I originally posted this as a guest post for Megan at Skinny FItalicious. When I saw that this week’s topic with Jessica and Jill for The Fit Dish is “HEALTHIFY Your Vacation”, I had to share this post about how I stayed fit when I first moved to Glasgow back in March. Moving to a new city is different than a vacation, obviously, but the breaking of your routine and familiarity is all the same. These tips really helped me stay in shape and on track, so I’m going to share this post on my blog today with the Fit Dish Fam!
So, a little fact about me, ever since I was a little girl I thought I was supposed to be British. Yes, I faked a terrible “Brit-ish” accent (not quite English, Scottish, or Welsh). I loved Mary Poppins. I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I would recite my nursery rhymes with said terrible “Brit-ish” accent. I think I’ve made my point, right?
So, naturally, I also always dreamed that one day I would marry a handsome British man and we would live happily ever after in a kingdom far away. Ridiculous, right? Well, this past November 28th, my dream came true when I married my Scottish boyfriend, Luke, and decided to move to the (United) Kingdom, far away from America!
However, not everything about my move was fairy tale-esque, as you can imagine. According to HealthStatus, moving is the third most stressful situation a person can go through in life. In my case, moving was extra stressful, because I relocated to an entirely new country. The good news is, one of the best ways to work through stress is to implement your regular routine as soon as possible.
One thing that has been super important to me has been re-establishing my healthy lifestyle. I also knew that getting back into a routine meant I wouldn’t get out of shape or fall into a fitness rut. (Who needs that stress?) I ‘m going to share with you the five things that made getting back to normal possible and (easy breezy) for me. With these tips, I’m sure you’ll adapt quickly and stay healthy too, whether you’re heading out of town for the week or moving to an entirely new place! I’ve adapted to my new digs quickly by making staying healthy a priority! It’s a lot easier than you may think it is!
5 Tips For Staying Healthy In A New City
Tip # 1: Find out where the (healthy) food is. One thing I immediately did, on my new phone, was install a Healthy Food app to locate the nearest shops for all things health related in my neighborhood. Also, using an app like HealthyOut, is a great way to locate cleaner eats nearby and to help keep you on track! Healthy food apps are not only a great way to learn your new street map and keep your healthy food choices in check, but they are also a great way to sample some amazing local treats!
Also, by using an app to tell me what is nearby, I learned within just days that there’s a freakin’ Whole Foods a mile and half from my apartment! Bonus!
Tip #2 : Learn your new surroundings by taking daily walks or runs. Another great way to keep your fitness levels up, while learning your new surroundings, is to commit to taking long walks (or jogs, if you fancy) around the area. The Google Maps app is a great way to explore (and not get yourself lost). Google Maps also includes tons of nearby attractions so you can discover those little gems in your city you might not have found before! Just an hour or two a day of that (or a few times per week) will keep you burning calories and making you feel at home!
Tip #3: Figure out the appropriate workout dress code! One of the most disorienting things about my move was leaving a replica of Antarctica to move to a milder (much more overcast and rainy) climate. For instance yesterday, on my walk, I literally experienced all four seasons in one mile! I now know that if I’m heading out for a run or a long walk, I better wear layers and a waterproof coat! Get to know what the climate is like where you’re at, and you’ll always be able to plan your workouts and activities accordingly.
Tip # 4: Find out where the fitness is at. This tip is twofold for me, as I am currently a displaced personal trainer and fitness instructor now looking for work. However, fitness professional or not, a key component of keeping healthy in a new city is finding the right mix of workouts to get in. Using an app such as, Gym Locator Pro, on my phone, I was able to find the fitness centers in my city according to proximity.
Another great tip is to sign up for a service like Groupon to find deeply discounted fitness classes (and attractions) around your new city. Groupon is a great way to try out different popular spots for a fraction of the cost and a great way to get more familiar with all that’s available locally!
In addition to the many fitness centers and studios nearby, you may also have a number of local parks and trails to run, walk, and bike through. The Map My Run and AllTrails websites and apps are fantastic for getting an insider’s perspective on where to run, bike, and hike in a new area.
In Glasgow South, we have Pollok Country Park and Queens Park, both world class parks complete with miles of running and cycling trails open to the public! Taking advantage of local parks and trails will also get you more familiar with your surroundings while exposing you to other active people in your neighborhood via local fitness clubs.
Tip # 5: Prepare for different water! Everywhere you go, overseas or not, has different water than you’re used to. Water quality can potentially pose threats to your health, though most are less than super serious (aggravated skin conditions, hair buildup, etc.) some can be more serious (gastrointestinal issues). Shower filters like PuraStream, faucet filters like PUR, and container filters like BRITA are essential for keeping your skin, hair, and body hydrated, balanced, and acclimated to your new locale. Believe me, nothing can throw you off more than a change in water quality! Obviously if you’re only on a short stay, installing filters might not be best, but filters are now available in loads of different convenient forms and relatively inexpensive as well! In Scotland, the water is SUPER hard. In fact, all the times I had been over visiting before moving here, I would always gripe about how the water made me feel. My husband (probably just because he didn’t want to hear it anymore) bought a water filter for the shower and it made SUCH a difference. We chose PuraStream for our shower filter and at a reasonable price — it is absolutely worth it!
All these tips may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but they will absolutely make life easier. I feel really spoiled, actually. I don’t know how I ever moved or traveled before all this amazing technology! Seriously. I hope that my tips help you no matter where you live or where you’re at on your health and fitness journey. Who knows, maybe one of these tips will help you out where you are right now!
What helps you keep healthy when you move or travel? Are there any apps you love that you would recommend?