it. Blogging takes a lot of time and unless you develop healthy work strategies, you may find this career path not sustainable or in fact bad for your health!
The hardest hurdle for me was coming to terms with how much time, I spend sitting in front of a screen. Other bloggers have developed health ailments such as carpel tunnel, sciatica, neck / back problems and weight gain.
Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Office Regime
I’m no expert on health and fitness but it doesn’t take Einstein to work out how our career choices can impact on our health. We continuously hear the health warnings relating to jobs that mainly involve sitting for long periods of time. Here are some of the things I have combined into my blogging work space to improve and maintain my health and fitness as a travel blogger.
Set Up A Healthy Workplace
Start by investing in a desk that can be used standing or sitting. There are loads of office-chairs on the market. Whatever chair you choose make sure it helps you to maintain good posture. I sit on an exercise ‘Ball Chair’ which I believe helps support the lower back and engages the core muscles.
Another option for working the core muscles is to pop a stability cushion on your chair to destabilise your seat. This will work the abs and strengthen your core. These cushions can also be used for core strength exercises by kneeling or standing on them.
Deskercise is Fun
Depending on which areas of the body you want to work on, you may find an under-desk elliptical pedal machine a useful leg and arm workout. Pedal as you blog or move the machine on to the desk for a good arm workout.
Resistance bands can give you a hip, thigh and core workout without leaving the comfort of your chair. The first things in my luggage are an assortment of resistance bands plus a door gym. A door gym is a versatile piece of exercise equipment which anchors in a door jam and can be used as a full body workout. There are a number of excellent YouTube videos on door gym exercise routines to keep you motivated.
Strap on ankle-weights and do some under-desk leg lifts, you will be amazed by the results. If you work from home, walk around with ankle weights on for an additional leg workout. Start light and work up the weight as you get stronger. I started out with 1 kg ankle weights.
Stretch Your Body
Regular stretching is a powerful way to keep flexible and promote good posture. Attach a stretching poster or yoga pose chart to your office wall and do a series on these stretches to keep you flexible and moving. The optimal stretch-time recommended by most personal trainers is a hold of between 30-45 seconds.
We know the benefits of drinking water so why not set up a water routine to ensure you are drinking enough.
First thing in the morning, I fill a 1.5 litre glass jug with water and place a glass beside it on the kitchen bench. I keep a 1 litre water bottle beside my desk and a glass in the bathroom. Throughout the day, I ensure I drink the contents of the jug and bottle, plus each time I use the bathroom, I drink a glass of water. Once you get into a routine, its ease to consume 2 litres of water plus a day.
Set an Alarm
Another tool I use to get me moving is an alarm which I have set on my iPhone. The alarm is set at 30-minute intervals. It is my reminder to get up, stretch, lift a few weights and drink some water.
Eat a Balanced. Varied Diet
Millions of people have sedentary office jobs which means they are sitting for 8 hours or more a day in front of a computer. Weight gain is common within the blogging industry and its not surprising that bloggers also tend to develop poor eating habits. Multitasking while eating has been proven to be disastrous to the waistline.
Preparing quick and easy food options is the difference between eating well and not. If you are anything like me, you find it hard to stop and eat when you’re blogging.
There are a few things you can do to keep yourself healthy while you’re powering through your day. Just a few simple changes can make a big difference in your energy levels, as well as your overall health.
Here’s a few tips on how I eat well and maintain my weight
- Schedule a regular lunch time – like you would if you were working for a boss
- Keep the pantry well stocked with canned legumes, vegetables and fish (tuna and salmon)
- Cook an extra meal at night and eat for lunch the next day
- Keep a supply of canned and packet soups (look for no added salt varieties)
- Store a variety of nuts – a great meat alternative and delicious in salads, pasta and rice dishes
- Keep some boiled eggs in the fridge for lunch or a snack
- Pack a salad before you start work in the morning to eat at lunch time
- Keep a well-stocked fruit bowl and skip the juice (fruit juice is laden with empty calories)
My favourite lunch is any type of salad and a small portion of protein. My fridge is full of food containers such as three bean mix and corn kernels, and bags of washed rocket, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks and carrot sticks. I rarely eat bread after breakfast, however I love rice paper wraps packed with salad, ricotta or hummus and butter and bread pickles.
You’re Priority #1
Make it your #1priority to take care of your body and mind and you’ll be more productive and have more energy throughout the day. Taking care of yourself, is not just about the health benefits, your business will benefit as well.
Don’t forget to exercise your eyes. Your eyes are like other muscles in your body, they need a rest because they get tired from staring at a screen for long periods. Simple eye exercises can help with eye strain and focus fatigue, like the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at an object roughly 6 metres or 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Lastly, don’t forget to blink! We tend to blink less often while using a computer or handheld devices.
Walk the Talk
One last tip, when you are on the phone use this time to go for a walk or if you have a treadmill – ‘talk and walk’ at the same time. You might sound short of breath at the begin, but after a few weeks the person on the other end of the call will be none the wiser.
Take regular breaks, stress less, take regular stretch breaks, eat well and stay hydrated.
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