Pro surfer and Novotel ambassador Sally Fitzgibbons shares her tips and tricks for feeling good when you’re away from home.
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle whilst travelling. Here Sally Fitzgibbons tells us about the life of a travelling surfing pro and some actionable ways you too can feel your best, regardless of whether you’re away for work or play.
Wellness on the go: Why I stay fit while travelling
Travelling can be a great way to explore a new culture and environment. Being a professional surfer has allowed me to travel the world to some of the most amazing locations. It’s also an opportunity to adapt to your surroundings. Whether it’s for a holiday or to compete, I always make sure I bring my workout gear with me. As an athlete, a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important aspects of my career, along with my training. Because I’m always on the go, it’s crucial that I have a healthy body and mind for me to perform my best wherever I am.
I know I personally feel at my best when my body is in balance, inside and out. That means eating the right things and training as consistently as I can. After a while, a healthy lifestyle becomes a part of who you are and it’s a no-brainer to keep it going!
Whenever I’m out, I’m looking for a wholesome, delicious meal. I’m lucky enough to have my healthy choice meals on the InBalance menu in Novotel hotels. You have to try my grilled salmon, it’s simply amazing!
Consistency and determination are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle
To compete at the highest level, I have to work extra hard to maintain my health and perform my best no matter where I am. Keeping to a fitness routine when on the go can be quite challenging, it’s important to know when to push yourself, and when to allow time for recovery.
I’ve been able to borrow training methods, tips and secrets from different coaches in different environments and apply them to my own training. My workouts reflect a lot of the training I do when travelling. Running always grounds me to the place I’m in. So no matter where I go, I’ll always hit the local roads for a run.
My advice would be to know your goals, and always have them in mind. Determination can be a really good motivator if you feel like you’re not up for a workout or straying from your diet. Write down what you’re aiming to achieve and always have a mental image of it in your mind.
My top 3 tips to stay healthy while travelling
#1: Get outside your comfort zone
It’s a great way to see some sights and get a feel for wherever you are. My favourite time of the day is dawn. Before the streetlights come on, I’m usually out of the door and running along the beach or trail. I’ve already been sightseeing before everyone else is up!
#2: Experiment and enjoy
Try the local food, but stick to fresh veggies and lean protein wherever you can. When in doubt, always have a healthy snack handy! If you’re travelling on holiday or for business, don’t stress too much and enjoy the time you have exploring new surroundings.
#3: Make time for your workouts
Whether it’s a 20min HIIT (high intensity interval training) session or sprints, there’s always a little time to get active. If you’re staying at Novotel, you can try one of my 30 min workouts from the comfort of your hotel room! The workouts on the Train Like Sally app are quick and accessible to all fitness levels. I do them myself! Some don’t require any equipment and can be done in a hotel room or outside. It’s important to get creative when you’re on the go.
A few other things to consider when you're away from home
Stretch and recover after a long flight or drive
Any form of active stretching is great after sitting for long periods of time. After a long flight, I’ll go for a run along the beach or around the area. It gets my body moving and clears my head with some fresh air. I might go for a surf, or do bit of yoga and stretching to help my body recover.
Always have snacks handy
I keep my diet very consistent as it’s one of the best ways to make sure my body gets all the energy it needs for the day. I always have fruits and veggies at hand, or some nuts and a protein bar. My advice when it comes to snacks is to look for quality ingredients. My favourite at the moment are Blue Dinosaur Bars, they are paleo and super tasty – a great snack to refuel with!
It’s all about balance: Enjoy some downtime
I love to connect to the ocean, surfing is a treat as much as it is my job. Running is definitely my form of meditation, as is being in the ocean – I love energising my body with exercise. Meditating and massages are also great to recover and unwind. Making sure you get some downtime to yourself is also a really important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. My advice is to do something that makes you happy or feel good about yourself. It really is all about balance!
My home away from home: The Gold Coast
I love being outdoors when on the Gold Coast. The weather and temperature are perfect for running in Brisbane or along the beaches. It’s a great place for me to recharge and recover!
The Gold Coast beaches are some of the best in the world. I’m lucky enough to call it my home away from home. The surf is world class. Snapper has some of the best waves, but Straddie and Broadbeach are also fun. You always get so stoked when you hunt around for a sand bank that no one has uncovered yet and manage to get a peak all to yourself.
About Sally Fitzgibbons: Sally is a Pro surfer, Novotel ambassador, sports fanatic, and is a lover of all things health and fitness. Her holistic lifestyle and dedication to training are what make her the best in the business. She shares her enthusiasm for a healthy mind and body thanks to her app Train Like Sally, and also through the Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation.