*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*
Staying on track with your fitness and health goals can be really tough while traveling. When I’m home, I strive to eat clean and exercise regularly, so when we travel I have to get creative. Below are 3 ways to help you stay on track while traveling, yet still have fun because above all else, you’re there for the experience!
In 2016, I went on a trip to Italy with my grandparents and didn’t hold myself accountable for anything. I ate everything, drank a little too much wine, and didn’t exercise or walk nearly enough to outweigh the calories I consumed. I gained 20 pounds. Yes, 20 freaking pounds. When I stepped on the scale at home I was full of disappointment, anger and I became depressed. Of course I can list the excuses that I told myself, and I’d probably have the first chapter of a novel, but it doesn’t matter; I had to get healthy. For the record, not skinny, but healthy.
I found exercise routines that worked for me as well as dietary changes. I didn’t go on a diet, I changed my lifestyle. I started doing Pilates and barre with the occasional cardio class. I also removed processed foods from our diet and tried to make sure we could read and understand all of the ingredients in our food. One plant-based meal a day is my goal, and other than that, we eat as we like. Poor Cain is along for the ride, but hey, he likes lentil pasta now!
I promised myself after that trip to Italy that I would always hold myself accountable to my lifestyle even if I’m not at home with my usual routine. I researched what I could do to stay healthy and the ideas I am sharing with you have helped me to keep a healthy lifestyle while traveling all over the world. I went back to Italy this year and I successfully maintained control of my health this time around.
Odds are when you’re traveling, you’re eating out. I’ve found success in always ordering at least one veggie meal a day. I noticed restaurants have become really friendly with labeling menu items gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. Pick a healthy option that works best for you for at least one meal to give your body a break from all of your traveling indulgences.
Most recently, when we went to Italy, I would do a pasta dish for one meal because heyyyy, Italy! Other than that, I would search the menu for a veggie dish. I was always excited to find something with quinoa or avocados. In Tuscany we went to a restaurant that had gnocchi made out of spinach and ricotta cheese; not pasta. My.mind.was.blown.
I also like to eat seafood, so if there is a shrimp dish, I’m all over it! For no particular reason, I tend to eat more seafood than red meat. Does it matter? Who knows. Cain loves steak and is super healthy.
Also, drink lots of water! I like to ask for a lemon wedge in the morning and squeeze it into a glass of hot water. It gets your body ready to take on the day and wakes up your digestive system.
Overall, the age-old saying still applies, everything in moderation, y’all. Everything in moderation.
IMPROVISE WITH EXERCISE
So, this one is tough if you don’t have internet, but then we just go back to the stone-age and run. (still no fun, I guess, unless you like running)
I like to bring a laptop or iPad along with me on trips and I’ve discovered that YouTube can be (wo)man’s best friend. Actually, it’s “second” best friend; it can’t replace dogs, there’s no argument. You can find basically anything on YouTube. I’ve been able to accomplish both yoga practices and Pilates in the comfort of an Airbnb.
Also, I’m not sure about all workout franchises, but I like Pure Barre and I know that the franchise has a streaming service. See if your workout studio has a streaming service that you can take with you wherever you go. What an awesome way to stay connected to your fitness goals no matter how far away you are from your studio. My Pilates studio, Evolve, posts mini-HIIT sessions on Instagram, so I save and do those on vacation, as well.
Personally, I don’t like the gym. I’m uber intimidated by it. But if that’s your jam; do it. Most hotels have a gym with treadmills and weights, and if available, the pool is always a fabulous idea. Make it your priority.
The bottom line is that there are many ways for you to improvise and move your body on vacation. If you don’t want to pay for a streaming service, don’t. YouTube has free videos. Research and find what you like and what’s right for your body. Hell, it can be waking up and doing 50 crunches and 10 jumping jacks. It all adds up, and it all helps to keep you on track.
WALK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
This is a biggie. Walk, walk, walk! If you have the option to take an elevator or take the stairs, take the stairs. Are you going to take a cab three blocks, or walk three blocks? Walk.
Walking around on vacation is how you exercise without even realizing it. Your fitness tracker will buzz by midday and you’ll be like holy cow, I did how many steps? Yeah, walk and keep that blood pumping, your body will thank you.
By no means am I a doctor, I have no medical opinion and you should definitely consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. These are all things that have worked for me while traveling. These tips have kept me accountable, healthy and motivated and I hope they can help you, too!