Many of us leave town with big plans to keep up with our fitness while away. We pack our tennies, tanks, yoga pants, and sports bras and get excited about the commitment we’ve made to ourselves! We tell ourselves we’re “really doing it this time.” Does that sound familiar to anyone? I used to be there. I was that person who came back heavier than when I left, who felt sluggish, tired, and just not myself because I lost all control of the things that are now priorities to me – real food and faithful fitness!
The past two vacations I’ve been on I’ve worked out and consumed foods that fuel my body, while passing on many that don’t. Did I partake in some things I normally wouldn’t, hell yes! I’m human too! But those things were in moderation because I know what they do to me and how they make me feel.
So, the magic question is how do you fit fitness in your schedule while you’re away? The simple answer is, “just do it!!!” That may seem easier said than done, so I thought I would share a few tips that came to mind during my recent trip. I understand every trip is different – destination, lodging, the company you’re with, access to weights and equipment, space, money, etc. I also understand it’s like our day-to-day life – if it’s important and is a priority, we will make it happen.
My first piece of advice for someone looking to get started on their fitness journey is to find something you enjoy so you want to do it! It doesn’t matter how great a workout is for you if you aren’t doing it! I happen to love a few workouts that I believe are amazing for us. Maybe I love them because they’re fun, maybe because they’re therapeutic, maybe because I know they’re great, because they push me, or because I like the results. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter why I love them. But because I do, I find myself craving them and feeling proud of myself after EACH and EVERY one I finish!
This post isn’t to sell you on my favorites. However, they tie in perfectly with travel, so I can’t help but share a couple pros!
Depending on your vacation, your workout of choice may be right at your fingertips. It may cost a few precious pennies, but it may be available. Finding fitness on vacation doesn’t have to break the bank though, but you may need to sway away from your norm. And who knows, you may fall in love with something new while you’re away.
During my recent 10-day trip, there was a pool everywhere we stayed. Needless to say, we spent plenty of time relaxing and catching some rays. Yes, I used sunscreen and LOTS of it! When you’re on vacation and spending time near or in the pool, why not swim some laps. Swimming is an amazing workout regardless of how much you enjoy it. I’m not exactly what you would call a “fan,” but when you’re hot and need to cool off, the pool feels great. Swimming laps in between rest and relaxation were a lot more enjoyable than some previous swims I’ve accomplished, and they were great little workouts. We managed to get those workouts in while at the hotel, on the cruise, and at the resort in the Bahamas. Those workouts don’t even take time away from your family or friends! If it’s important, “just do it!” ????
Running is one of my favorites and finding new places to run is always exciting! Running is great because it can be done anywhere! While in the Bahamas, I took advantage of the scenery with a barefoot beach run, and it was beautiful! While on the ship, we woke up before the sunrise to run laps on the top deck. After our laps, we felt great, enjoyed a cup of coffee on the back of the boat, and watched the sun rise. That’s a great way to add fitness into your vacation without taking away from anything! While in Florida, we found a cool park with a trail for runners and cyclists, so we managed to get in a few miles with some locals. It was great! If running isn’t your thing (I’m sorry), keep in mind that walking is a great way to keep moving, and most parks have play areas for kids (and some have dog parks as well)! This is a great way to check out something you may not have otherwise.
I’m a believer in strength training, so I located the fitness centers everywhere we stayed. Because of the facilities and fitness center hours, I only managed to get in one good weight session, but it was one of my favorite workouts while I was away. As an excuse to check out the resort in the Bahamas, we strolled around one morning to find the gym; that alone was nice. Who doesn’t want to check out what the resort has to offer. When I was ready to lift, I grabbed my shoes and jogged over. The fitness center didn’t have AC, so I was a #sweatymess, which I LOVED! The way I like to lift doesn’t take long, so I lifted, did some core work, showered, and met my friend back at the beach. During my last trip to see friends in Denver, I combined running and strength training in a fun way by walking out her front door and running downtown to find a gym. It was perfect! I think I may have even stopped for a cup of joe. Work with your surroundings!!!
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
I normally get to lead four HIIT classes a week, so I don’t have any issues fitting those in. The best part of being in a class is you often push yourself harder than when you’re by yourself. It’s also more fun! However, when that’s not an option, a HIIT workout can be accomplished anywhere without any equipment. On my recent trip, I located the fitness center at the hotel in Florida only to find a few treadmills and one weight machine. Apparently, they were in the process of getting new equipment. Since I had already ran that morning, I wasn’t interested in the treadmills, and the machine was a little sad and being occupied by some dude not paying attention to anyone else. Plus, I love free weights! My excitement disappeared for a moment after I walked in to see so little. I almost turned around and left. Fortunately, I knew I wouldn’t feel good about that decision later, so I stayed for a killer HIIT workout. While it wasn’t nearly as much fun as class, I did it! To be honest, I even felt a little silly doing a solo HIIT workout in front of the few people who were in there, but I knew those feelings were silly. I know I needed it and how good I would feel. I wasn’t ever going to see those people again anyway, so why in the hell would I care what they thought. Once I finished, I walked out like a boss, showered, and headed to the pool to meet my friend for lunch and a beer (or several). I didn’t miss anything other than an hour of lying in the sun, which I didn’t need anyway.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
The bottom line is, if you’re committed, you must make it happen. The easiest and most fun way is to incorporate it into what you’re already doing and what you already love to do! If you love yoga, find out what time they teach yoga at the resort. If you like to cycle, do a cycling tour or rent a bike and go on your own. If you like to hike, ask a local for a cool and challenging place. Decide you want to do it, make it happen, and pat yourself on the damn back because you’re a badass!
Happy & Healthy!