Shehzin Islam aka SheActive has become a household name for fitness beginners and enthusiasts within a short span of one year. Her monthly online workout sessions are not only physically challenging but it will also help an individual to develop their mental strength as well. She shares the benefits of adapting to a healthier lifestyle inside out and strictly opposes fad diets with her clients.
Exercising and getting our bodies to move should be a regular habit no matter how short the duration is. Wander Woman talks to Shehzin about what to do when a person is travelling.
WW: What is your experience as a traveller?
SI: Traveling has not only been something that I do, but it’s something that has become a part of my life goal now. I haven’t been across the globe or to every continent yet but I’ve had my share of travel and it’s only the beginning. My father was in the Bangladesh Navy so we traveled to almost all different parts of Bangladesh. We stayed there for a certain period of time and that’s how I got introduced with the concept of travelling from a very early age. I realised after a certain age that there is nothing more exciting to see different cultures, foods, religions and beautiful destinations.
Now when I get stuck on a consistent routine, I get an itch to pack up my bags and go somewhere spontaneous – whether it’s inside Bangladesh or abroad depending on the timeline. There isn’t anything more exciting than traveling to make new experiences and memories that will last forever.
WW: Why is fitness important for travellers?
SI: Not only is physical activity good for your physical health, it’s also good for your inner peace. It goes a long way to resolving stress, anxiety, depression and it boosts our zest for life. It improves our self awareness and feeds our soul. It’s a great way to recharge, refresh, and leave stress and anxiety of daily life behind.
[Place it anywhere] QUOTE – It’s very tempting to overindulge on delicacies when you’re on vacation, especially if in a place known for its food, pastries, or desserts.Having a fitness orientated itinerary means you can essentially eat as much as you want, because you’ve burned it all off throughout the day.
Another great thing about seeking active adventures is that you don’t even realize you’re exercising! For most of us, our day to day life involves sitting in a chair and working on a computer majority of the time. However, when on vacation, you can walk and explore the places you are visiting – and that itself can count as part of your exercise routine.
WW: What is the quick but effective workout that one can do during holidays?
SI: When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, consistency is key. And while travel workouts are obviously great if you can fit them in, don’t stress about taking a few days off—skipping your workout for a few days isn’t going to set back your progress.
But there are so many benefits to breaking a sweat that are worth setting aside some time to train while traveling, including more energy and improved mood. That’s why we rounded up some of our top equipment-free, minimal-space travel workouts to help you make it happen no matter where you are. Plus, squeezing in a quick workout or two during your trip can make it easier to get back in the swing of things after you’ve unpacked your suitcases.
My favourite kind of training style that is perfect for travelling and one that you should take full advantage of is HIIT (high-intensity interval training). It is ideal for getting your heart rate up, getting a sweat on and leaving you feeling fantastic. HIIT involves brief bursts of exercises in which you give 100% maximal effort interspersed with short recovery periods. An example would be 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 20 rounds, with exercises such as banded jump squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups ,jumping jacks, high knees, mountain climbers, plank, leg raises, boxing, jump rope and sprints.
Another benefit is that HIIT doesn’t take long to complete and doesn’t necessarily require any equipment. All you need is yourself! So if the gym is a big no-no for you while jet setting, you can always squeeze in a quick room/park bench/beach workout when you find yourself with a few spare minutes. For those extra keen to stay fit while away, a resistant band is one small and light piece of equipment as they not only offer a greater variety of exercises but can also massively increase the intensity of your workouts.
WW: What should travellers carry or not?
SI: Pack a travel fit kit with these ten carry-on items and add working out to your trip’s itinerary.
- A pair of sneakers
- Water bottle
- Workout wear
- A yoga mat
- Resistance Bands
- Jump Rope
- Swimsuit & swimming goggles
WW: What if we cannot carry such items or carve out the time to do HIIT?
SI: If your idea of a holiday doesn’t involve working out, there are still plenty of other ways to stay fit. Being in a new place is the perfect opportunity for being active – go on a walk to explore hidden backstreets, take a stroll along the beach, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator, or hike up a hill to get a better view. There are usually plenty of activities to throw yourself into – surfing, kayaking, yoga, beach volleyball, swimming/snorkelling, rock climbing – depending on where you are travelling. Even if it’s for just half an hour a day, it will help to get your endorphins flowing, your heart pumping, which in turn can help to boost your mood, increase your energy levels, and keep you in shape.
WW: What words do you wish to share to inspire Bangladeshi female travellers and fitness enthusiasts?
SI: Diet and nutrition also play a key role in staying fit and healthy, but for many people food is a massive part of travel. Tasting all the local cuisines, sampling every type of street food, and indulging yourself with that extra cocktail is all part of the fun. However, it’s important to find a way to balance both the treat yo’self urges and the healthy regime. Here are my tips for how to find that delicious balance – Stay hydrated! It is recommended that we consume 3-4 litres of water every day. Carry a big water bottle with you and refill it so you know exactly how much you drank throughout the day.
Travelling and staying in shape does not normally go hand in hand. We all traditionally know a vacation is the time for over-indulging, pampering yourself and then coming home feeling about 15lbs heavier is overrated! About time we do not view travelling as a fitness regime-ruiner and learn how to keep our health in check while on the go.
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