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Tips and Tricks for Staying Fit and Healthy as a Digital Nomad

The digital nomad lifestyle is a popular way of living and working today – it’s been dubbed the ‘future of work’. As technology continues to advance, more people are choosing the freedom and flexibility of remote work. It’s an exciting lifestyle; new destinations, new cultures, new colleagues. However, constant travel and working long hours can make staying fit and healthy difficult.

The digital nomad must find ways to maintain optimal physical and mental health while navigating the complicated world of traveling, working, and living in new environments. For instance, sitting for prolonged periods of time in front of the screen, often without ergonomic support, weakens the muscles of the lower back and neck. This leads to postural issues, such as scoliosis, which may take years to correct. Other common health concerns as a digital nomad include poor sleep quality, high stress levels, increased risk of infections, and erratic eating habits.

In this long-form blog, we’ll explore some ways to solve the challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle by sharing tips and tricks on how to prioritize healthy habits while being remote.

Prioritize Sleep

Nothing beats sleep —it’s crucial for physical and mental health. Without adequate and quality rest time, we risk feeling sluggish, irritable, and unmotivated to work, exercise, or even socialize with colleagues or locals.

One way to ensure better sleep quality is to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Make a bedtime routine and stick to it, regardless of which country you’re in. Ideally, it should involve minimal screen time, turning off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed, ensuring the room is dark and cool, and using comfortable pillows.

It’s worth investing in a high-quality sleep mask and earplugs, especially if you’re staying in a noisy hostel or hotel. These will promote an environment conducive to better sleep quality, helping you wake up feeling refreshed and prepared for the day ahead.

Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Maintaining a healthy diet while constantly eating out and traveling is a challenge. One potential solution is to plan your meals ahead of time. This strategy allows you to incorporate nutritious ingredients and pick healthy local cuisines wherever you’re based.

Consider carrying around healthy snacks like nuts, dates, whole wheat crackers or protein bars. These make great alternatives to the sugary and fatty foods you might find at a fast food joint. Alternatively, research local grocery stores and markets; making meals from scratch is not only a great way to save money but also to make sure you’re getting a nutrient-dense diet.

In addition, look for healthy options on restaurant menus. Try ordering grilled fish instead of a burger, or a salad instead of cheesy fries. It’s about finding a balance between exploring local cuisine and taking care of your body.

Exercise Regularly

Working for long hours, sitting down all day, and skipping exercise is a recipe for an unhealthy body. Exercising helps the body recover from long hours in front of the screen, and it’s crucial to stay active for good health.

Even if you’re on the go, many exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges require no equipment but have tremendous benefits. All you need to do is find a quiet area and a few minutes out of your day to start. Otherwise, finding a gym, yoga studio, or a group fitness class can provide excellent opportunities to stay active, explore local areas and meet new people.

Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine could start with the simple decision to walk instead of taking cabs or public transport. Walking or cycling for a few kilometers to your next location could help burn some calories, improve heart health, and maintain your physical stamina.

Stay Hydrated

Prolonged travel could cause dehydration, fatigue, and in worst-case scenarios, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Given that the body is mostly made up of water, it’s crucial to maintain optimal hydration.

Since the need for hydration depends on several factors like body weight, weather, and activity level, aim to drink at least 2 liters of water per day. Keep a water bottle handy and set reminders on your phone to drink water regularly.

If you’re traveling to countries where the tap water isn’t trustworthy or not safe to drink, it’s vital to avoid becoming dehydrated by purchasing bottled water daily. In countries where reducing plastic waste is actively encouraged, it’s essential to search for alternatives to bottled water, like tap-to-go refillable bottles. Shop around for products that serve both your needs and the environment.

Find Ways to Relax and De-Stress

Unfortunately, it can prove challenging to keep your work-life balance intact while digital nomading. Staying disciplined about work hours and workloads plus the need to adjust to new environments can be incredibly stressful.

It’s essential for a digital nomad to build relaxation and downtime into their schedule. This could include taking a few moments to meditate or practice breathing exercises, attending yoga classes or going for a massage. Some digital nomads find solace in doing something that’s not work or travel-related like listening to music, reading, or painting.

If you’re a person who enjoys socializing and being around people, the digital nomad lifestyle can often be isolating. It’s important to go out, meet new people and try new things. Joining a club, attending networking events or engaging with other digital nomads online could be a good way to overcome the loneliness associated with life on the road. Human connection is vital for mental and emotional wellbeing, particularly for those on the move.

Mind Your Posture

Constant sitting or standing coupled with the increasing dependency on technology, especially laptops and smartphones, could cause upper body stress or strain, leading to relatively minor ailments like neck pain or pinched nerves.

To avoid this, it’s essential to practice good posture habits. Postural exercises and body mechanics can help reduce stress on painful areas and prevent further deterioration of tissues. Engage in exercise sessions like yoga, stretching, or pilates to work on posture and muscular alignment issues.

If possible, invest in proper office chairs or ergonomic aids to reduce the risk of back strain when long periods of sitting are unavoidable. Ergonomically sound furniture is cheaper over time than the cost associated with paying off medical bills.

Use Technical Tools to Your Advantage

Technology is a digital nomad’s best friend. There are hundreds of applications, software, and technological tools that help with staying healthy and productive while on the go. For instance, fitness and nutrition apps like MyFitnessPal, daily guided meditation apps like Headspace, or workout from home apps like Aaptiv make it easy to stay on top of your health.

Utilize equipment like Bluetooth headphones and portable speakers to create a conducive environment for you to work and play. Control noise levels in shared environments with noise-canceling headphones, and keep active during the day by logging activity and engaging with specific fitness trackers like Fitbit.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Being a digital nomad can be a stressful experience, and the risk of developing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety is higher for those who live and work on the go. It can be difficult to maintain friendships, form attachments or even engage in activities that provide a sense of belonging.

It’s essential to pay attention to your emotional needs, and cultivate habits that promote emotional well-being. This might involve seeking professional help like a mental health counselor or therapist, having routine check-ins with a confidant or friend, or performing daily self reflection and meditation.

Identify activities that bring you joy and find ways to incorporate them into your routine. This could be anything from reading novels, traveling to new destinations or taking up a hobby like painting or writing.

Travel Health Insurance

Having good quality health insurance is crucial for anyone who spends time traveling or living abroad. While accessing medical care in some countries might be affordable, the cost of private healthcare in many countries could prove prohibitive.

Vet potential health insurance providers thoroughly before committing, and ensure you understand the policies and limitations of the coverage. Basic health insurance should cover emergency and hospital care, but incorporating other elements like dental, prescription drug costs, and pre-existing conditions could be fundamental to your health maintenance while on the road.

Maintain Relationships

One of the biggest challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle is sustaining long-term relationships with friends and family. The transient nature of the lifestyle means it can be challenging to form deep connections, and loneliness is a real risk factor.

Use social media, messaging apps, video conferencing or even phone calls to stay connected with loved ones. When possible, organize meetups with those people in different parts of the world or invite them to travel with you on exciting destinations. Being intentional and deliberate about nurturing relationships can make a big difference in avoiding feelings of loneliness and disconnection.

Keep Your Digital Workspace Effective

One of the primary advantages of living as a digital nomad is the ability to work from anywhere with the internet. Therefore, ensuring your digital workspace is both comfortable and effective is vital to prevent burnout and maintain productivity.

Consider investing in portable equipment like a laptop stand or ergonomic keyboard to minimize strain on your wrists, back and neck. These minor upgrades to your workstation could prevent or reduce repetitive strain injuries caused by excessive computer use.

Know When to Take Breaks

Effective time management and knowing when to take breaks is critical to success as a digital nomad. Creating an efficient daily schedule that incorporates rest and relaxation periods can prevent burnout and maintain high levels of creativity and productivity.

It’s essential to plan ahead of time and set realistic deadlines, this makes it possible for you to schedule off time as well. Take regular breaks during work, even if it’s for a brief walk around the block, drink water or lunch meal. Know when to switch off entirely, allowing yourself ample time to recuperate and recharge.

Build a Routine but Stay Flexible

Building a regular routine could help you maintain focus and productivity throughout your workday, but traveling to new locations and experiencing different time zones means flexibility is a vital skill.

It’s essential to create a routine that incorporates priorities but also allow for spontaneity and surprises. Flexibility creates the opportunity to try new things, meet new people and explore new places, leading to improved mental health and creativity.

Learn to Say No

It can be tempting to agree to take on more work than you can accommodate while remote work. Learn to say no when you feel overworked, stressed, or overwhelmed by your workload.

Knowing your limits, and asserting your boundaries with your clients, could increase your respect from clients and colleagues. It also ensures you prioritize good health and manage work-life balance effectively.


Adopting a healthy and balanced lifestyle while leading a digital nomad life can prove challenging, but it’s achievable. Start by incorporating healthy habits into your routine slowly.

Find ways to prioritize sleep, exercise, nutrition, self-care, and maintaining connections with friends and loved ones. Utilize digital tools to help you manage and succeed in work, and maintain discipline when it comes to taking breaks, saying no, and finding a balance that works for you.

Remember, the best way to maintain your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is through regular self-care practices, and to maintain good relationships with yourself and others. Happy digital nomading!

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