Destination: Fit

Like many people, I love to travel. I’ve been lucky enough to see a few corners of the world, as well as numerous places closer to home. But most of my big trips thus far were before I learned to squat properly. For example, during a month-long trip to Greece a year and a half ago, there was not a thought that crossed my mind with regards to fitness. The amount of cheese I ate reflects this (though I have no regrets).

Things are different now. I’ve integrated healthy living into my daily life over the past year and I intend to stay true to it, regardless of where I am.

I just got back from a weekend away, which came on the heels of being away for more of January than I was home for. That combined with currently browsing flights to the east coast resulted in an idea to share my experiences with fitness while travelling. It seems simple enough: Pack workout clothes. Eat healthy(ish). Work out in hotel gym. Run outside. But somehow it’s not always that simple. The potential excuses are endless – just as they could be at home, I guess. But somehow it’s easier to tell ourselves we don’t have to work out while laying on the beach in Mexico, margarita in hand.

In a past blog I laid out my typical week fitness-wise. And while I’m willing to switch around the days I run (to a point), I’m pretty strict about my schedule. I modified it before my last couple of trips though, in an effort to not have ridiculous expectations of myself, but also to ensure I stay active and keep some semblance of my routine.

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Beignets, Jazz and Sweat

I spent this past New Years in New Orleans. A couple of friends and I rented a place, meaning no hotel gym. But thanks to the encouragement of the Edmonton tribe, I joined November Project New Orleans for an hour-long 6 a.m. workout at the Superdome within about 12 hours of arriving. One friend and I ran a couple of other times, as well. Aside from putting in some good distances in both cold weather and then ridiculous humidity, it was also a great way to see parts of the city we likely wouldn’t have otherwise.

IMG_2645Earning the Margaritas

Following New Orleans, I went to Mexico for a week. The all-inclusive life brings with it many things, including a fairly nice hotel gym. I was travelling with a friend who accompanied me a few times, and overall I made it to the gym five of seven days – all before breakfast! (Okay… after first breakfast, before second breakfast.)

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Here, There and Everywhere

Other trips I’ve taken recently include Vancouver, Vegas and Calgary more times than I can count. Instead of searching for a gym while away for a brief weekend, my go to is to run. It was neat (and hot) in Vegas. I ran a pretty quick 15km along the Seawall in Vancouver. And I’ve now seen parts of Calgary I never did during the four years I lived there.

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So what helps?

  • Taking a bigger suitcase. No need to sacrifice workout clothes or everyday clothes.
  • Remembering I’m doing it for me. Obviously it helps if those I’m travelling with or visiting want to work out or run, but if staying active is important to me while I’m away, I have to make it a priority as I do at home.
  • Making lists. Whether Googled, downloaded from a workout app, adapted from a fitness class or straight from a personal trainer – knowing what I want to accomplish before setting foot in the gym helps. (Especially for someone like me, who pretty much strictly attends HIIT at Blitz and sweats through personal training with Brett.)
  • Making a schedule. Travelling isn’t always planned, but my workouts and runs always are – just as they are when I’m at home.
  • Sleeping. I treat myself better in this department when I’m on vacation. And it means I can get up, get my workout in and have a great start to the day.
  • Eating healthy. New Heather barely consumes alcohol in comparison with Old Heather, which helps. And while I would never rob myself the chance of eating local cuisine (I won’t tell you how many Beignets I had in NOLA), I make a point to visit the grocery store regardless of where I am to ensure my breakfasts and snacks are always healthy and good to go. And when I’m out for the other main meals of the day, I try to eat balanced dishes (despite the lack of vegetables in places like NOLA).

It doesn’t seem a lot different than how I live my life at home. And while I don’t consider myself lacking in the motivation department, working out and running on vacation makes it a heck of a lot easier to resume the routine I love when I get home.

What do you do to fulfill your fitness and healthy living needs while on vacation? Tell me all about them! (And all about your travels too!)

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