Living the digital nomad or travel blogger lifestyle can be challenging…to your health.
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The travel blogger lifestyle looks pretty glamorous. Traveling the world and working without being location dependent seems like the dream. Of course, working online comes with its own set of challenges. It isn’t always working on a laptop at the beach with a beer in your hand.
While I’m not a digital nomad, I work lengthy hours at an office job. For me, the travel blogging dream is achieved by working long hours at my day job, and in many instances, working on my computer when I get home. On my days off work, I’m working on this blog, which means even more sitting in front of a glowing screen.
I travel as much as possible, and I blog while I’m on the road. Even while traveling, I spend at least a couple of hours a day at the computer, usually at the end of an adventurous travel day.
Whether I’m at the office or blogging, I end up sitting a lot. I could spend hours and hours without even getting up. Naturally, this is detrimental to my health. While I might not have the same health risks as someone working a profession that requires a lot of physical exertion, like a painter or a landscaper, working at a computer comes with its own set of health risks.
There are many health problems associated with sitting all day.
- The development of musculoskeletal disorders are associated with sitting for long periods of time
- Women with sedentary jobs for more than 10 years have twice the risk of colon cancer
- People sitting for more than 11 hours per day have a 40% larger increase of death within the next three years, as compared to those who sit for only four hours per day
Thankfully, there are ways that we can stay healthier as digital nomads, travel bloggers, or those working in any office environment.
KEEP MOVING THROUGHOUT THE DAY
It’s best if you can find ways to move around throughout the day, rather than just once or twice. You might walk across your office or co-working space to speak to a colleague instead of picking up the phone or sending an email. Devices like a Fitbit or even an app on your phone can remind you to get up and move once an hour.
It’s important to incorporate regular activity into your business work day. Even if you can’t constantly be leaving your desk, there are exercises you can do from your office, whether it’s at home, at a workplace, or on the road.
Getting more exercise helps to control your weight, combats disease, and can even put you into a better mood.
GO FOR A WALK
This is one of my favourite suggestions. When I’m working on the blog all day, whether it’s editing photos or writing blog posts, it’s always good to take a break. Going for a walk outside can help clear my mind and increase my creativity. I’ve found that it’s helpful to get over writer’s block. But even better, it’s a great way to work some exercise into my busy day.
When I’m travelling, getting more exercise becomes even easier. I love incorporating outdoor adventures into my holidays. Whether it’s a hiking trip or exploring a region by kayak, I find that I get even more exercise when I’m trekking around the globe.
EATING HEALTHY FOODS
When travelling, I often use the excuse, “I’m on vacation” to eat everything in sight. As a vegan, I might be eating healthier in general, but I’m not immune from indulging in unhealthy treats or snacks. I find that it’s even worse because I’m often researching and trying different restaurants to write about them. The food at restaurants is usually not as healthy because it’s made to taste great, so it’s higher in fat, sugar, or salt.
While I encourage you to give veganism a try for a multitude of reasons, it can be a very healthy diet to follow. If possible, I recommend eating primarily vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. Limit your intake of convenience foods, faux meats, processed foods, fried foods, and oils.
If possible, cook your meals from home. Between working a full time office job and a full time travel blogging job, I don’t have much time to cook. However, I’ll set aside a few hours once a week to batch cook my meals. That way, I’ll always have healthy meals in the fridge that I can bring to work or eat at home.
POSITION YOURSELF CORRECTLY
Digital nomads and bloggers spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen. If you find that your eyes become tired or strained, this can be a condition called computer vision syndrome. The symptoms include red eyes, irritation or dryness, headaches, or shoulder pain.
Make sure you practice good posture while sitting at the computer. Ensure that the monitor is directly in front of your face, about four to eight inches below your eyes so your neck is not strained. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, looking at something 20 or more feet from your screen.
Prevent getting carpal tunnel syndrome from overuse of your keyboard or smartphone. Avoid repetitive motions with your hands by taking appropriate breaks or changing positions.
OTHER WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY
It doesn’t matter if you’re a digital nomad, a travel blogger, an office employee, or someone who works a physically demanding job. There are ways we can all be healthier and live life to the fullest.
It’s important to make sure we get enough sleep. I’m guilty of this one. Many times, I’ll work for 12 hours at my day job, spend a half hour to an hour driving to work and back, and then I’ll work on the blog for a couple of hours. This results in getting four or five hours of sleep if I’m lucky. Sleep deprivation leads to anxiety and chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure. I need to take my own advice and make sleep a priority.
We also need to strengthen our muscles to stay healthy. Yoga is a great activity to strengthen our bodies, relieve stress, and focus on both posture and balance.
Hopefully these tips will guide you to living a healthier and happier life if you’re a digital nomad, travel blogger, or office employee who loves to travel as much as possible. The healthier I am, the more years I’ll have to follow my passions and explore even more of this amazing planet.