How to Stay Healthy on an Exotic Vacation, According to Pro Surfers

Photos: Roxy
Photos: Roxy

It’s easy enough to keep up with your usual dance cardio classes and smoothie bowls when you’re in, say, the Hamptons. But what about when you’re vacationing in a place so foreign, you can’t even begin to guess the translation for “grapevine”?

You could always take a cue from a pro surfer—they’re used to jumping from one exotic destination to another and adapting their wellness habits as they go.

Take, for instance, Roxy athletes Monyca EleogramBruna Schmitz, and Kelia Moniz (pictured above, left to right). The trio recently traveled to Japan for the Greenroom Festival, a celebration of surf culture that took place just outside of Tokyo in late May. They may not have totally kept up with their usual training schedule, but they did manage to fit healthy interludes into their action-packed days—and they sent us their photo diary to prove it.

From vitamin-rich street food to a no-gym-needed workout, here’s how three top surfers stay healthy and balanced while on the road, without sacrificing a second of fun.

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1. On vacation, stairs are your spin bike

The cardinal rule of keeping up with your fitness on vacation, according to Moniz: “We take the stairs...most of the time.” After all, when you’ve only got a limited amount of time to spend in Tokyo, cardio intervals are best achieved while hopping between sake bars—not inside a dreary hotel gym. (Just make sure to pack comfy sneaks.)

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2. Take any opportunity for a healthy snack

To keep their energy up during a crazy day in the Harajuku, the trio sought out plenty of fresh snacks, like this ultra-hydrating, vitamin-packed watermelon on a stick. (Moniz’s caption for this pic: “Street fruit—yes, please!”). You can also pack some of these options, in case of emergency.

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3. Go ahead, have a cocktail (or several)

Yes, even professional athletes unwind with a fruity drink at the end of a long day of travel (in this case, the trip from Tokyo to the beachside enclave of Chiba). “Lying is exactly what I’d be doing if I captioned this photo ‘Beach hangs and our favorite kombucha,’” says Eleogram. “Yes, we are hanging on the beach, but no, that’s not kombucha—it’s actually our favorite tequila cocktail!” Deprivation is a total balance-killer. Besides, there will be plenty of time to detox when you're back at home.

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4. Start your day with a big, homemade breakfast—preferably al fresco

The Roxy crew fueled up for the festival with big, fresh breakfasts at their rental house—as all the healthiest people do. “Our Japanese house in Chiba was the cutest! We had slumber parties, futons on the ground, and breakfast in the yard,” remembers Schmitz. “I love picnics, beach days—being outdoors just makes everything that much better.”

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5. Slow down and appreciate what’s around you

Mindfulness makes everything more powerful—and you don't have to sit in a quiet room with your eyes closed to practice it (sorry, Lena Dunham). “The ocean is perfect in itself, but there’s nothing like watching the sun cast its golden hues over the surface as it sets,” says Moniz. “If this doesn’t scream ‘happy hour,’ I don’t know what will.” Amen.

For more travel tips from the wellness-obsessed, check out Whitney Port's guide to a healthy festival season, Jennifer Aniston's fit packing list, and surfer Stephanie Gilmore's advice on keeping your spirit of adventure even when you're not on vacation. 

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