Traveling, Fitness Style
by Chelsea Futterman
I live to travel. There are so many beautiful places and cultures to explore in this world and just not enough time. I make traveling a priority just like I make fitness a priority. And the two most certainly can go hand in hand. When I travel, I make sure to do something active every single day. Whether it is exploring a new city by bike or on foot, or going on a trail run in the mountains or doing a bodyweight workout on the beach, I make sure to move my body. This also allows me to enjoy the local cuisine without sabotaging my goals, because let’s be real, going on vacation is basically just getting to eat amazing things in a new place.
I tell my weight loss clients, you are winning if you do not gain weight on vacation. Yes, you may come back with a little extra water weight and bloat but that is completely normal and will go away within a few days of returning to your normal routine. Be realistic with yourself, the best you can do and should do to thoroughly enjoy your vacation, is move every day and enjoy yourself within moderation. What I most certainly don’t do or encourage people to do is spend hours in a hotel gym taking away from precious vacation time. Instead, here are my top tips for staying on track of your fitness goals while traveling:
- Walk, bike, or skip around your destination. Seeing a new place on foot is one of the best ways to burn those extra vacation calories without really even knowing it. You will be so distracted by the new sights, smells & scenery that you won’t realize you walked off lunch. Walk to dinner. Walk after dinner. Walk to that museum. Walk on the beach. Forget taxis and ubers and walk EVERYWHERE. Plus, you will save some $$$$.
- Do a short HIIT bodyweight workout before you head out for the day. One of my favorite body weight workouts is a Tabata. Perform an exercise for :20 with a :10, 8 times. Pick 5 exercise and BOOM 20 minutes later you are done! HIIT workouts are amazing because they have you burning calories all day long. So, go ahead and enjoy that dessert after dinner. Check out my latest Tabata workout in Costa Rica for inspiration!
- Skip breakfast. Intermittent fasting is an easy way to eat less calories without feeling deprived. And when I say easy, I mean mindless. Yes, your stomach may be growling but go get a coffee at a local cafe and walk around to find some distractions for a few hours (also, drink A LOT of water). This way you don’t have to worry about ordering a salad at lunch when all you really want is a burger because you skipped breakfast and saved up those calories for something more indulgent.
Go for a run. Running is a great way to see all the sights and get your bearings in a new place. Even if you are not a runner, find a trail (or beach!) and run/walk, you will see a lot of amazing things you may not see by car. Check out www.alltrails.com for the best trails where ever you may be traveling.
Choose wisely. Just because you are on vacation does not mean you have to eat EVERYTHING in sight. Do some research and find out what the local cuisine is or what dish your destination is known for. Indulge in things you cannot get at home and also, don’t indulge at EVERY meal. Recently, I went to New Orleans, an amazing foodie town known for beignets, among other things. So, obviously I had to try them. I went to Cafe Beignet one day and had one beignet and enjoyed it thoroughly. And that was that. I passed on the ice cream and the everyday desserts that I can get at home.