Going from the 9-5 lifestyle to full time housesitting, one of the changes we don’t often think about is our fitness and health. Without a set routine where we might cycle to the office, walk a little longer just to visit our favourite cafe for lunch, or hit the gym post-work, it becomes all too easy to lose track of a fitness regime. Moving around so much and being faced with various responsibilities at each housesit we do makes it even harder to stick to a daily activity. So we’ve put together our top 5 ways to keep fit on the road while housesitting full time, and most of them can easily become a fun new habit to keep you healthy!

1- Walkies with dogs

This one was always going to be top of the list for obvious reasons! Since beginning our full time petsitting journey, we’ve been for so many walkies with dogs. In our 9-5 life, we’d make plans to go for a walk on the weekend. We were often too exhausted from work to go for a walk ‘just because’ during the week – our weekdays were mostly made up of slogging through the day, getting home for 6pm, eating dinner in front of the TV and not moving until it was time to crawl into bed… just to start the grind all over again the next day.

Now, our favourite pet sits are those with active dogs that love long walkies so we can get out and explore a new area, while getting in those steps too! One of our all time favourite housesits is still our very first one; a month in the Lake District looking after Border Collie Bob, who would walk for seven or eight hours a day. We enjoyed hiking dozens of lakeside fells over those weeks, with him leading the way and motivating us to keep climbing!

At Surprise View in the Lake District with Bob

2- Park Run

Park Runs are a fantastic way to keep fit and stay in a routine, as they happen every Saturday in locations all over the UK and in some places in Europe. You can visit the Park Run website to view their map of run locations – we do this upon arrival at our housesits to see if there’s one close by, and as there’s so many of them there usually is one near to us!

We completed three Park Runs at Holkham Hall during a housesit in Norfolk this February, which inspired us to go for shorter runs during the week too! The best part of Park Run is the volunteers who organise and steward the events and who keep the atmosphere buzzing to motivate the runners.

If running isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it! You can jog or walk if you want to. We’re not ashamed to say we’ve been overtaken by power-walking pensioners, and mamas pushing buggies. Though you’re given a finishing time at the end, it’s not about the time – it’s about getting out there and moving your body in a judgement-free space. (Though it does feel pretty sweet when you smash your personal best!)

3- Yoga

If you’re looking for a more gentle way to move, yoga will change your life! During lockdown with seven others at our Norfolk workaway, a few of us started a morning yoga club in the living room to start the day right with half an hour of stretching and meditation. We use the Down Dog Yoga app which was on offer at the time for around £12, which gives you free access to all other Down Dog apps too, including HIIT, Barre and many more. There’s a Down Dog Yoga For Beginners app to start off a little slower if it’s your first time exploring yoga. Down Dog shows you a video in real time and talks you through each pose, so it’s super easy to follow and you can be sure you’re doing it right! It’s a really flexible app (no pun intended) as you can choose the length of the practice, the background music, and even pick a focus for the practice like Back Strength or Breathing.

Suze can’t resist the chance for a Crow Pose in nature!

We usually wake up and practice yoga for 25 minutes, then follow it up with a workout on the Down Dog 7 Minute Workout app while we’re all lovely and stretched out. A post-workout breakfast always tastes better.

4- Housesits with a gym or swimming pool

It should go without saying that we don’t go searching for these sits as a requirement, but when it turns out that the housesit we’ve booked has some kind of dedicated fitness area, best believe we wholeheartedly appreciate it and use it as much as we can while we have it! While I’ve been known to hit the treadmill or use weights for short bursts of exercise, Chris is definitely a water baby at heart and loves to swim in a pool, or row – even if it is on a rowing machine.

Teilo checking on Chris in the pool at a housesit near Marlborough

We also love it when homeowners leave us their bikes. Earlier this year we discovered the joy of cycling along Hove Promenade for a refreshing, speedy trip into Brighton!

5- Finding quirky local activities

While it can be difficult to keep a fitness routine going while we move from place to place so often, travelling around so much also opens up a lot of opportunities to try new ways to be active! We’ve tried out so many different sports just by looking out for fun way to keep fit anywhere we travel: We’ve been snowboarding in Milton Keynes, rock climbing in Tunbridge Wells, paddle boarding in Maidstone and surfing in Cornwall, all because we do our research to get the most out of wherever we go.

Chris bouldering in Tunbridge Wells

Google is your friend, as well as Facebook groups – try The Yes Tribe and its local splinter groups to get firsthand knowledge and tips for the best activities in any area.

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