Bem-vindo, Benvenuta, Bienvenue: Travel with these helpful tips to stay fit on the go

Growing up in Louisiana, I was always a big eater.  Living in a home with 3 very hungry brothers, a father who baked homemade sourdough dinner rolls and flaky buttermilk biscuits, and a mother with the cooking skills that had every relative and neighbor constantly calling to see what was on the menu, I developed quite the appetite for good food.  I would consider myself something of a foodie. When I lived in Los Angeles, tacos were everywhere you turned, Korean tacos, Mexican tacos, Japanese inspired tacos, you name it, you could find taco fusion trucks or restaurants everywhere.  3 or 4 tacos was an easy feat for me! And if they were really delicious, I could take down 6 of those bad boys in one sitting.  Thai food was abundant, and there were some pretty amazing southern food restaurants that gave Louisiana joints a battle worth mentioning.

Moving to New York was like a constant bright light and an always present chorus of “AHHHHH”, because there are endless amounts of delicious food everywhere and at every turn. It was as if this light and chorus would appear over every restaurant and food stall door, beckoning me to come in and have a bite of deliciousness to eat. Because New York is such a pedestrian city, it’s much easier to get distracted by and pulled into a restaurant, ice cream shop, food market or donut shop as you’re passing by. When we travel, we are usually on foot exploring a new country; like Italy, you walk everywhere, and there are so many eateries to catch your attention and curiosity.  Overeating becomes too easy and hits your belly like a ton of fried dough!! In Paris, get ready to have a crepe in each hand, croissants every day, and deeply rich beef bourguignon and fun nights of fondue.  

There are so many great food cities to travel to, and you’ve probably experienced your fair share.  Buenos Aires, Argentina is up there on my list, along with Positano, Naples, and Capri in Italy, Italian food be damned!!! Travel is so much fun, and provides great cultural learning experiences.  It’s an amazing feeling to get out and walk about a new place, but it can be frustrating when you don’t have access to a gym and are missing out on your usual fitness routines. Here are a few travel friendly ways to stay in touch with your exercising:

  1.  The obvious choice:  book a hotel with a gym.  Depending on where you travel to, this is not always an option, which is what prompted this post!!
  2.  Pack a few resistance bands.  Bands are easy to travel with because they take up as much space as a few pairs of undies or you can also throw them in your personal item or carry on.
  3. Pre prepare (wait!! Is that redundant!!) yourself a few bodyweight workout routines that you can do on the beach, or in your hotel room.  This way you will have a few workouts to go through and not get bored with doing the same workout each day.
  4. Plan to do pool workouts.  The resistance that water provides can be quite challenging to your muscles, especially if you’re not used to doing this type of resistance training.  Moving your limbs through the water in various directions targets front and back body muscles, along with core and abdominal work. 
  5. Take offered classes first thing in the morning.  If you’re not too hung over from the debauchery of the night before!!  Resorts and hotels usually offer yoga classes, but sometimes other water classes like water aerobics, paddle board classes in shallow water and other new and fun things you may never do in the states.  
  6.  Go on a hike!!  It’s a great way to see another part of a new country.  Get out and get sweaty, workout your legs and glutes out on a beautiful hike.  Many countries  have secret beaches you can hike down to. And if you packed a high calorie picnic to take with you, you can burn those calories off by frolicking in the water, and hiking back up to civilization. 
  7. Rent a bicycle.  Hopefully you can ride a bicycle, unlike yours truly here. Biking is a great way to explore a city.  But be careful of the chaotic drivers!!  Some of these countries’ drivers make New York drivers look like The Pope and Mother Teresa behind the wheel.  My brother in law has traveled with us on many occasions and he always rents a bicycle as his mode of transportation.
  8. Go for morning runs.  Your most trusted and reliable form of transportation and exercise, your own 2 feet.  Get out and go for a run first thing in the morning.  Run off some of those calories of plenty you packed in last night.  You may run upon something wonderful while you’re burning off the contents of that fondue pot.     

So, just because you are traveling, doesn’t mean that you have to for go your fitness altogether.  You can stay active with the elevated amount of walking you will be doing while on vacation, in addition to employing some of the workout tactics from my list above.  They are all fun and easy ways to stay fit while you partake in some other worldly deliciousness.  I never let traveling take a loop away from my belt fastening, I just keep active by doing morning workouts, drinking excess water, exercising in the pool whenever I’m in there, having a portion of veggies with every meal possible, and being mindful of not consuming too much alcohol.  There’s no reason that going on vacation should mean just letting all of your fitness and healthy eating achievements fall by the wayside.  Even though you may be enjoying some more high caloric fancies, you still should be able to maintain your fitness level.  You just have to set your mind to it and not take a full departure from your fitness routine.  Enjoy the savory wonders and the delightful delicacies set before you, and unpack your workout for the day and get after it.

Bem Vindo,

Tonya T

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