Working, travelling, and staying fit: how to manage wellbeing for self employed? It is possible, but you need to be mindful of it.
For digital nomads with wanderlust in their veins, health sometimes takes the backseat as we try to wrangle our lifestyle and stay on top of our career goals. There are constant challenges – where to stay and work, and how to make money!
Wellbeing for self employed: the simple trick
Being exposed to different climates and environments can take its toll if we aren’t careful. Wellbeing for self employed and digital nomads means keeping fit. But, this can be hard because we usually don’t stick to one place long enough to invest in a gym membership.
What can we do if we want a toned, healthy body that we’re proud of?
It’s simple, we can walk.
Walking burns a ton of calories
According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, we need least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. If you break this up into small chunks, it means you can exercise for 30 minutes five times a week and get the full benefits. But you need moderate to high-intensity kind of aerobics to pull it off.
Walking offers just the kind of cardio you need — easy to do, and even easier to modify depending on your time and level of physical fitness. If you keep a leisurely pace, you can burn around 70 calories per mile. The more you increase your speed, the more you can burn. If you walk at a brisk pace, you can burn anywhere from 300-400 calories an hour.
Here’s a calculator that can help you count the calories. If you want more accurate results, you can always use a pedometer or a Fitbit bracelet that will measure everything.
If you’re quite out of shape right now, walking is a great idea because it allows you to start things at your own pace. You can then slowly increase intensity as you grow stronger and get more stamina. You might even be forced into walking as you globe-trot if you choose a style of travel like house and pet sitting.
Walking has a lot of health benefits
Walking doesn’t just burn calories, it also speeds up your metabolism. Even your passive metabolic rate can rise. This means that when you’re resting, you’re still using more energy than before, and your body starts melting fat quicker.
Hiking destinations are perfect for digital nomads
Want a surefire way to make yourself stick to an exercise regimen and finally get in shape? Take a hiking trip.
For a digital nomad, this can be a great experience that provides the perfect opportunity to blog about something extremely interesting. It also means you’re taking a big step for your health and you won’t be making any more excuses.
There are plenty of options to choose from, like the short and fun Inca Trail, to the memorable Camino de Santiago that can take up to a month to finish. The Camino is renowned for being a deeply transformative experience that lets you experience Spain the way you never have before. It’s very good for people who plan to work the entire time because you’ll generally have internet access for most of the hike.
If you really aren’t a fan of hiking, city breaks are the next best alternative. Sightseeing often means you have to cover a lot of ground on foot. Since you are too busy looking at said sights, you will not even notice how many miles you are covering.
If the main reason you’re not in good shape is that you find the whole idea of exercise kind of dull, then walking is a great choice for you.
It’s easy to multitask as you stroll. Put headphones on and listen to your favourite soundtrack, audiobook, or podcast, or take your camera with you and get some work done for your blog. You can take some stunning photos while you explore the city you’re currently in.
This option is perfect for a digital nomad or the self-employed who need unique and interesting ways to capture a journey, whether it’s in your backyard or further afield.
If your life is too hectic, organising a specific time when you can go and take a walk each day can help immensely. If you want, you can use a walking exercise as a rest from work. Determine a schedule that lets you work a few hours non-stop, but then take a half an hour hike to clear your head, get your focus back, and get inspired again.
Enjoy the ease of walking! This simple aerobic exercise can help you get in shape, and if you’re a digital nomad who craves to be inspired, it also offers you the opportunity to further indulge your wanderlust by exploring every destination on foot.
About the author:
Rebecca Brown is a translator by day, and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.
2019 is the year we truly start to take care of ourselves on our time off, which is why creative travel and wellness holidays are the thing of ‘now’ in the travel industry.
Once upon a time, a vacation meant drinks, lots of food, tours and shopping. But many of us are tiring a little, even on our trips.
Recently, there’s been a shift in the reasons many of us choose to get away – we want to switch off from the pressures of modern-day life.
Why creative travel and wellness holidays?
The new kind of break, the one that will continue to rise as one of the most sought-after in 2019, is the ‘wellness escape’. It’s an enriching life experience – a creative travel or wellness holiday – where we return home feeling great about ourselves.
Wellness has become a booming industry, evidenced by the fact Lonely Planet has just published a gorgeous hard-cover guide on the topic, Wellness Escapes.
Get creative booking your travel this year
The publication presents an inspiring breadth of offerings around the globe.
Yoga retreats (we’ve published a story about a retreat in Turkey if you’re interested)
Fitness and wellness festivals around the world
Creativity workshops and personal growth opportunities
Health spas and nutrition getaways
Akin to other collectable Lonely Planet guides like Culture Trails and Everyday Adventures (released in 2018, be inspired by those titles here), Wellness Escapes is an item any wanderluster will want on the coffee table.
Wellness Escapes features a worldwide guide on the best, coolest and most energising creative travel, wellness holidays, meditation centres, health spas, fitness events (including LoveFit in the UK) and much more.
It’s a whole lot of love in one delicious book. Be inspired, get creative and healthy now.
They’re two of the world’s greatest cities with so much – too much, even – to see and do; but what if you’re tired and need to chill out in Vienna and Barcelona?
Work never seems to slow down, which means travel or a city break can feel like just another job. When that is the case, you need to set yourself up with an itinerary that builds-in time to relax. I totally related to a colleague this week who told me he’s been so snowed-under with obligations that he considered cashing-in a summer Euro city adventure and first-time trip to Vienna and Barcelona, for a chill out and do-nothing beach holiday instead.
I completely feel this. For those of us with an average job, we have limited annual leave allowance to work with. And, while anyone based centrally for travel appreciates it’s simple to get to new destinations, it can mean for example, that we jump on a plane from London late Friday night after a busy week at work, and wake up tired, day after day, despite being excited about being in a gorgeous new city. First-world problems, sure, but burn-out is a very real thing, and it’s a shame if a ‘break’ turns into a ‘break down’ by the time you get back to work.
I don’t think I could ever get enough of exploring Vienna or Barcelona, but racing around cities in an attempt to tick-off all the main attractions is actually really exhausting. My advice after perpetually learning the hard way, is to take it easy and chill out if you need to!
The conversation with my colleague inspired me to think about how I’d chill out or relax in Vienna and Barcelona if (when) I get the chance.
Make it easy on yourself and stay centrally. We scored a great deal by booking early at the lovely Arthotel ANA Amadeus, and I’d highly recommend that area to stay in for convenience and your ability to walk everywhere. It gets pretty hot in the summer, and I have to say I was quite jealous of those I saw chilling out in the parks reading or doing nothing at all. Next time, I’ll make time!
Our hotel was air-conditioned and we did indeed take a break there during the hottest part of the day instead of forcing ourselves to walk around when we were very tired. Our intention was to rest and get out around dusk.
Take yourself on an evening wander – as the sun sets you’ll get your very best pictures of the Vienna city centre, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg, Heldenplatz and Schönbrunn Palace.
Summer evenings in Vienna must consist of some time in front of Vienna City Hall, at Rathaus where there’s a super-stylish pop-up food, music and cocktails experience that you can’t miss. We LOVED this!
Chill out in Vienna? I’d suggest soaking up the energy by giving yourself time in one of the beautiful green spaces like Volksgarten. Take a book, people-watch, nap – either way, this is how to truly indulge in the delights of Vienna. There’s generally sweet notes of classical music floating through the air from musicians playing live around the city. Divine.
You can be as busy or as chilled-out as you like in Vienna. Of course there’s plenty to see and you can be forgiven for feeling a little like you’re missing out if you’re not on the go the whole time. Vienna to me though, feels like it’s screaming out to be enjoyed mindfully, so don’t fall into the ‘busy’ trap. Find your perfect shady spot, and soak up this extraordinary place without depleting your energy reservoir.
Barcelona is huge, and on a short city break of three or four days you want to try and see as much as you can without using up all of your energy. There’s so much to see, do and eat here. If you want an easy way out, jump on a hop-on-hop-off bus (like City Sightseeing) to get an overview of the city, prioritise and make your own choices on where you want to get off and have a look around. Yes, it’s a bit touristy, but without lots of time, and under the heat of the Spanish sun, sometimes it is the wisest option.
Need a break? Make your way towards the beachfront, and if it’s really hot out, shout yourself a cold cocktail and enjoy the shade at a super-stylish beachfront bar like the Carpe Diem Lounge Club (pictured above) where we found ourselves taking it easy with fellow travellers during a tour a few years ago (which reminded me of this original vlog we did way back then … bit crass, but fun all the same).
Lay back on comfy day beds, watch the waves and beach revellers, eavesdrop and incidentally learn a little Spanish (‘me gustaría una copa de cava’), and chill out in the best way possible in this fabulous city.
Moral of this story? Don’t fall into the trap where you feel like you have to ‘see everything’. Life, and travel, is about experiences; quality over quantity.
Sometimes exhaustion is going to happen, but if you’re on a city break, balance the sightseeing with chill-out time. Take time to just be. You’re not missing out, you’ll gain more out of your time in the end.
What are your suggestions? Let us know in the comments
Feature image: Gothic Quarter art in Barcelona by Javier Bosch
I’m online a lot – for work (communications), for hobby time (blogging) and social media (phone). Over the past few years I’ve needed to actively take precautions against tech injuries like aching wrist, sore neck and back.
Recently I was working diligently during the day, multitasking between updating a website, writing a blog and replying to some emails. I dragged an item into Dropbox as part of a backup that I intended to run, only for my computer to freeze for thirty seconds, then shut down.
I took a deep breath, believing if I restarted my new laptop (only a few months old) that it would all simply reset. Over 45 minutes later I admitted defeat and called my tech services experts. The news was bad – I’d need a total reinstall and wouldn’t have my laptop back for a few days. *sob*
Then I went about doing something really stupid. Instead of accepting a loan option, I chose to work mostly from my phone, and calling in the odd favour from a colleague to do work that absolutely needed to be done on a computer.
I was rather proud of my efforts and how much I could actually utilise my phone for – emails, cloud based services, even photo editing! I love being independent (ask my parents; this trait drove them nuts!).
That evening though, my arm was so sore from the tips of my fingers to the back of my neck. The next day my tech injury was exasperated further, and I couldn’t type or text. My day of efficiency turned into a week of pain. All my fault, and I should have known better.
A longer term tech injury I am mindful of is a very uncomfortable neck pain that I get that starts at the side of my head (headache) and runs all the way down my neck and into my shoulder blade near the middle of my back. It happens if I sit in the wrong position or on an unsupported surface for too long looking at a screen and sometimes it’s really tough to get rid of.
We can live in harmony with our gadgets and avoid tech injuries, and the first step is being aware that we can end up in just as much strife over inappropriate posture and repetitive movements on phones, as we can by running about playing tennis or at the gym without knowing what we’re doing.
There’s a helpful blog by a sports therapy service provider in Brighton that I’ve discovered, which looks at topics like how stress can cause pain, why it’s important to keep an eye on your posture while at work, case studies and myth busters on health and wellbeing.
After years of working in front of screens, I now live by a few rules that save me pain:
Seek advice on the right angle and height for your computer screen. This makes all the difference in avoiding unnecessary neck pain and wrist strain. It’s also a good idea to investigate whether you are using the right mouse, keyboard and sitting in an appropriate chair for your body type, height and type of work.
Take breaks if you find yourself texting, editing, Instagramming or emailing for long periods of time on a smart phone or tablet.
Remember to exercise and stretch regularly. Personally I find yoga is essential. Also the weight machines in the gym (especially those where you are working the muscles of your arms and back) are really helpful for balancing bad posture or sitting in front of a laptop for hours. I have had advice from professionals on this though, but personal trainers and yoga instructors are so accessible these days (on and offline), so no excuses for DIY in this area until you are properly advised.
We have also been offered helpful advice advice from physiotherapists in the past – it’s amazing that something that has long ailed you can be rectified thanks to professional insight.
Be mindful of your body – you know it best, so if something doesn’t feel right don’t let it go. Most tech injuries are preventable. Seek advice and don’t live with little aches – what a shame if you ignore it and it becomes a larger problem.
What’s your experience with tech injuries? Your stories, tips and experience is welcome, let us know on social media or in the comments below.
I’m having the Last Word in Get it Magazine – this month I reflect on lessons learnt about the real value of getting fit. –Sarah
My man, Cooper, has told me − affectionately of course − that I resemble a dachshund when I run. You know, a ‘sausage dog’; a cute one, I’m assured. He knows me well, which makes this quite funny because it’s probably true.
I’ve never loved the gym, and I am not a runner (I have been known to jog into Uncle Dan’s though). My aversion to running started way back in grade one. Six years old and attending a small school in Cairns, cane fields rustling in the breeze out the back, all of us were marched onto the oval to run. All the way around in the heat. I hated it. Right there the stubborn Taurean was officially born, and unfortunately for all PE teachers to come, I was to be the one they’d never convince.
My wise mum got me involved in something she knew I’d like – ballet. It was my extra curricula thing. Sadly, at 16 it became apparent my ankles didn’t have the strength, so I took up tennis. I enjoyed it, especially when I discovered I could win by perfecting my serve to ace my opponent, eradicating the need to, you guessed it – run! Resourceful, I am.
Let’s be honest, most of us especially when we are young, care not for fitness but about how we look. I thought I was blessed with a fast metabolism and the ability to eat anything (Muffin Break treats daily and Uni dinners of pasta, cheese and tomato sauce – fail, fail). If the skirt didn’t fit right, I’d go on a walk every morning for a couple of weeks and be fine. That didn’t last.
I was lucky to have Cooper to encourage me all these years. He’s an all-round fitness nut (my opposite). I’ve dipped in and out of gym, Body Combat, Yoga, Body Balance, walking, Barre; I’ve tested fitness classes, diets and supplements, achieving varying degrees of satisfaction. Drudgery, all with the aim of gaining some kind of ‘perfection’. Until I realised that it’s not just about what I look like. Slow-learner, I am.
While I’m sharing wisdom, here’s what else I found out along the way: long term weight maintenance happens because we make better choices and exercise more often than not. Also, active life = good mood, feeling motivated and inspired. So simple!
Recently I saw Andrea Corbett share her moving story. She’s ranked in the top five international female body builders in the world. A former school teacher, she told of how she hit a majorly tough spot in her life and was living on anti-depressants. She didn’t want it to be like that, and following a serendipitous turn of events she says, “I found body-building, and it saved my life”. Her mantra hit home: fitness means looking and feeling good.
I gathered a group of girlfriends to grill them on the topic, and we concluded that without a doubt some (not all, obviously) periods of depression in our lives have coincided with a lack of exercise and unhealthy life choices.
I am a spectator at heart. A very good one too. Once, my friend Julie and I turned up to a footy game to cheer Cooper on, feeling proud for being there in the first place, only to realise we were watching the wrong game. #girlfriendfail
I am a better spectator than athlete. But, despite the foot-stomping, procrastinating and initial disinterest in the gym, this ‘spectator’ does finally get the true meaning of living a fit life. Sexy, skinny selfies might be cool, but now and in the long term, the value in getting healthy is really about the happiness payoff. That’s the advice I share with my younger friends, and the experience I discuss with contemporaries. It’s never too late to get active, to find something you enjoy doing and make it a habit. I’ve just spotted an ad for ‘swing fit’ in my neighbourhood (swing dancing, to be clear). Health. Happiness. Fabulous. It seems running may not even be required.
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