My Quest Towards A Healthier Lifestyle As A Digital Nomad

I know that I need to get fitter.

Most importantly, I just need to lose some weight. Living in London I found it pretty hard to keep as healthy as I would like. I had a lot of roles stuck behind a computer, I found gyms were expensive and the traffic-clogged roads didn’t always encourage me to walk. On top of that there were lots of temptations. I am quite a foodie, as my TripAdvisor account attests. Also, I’m ambitious and work hard- sometimes fitness seems like a low priority.

I’m definitely a person who can’t enjoy life being a Puritan for too long. I can’t imagine not having a large appetite or not getting excited trying different foods. However, to increase my chances of a long life in decent health I know I need to do two main things- get my weight down now, so I start from a better base- and try to find some habits that will increase the chance I will be healthy in the future.

I also want to be fitter and healthier because of the many proven links between fitness and having high performance as a professional. In addition, exercise has benefits for mental health and a general sense of wellbeing.

So, while I am in Las Palmas there are three things I want to focus on:

FITNESS– Just simple things like walking around more and doing some exercise to get my heart rate up.

DIET– Fruit and veg is good here and I want to take advantage. I also want to test how I feel after eliminating certain things from my diet and giving my body a rest.

My Quest Towards A Healthier Lifestyle As A Digital Nomad

Pineapples at our local market


SUNLIGHT– I am already getting more sunlight here than I am used to, especially at this time of year. I believe I am affected by SAD- I’ve experimented with a special desktop lamp while working in the past- and I am sure it will help.

Having a change of country and being able to experience the amazing climate here is allowing me to think more deeply about what I want, health-wise. I don’t think I will ever be a triathlete or Mr Muscle, but I can be a slightly better version of me.

The way I see it, my mind has had one of the best workouts of anyone in the world. I did my undergraduate degree at one of the most academic colleges in one of the finest Universities there is. I mean- this guy went to my college!

 My body has never had anything like similar opportunities to work out.

I really do have a big opportunity here to get a little fitter. However I’m not going to be too hard on myself- I know I have a lot of competing priorities and it might take years before I get to where I want to be. Even some small improvement is going to be really exciting.

If you look at this video of the beach where I live now, you will see what a pleasant place it is to walk- so I don’t have too many excuses!

  1. So, for the first time in my life, over the last year, I’ve managed to maintain a reasonable exercise routine and for what it’s worth, here’s what has worked for me – it’s mostly been about a shift in attitude:

    I have always disliked exercise, basically I would almost always rather read a book. I now try to conceptualise exercise as a non-optional part of life rather than something I get a choice over and I have found this really helps. So, in my head, it’s now in the “brushing teeth” category.

    I also have a rule which is that, if I really don’t feel like exercising for whatever reason, I do it anyway but without any of my usual goals. So, at the moment, I am trying to get my 5K running time down to 30 mins (it’s usually at around 33-37 mins) but, if I run when I really don’t feel like it, and it comes in at 45 mins, I just don’t count it in that way, it’s bonus exercise.

    I try where I can to fit it in in a sensible place in my work day – e.g. running home from work – so that it doesn’t have to feel like a special separate effort.

    You might also find this helpful – it’s about categorising people into four tendencies in the context of forming habits. I found this quite useful because it made me realise that some advice which is quite common given on how to form habits just doesn’t work for me – people are always saying “commit to a class” or “make a resolution” but that never works for me, the only thing that works is if I am genuinely convinced that it is the right thing to do.

  2. Staying fit gets more important as you get older, so you’re getting there once and early! There’s also a link between exercise,,sunshine and good mental health. My gym sessions are sacrosanct in my diary – taking priority over ‘urgent’ work.

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