This post was written by Shandi Barker, a featured guest writer on this blog. Shandi is a Canadian fitness enthusiast who kickstarted her digital nomad journey in 2018. Currently reshaping the nomadic lifestyle narrative, Shandi empowers others to sustain health on the move, sharing adaptable habits for those seeking balance in this unconventional lifestyle.

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Page Content

  • Health & Wellness As A Digital Nomad
  • Challenge #1: Maintaining A Balanced Diet
  • Challenge #2: Staying Active
  • Challenge #3: Lack Of Routine & Consistency
  • And That’s A Wrap!
  • Connect With Shandi

Health & Wellness As A Digital Nomad

Being a digital nomad is incredible - the lifestyle we lead is thrilling, adventurous, and inspiring. We have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything, all while being able to support ourselves and our adventures. However, as a digital nomad, there are some challenges we need to navigate differently from people who aren’t travelling at our pace. One of those challenges is maintaining our health and wellness while constantly on the go.

From championing this lifestyle for over 4 years to engaging with nomads who have been travelling for decades, here are 3 major challenges we all face and some practical ways to overcome them. 

Challenge #1: Maintaining A Balanced Diet As A Digital Nomad

As digital nomads, when we're travelling around the world, we want to, of course, try all of the local cuisines and eat how the locals do. Sometimes, it's even cheaper to eat out than it is to cook. And sometimes, it isn't even possible to cook where you're staying, because there isn't a kitchen available to you. 

How can we ensure we get all the nutrients and vitamins from our food when we can't cook it ourselves?

Solution A: Explore The Healthy Side Of Local Cuisine

Cuisine is such an important part of travelling and exploring a new culture. Why not explore the healthy side of the local cuisine while you’re at it?

If you’re in Greece, explore the wide variety of fresh Mediterranean fruits and veggies. If you’re in Japan, make the most of the Japanese diet, which includes a lot of fish, often rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Make it a challenge for yourself to try a new and healthy dish from every country that you visit! Perhaps even consider taking a local cooking class to switch things up.

Solution B: Find Healthier Alternatives

When eating out, try choosing more nutritious meals once in a while. If you're used to eating fast food for dinner every day, try cutting it down to a few times a week instead. Or, if you’re not ready to cut down on fast food yet, try going for the more nutritious side dishes instead, and still order your fav fast food. For example, when ordering a burger, try choosing a side salad instead of fries. 

If you're getting takeout, try adding more fruits and vegetables to the takeout food. For example, if you're getting a donair (delicious + cheap), grab some lettuce and a tomato from your nearest grocery store and add those extra veggies to the donair. 

Solution C: Collaborative Cooking Spaces or Co-Living Arrangements 

If you’re open to the idea, try out co-living places! Lots of co-living spaces offer shared kitchens, which you can use as a place to meet new people and share the work of cooking (and the cost!). It’s not only fun to have someone there by your side while cooking, but it’s also a great way to form new and lasting friendships.  

Challenge #2: Staying Active As A Digital Nomad

As digital nomads, our schedules are pretty full. Between working and travelling, we don't have much time left in the day to find a gym, and then actually do a workout there, too. 

What is the best way to stay active while maintaining your nomadic lifestyle? 

Solution A: Walk Walk Walk

Walk instead of taking public transport. If you're in a new city and you want to do some sightseeing, try walking between landmarks. It's a great way to get more movement in, and you might find some hidden gems along the way! 

Solution B: Home Workouts Never Fail

Opt for at-home workouts instead of going to a gym. This is great because you don't have to spend time finding a gym, getting there, and then being in a foreign environment where you may not feel 100% comfortable. When you do at-home workouts, it removes a lot of the obstacles to becoming more active; plus, there are lots of exercises you can do with only your body weight or objects around the house!

Join An Online Workout Session With Me

If you’re looking at doing home workouts with an awesome group of people, I offer live online group workout sessions. It’s a great way to get a good workout in, and to join a community of like-minded people!

Join A Remote Workout

Solution C: Join Local Activity Groups

Joining a group is a great way to both get a good workout AND meet people. These can be anything you like - if you like running, find a running group. If you like CrossFit, search for those groups. The world is your oyster!

Challenge #3: Lack Of Routine & Consistency As A Digital Nomad

Our days are almost always different - and most of the time, that's what we love about the lifestyle! How fun is it to be sipping on a cappuccino in Italy on a Monday, and white water rafting in Bosnia on a Thursday?

But sometimes, this can be a challenge, too. How do we achieve what we want to achieve, without having a routine that helps us get there? 

Let's say our goal is to be able to stay healthy + strong so we can continue experiencing fun adventures around the world. How can we do this?

Solution A: What’s Keeping You From Moving?

Make a list of all situations that might stop you from moving your body today, and come up with solutions for them. You don't have to go all out - just find small improvements in your day that will reflect positively on your health. 

For example, if you're working from a cafe all day, and you can't move or else you’ll lose your spot, your solution could be to just stand up for a few minutes. Do a couple of stretches, then sit back down. Or, change cafes every few hours. Get a latte at one cafe, then go for lunch at another, etc. 

Solution B: Overcoming Lack Of Time

If you have a busy day with work and you don't have time for a 1+ hour workout, take 5 minutes periodically throughout your day to stand up and do 10 pushups + 10 bodyweight squats. Do this a few times a day, and you've got a mini workout in without sacrificing time you don't have!  

Solution C: Integrate Activity Into Your Adventuring! 

Take advantage of the area you're in, and integrate activity into your adventuring! 

Are you by the beach? Try taking a surf lesson! Go for a scenic hike or bike ride if you’re in a mountainous town. Are you in a beautiful city? Go for a walk and do some sightseeing. Every city has a beautiful walking area!

If you’re not feeling too energetic, try to make the most of the local wellness options offered wherever you are. If you’re stressed in Indonesia, go take a deep tissue Balinese massage. If you need a cleanse in Turkey, go visit a hammam spa and get the wash of a lifetime.

And That’s A Wrap!

The nomadic lifestyle is extraordinary - we get to meet so many amazing people across the world and experience so many new cultures; we get to see things that we couldn’t have imagined, and experience things that change us for the good. The challenges that we face as digital nomads are difficult, but once we find a way to overcome them, we’ll be able to continue living this lifestyle for years to come.

If you’re interested, you can click that button below and sign up for Genki with my referral link 👇

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Shandi covered some amazing tips on how to manage your health and wellness on the fly in this post. However, for added health & travel protection, I always make sure I’m covered by insurance at all times across the globe. For my last couple of travels, I’ve been using Genki as my insurance provider. Genki is an insurance company that is literally dedicated to world travellers. They’ll have you covered for every country with a flexible month-to-month plan and no long-term commitment.

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Connect With Shandi

Shandi is a Canadian fitness enthusiast who kickstarted her digital nomad journey in 2018. Currently reshaping the nomadic lifestyle narrative, Shandi empowers others to sustain health on the move, sharing adaptable habits for those seeking balance in this unconventional lifestyle.

Follow Shandi's Nomadic Health Journey

Discover Shandi's practical tips for a balanced nomadic lifestyle through the links below.

📷 Instagram: @CoachShandi

👍 Facebook: @CoachShandi

🖥️ Website: coachshandi.com

About Me

Niv with a backdrop of a beach and a sea

Hey, I'm Niv and welcome to my blog! I've been travelling almost full-time for the past 3 years while running my business remotely. I'm here to share all I've learnt on my travels with you from travel advice to location recommendations as well as tips for solo travellers and digital nomads. So grab your bags and your laptop and let’s catch that flight ✈️

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