Folks often ask how one can possibly eat well and stay active while traveling. To me this question is an excuse framed as an inquiry.
It is absolutely possible to do both things, IF you simply begin from the premise that you WILL do them. Then, your question becomes: “What needs to occur in order for me to execute this required action?” Humans are most creative when given limitations combined with the need to work within them.
I am currently in the old town of Stockholm, Gamla Stan. No gym. No health food stores. Lots of great restaurants, cafes and chocolatiers. I could say “Oh well,” and bullshit myself about how sloth is unavoidable on holiday… But I ain’t gonna.
Instead, here are some tips.
1. Stay, if possible, in an apartment rather than a hotel. This is often cheaper anyway and you can cook for yourself, or at least have real food handy. This is a plus when the midnight sun wakes you up at 3 am and the coffee shop isn’t open.
2. Find a gym if you can, but if you can’t, find the following: a hill, stairs, a stretch of sidewalk, a patch of grass, a space of floor for pushups/squats/lunges etc., a playground, etc. Use your imagination and think like a combination of parkour player and small child. Run, jump, hop, crawl, pull up, squat, climb… get creative.
3. Make grocery stores your restaurants. Buy some pre washed veg or even just stuff that’s easily edible without much prep, such as red peppers, apples, celery, etc.
4. Don’t be afraid of looking weird. As long as you’re polite and smile a lot, you can make some (relatively, by average person standards) crazy requests. I talked a guy in a cafe into selling me a salad with chicken at 7 am. He was very gracious but did point out that it was somewhat unusual. We had a good laugh over it and I got what I wanted.