Alright, peeps. Here’s the skinny (get it?): Even I worry about being out of my regular workout and healthy eating routines while I’m away from home. For most of us, this consists of a weekend out of town, or a 1-2-week vacation. Concerns about weight gain or losing muscle mass are completely normal when you’re not doing what you are usually so diligent about as you go about your weekly regimen at home, if you exercise regularly and/or mostly cook and prepare your meals at home in a health-conscious way. Of course, if you totally let yourself go while you’re away — are completely sedentary, drink countless alcoholic beverages, eat huge meal portions and crap food, and stuff your face with sugary treats whenever you get the chance — then yeah, I see your concern (although even then, the best thing you can do when you get home is get right back into your regular workout and healthy eating routines — you aren’t doomed to never getting back to where you were before you left). But walking around most of the day exploring new places and at least being mindful of how much your body needs (i.e. your portion sizes), it’s unlikely the result will be drastically different when you return as when you left. (And, again, this is something I personally, mentally have to remind myself of every time I travel so I can allow myself to fully embrace my time away from my every day and enjoy the small “treats” I choose to indulge in).
It is my personal mission to go on this long-term travel journey and illustrate how it is possible to stay fit while traveling. My hope is that since the length of time I’m about to do it far exceeds what 99% of people in the U.S. choose to do, it will put into perspective how easy it can be to do for the shorter length trips that the majority take away from home (this can apply to business travel, too). Will it be a challenge at times? Yes. I will be living out of my 40L (yes, a carry-on sized) backpack like a nomad, meaning as I move from place to place, I’ll be limited in my food choices while on the road. This may be due to the regional availability of fresh (and safe to consume) produce and other natural foods, it could be because the accommodations I’ll be staying in aren’t conducive for cooking, it could be because it’s rude to decline what is offered to me (and perhaps that’s a full plate of some fried, greasy thing). As far as physical activity, I won’t have access to my private, climate-controlled living room with all of my fitness gadgets/equipment readily available to take out while I’m using and store away when I’m finished; I’ll have room to fit likely 1 resistance tubing/band into my 40L backpack, which means that most of my exercises will be creative body weight exercises utilizing what I have around me in any given place. I imagine in some places, I’ll be lucky to find a gym or some type of fitness facility to use some equipment or even take group exercise classes (which, by the way, I’m beyond thrilled to experience what fitness formats are popular in various countries around the world and share some photos and video footage with you)! I will be teaching 2 fitness classes per day for 1 week in late October at Secrets Huatulco, a resort in Oaxaca, Mexico, in exchange for significantly discounted, all-inclusive access for my husband and I (which will be a nice break from “roughing it” more often leading up to that). If that goes well, I hope to set up more fitness vacation exchange opportunities like this as we progress in our travels throughout Central and South America. Most of our access to physical activity will be outdoor hikes and exploring local areas on foot, where we’ll be walking around for a majority of each day.
Of course, I will be recording myself leading workouts throughout my travels to share! Full-length workouts will be available to my future Virtual Bootcampers, so we can stay connected while I’m physically away, you can follow my travels in a unique way, and I can continue to help you reach your health, fitness, and wellness goals. Which reminds me, I will also stay fit while traveling by participating in my own workout videos I’ve already recorded (and let me tell you, it’s a fun and humbling experience; I learn a lot from watching myself lead to continue becoming a more effective fitness instructor/trainer for others while also getting in a great workout personally!) when I have access to stream online videos efficiently and a space to work out in.
If you have any ideas about what you’d like to see me try while visiting other countries, I’m all ears!
I’ll leave you today with a fitness travel accomplishment of mine (which was a HUGE challenge for me mentally and emotionally as well as physically, and I moaned and groaned to my husband for “making” me do it along the way but was SO proud of myself and glad I did it at the end of it)! I’m sure there will be many more hiking experiences that, like this, will challenge me in various ways over the next year.
Aaron took this photo of me navigating over rocks to cross a river as a part of our hike along the Hanakapi’ai Trail in Kauai last summer.
Until next time,