Travel is awesome for so many reasons.
But for a lot of us, staying in shape is MUCH easier when it’s part of your routine. When your routine is constantly changing — it can get tough to stay motivated and stick to working out regularly.
Since I’m a traveling baseball wife, I’ve learned how to stick to a decent workout routine, even amidst the chaos.
My husband played for FOUR different teams last season, we did not live anywhere for more than a month and a half, plus we lived in the Dominican Republic for a while during the offseason.
First of all — do what you can with what you have.
So many times, I’ve seen fitness Instagram accounts do workouts with fancy equipment that I don’t have access to.
When I lived in hotels, there’s about a 99% chance that I’m not going to have kettlebells, a booty band, or any thing other than an old treadmill facing a wall and some rusty old dumbbells.
The best workout is the one you can do.
You don’t need fancy equipment to be in great shape.
So, for that reason, a lot of my workouts use a treadmill and dumb bells. Or running, hiking, or swimming.
If I’m living somewhere with great weather, it’s really hard for me to go INSIDE and workout. I’d much rather enjoy the scenery and sunshine – plus, I think those are great ways to really explore the area, so you aren’t missing out on the best part of traveling!
Also, don’t underestimate walking. If I’m feeling really crappy and dread working out, I’ll call a friend and walk while I talk, or listen to a podcast.
Second — control what you can control.
As I mentioned before, most of the time I’m traveling, I want to eat out and drink.
While I’m in new cities, I’m not about to pass up trying all the nice restaurants and drinking with friends. Life is too short, ha.
Plus, eating healthy in another country can be challenging. We only had a tiny refrigerator in the room. The fresh produce didn’t always look fresh. I’m pretty sure the milk wasn’t pasteurized (not every country has the standards placed on food like the US does).
These are things I could not control. So no, I couldn’t meal prep or do any of that stuff, but what I *could* do, was stay active. The weather was fantastic, and that certainly helped! I know it’s tough when it’s cold out.
Next – Don’t sacrifice experiences (food)
OPTION 1 – EAT HARD, TRAIN HARD
Want to hear something crazy?
While I was living at the resort in the Dominican Republic, I drank AT LEAST three glasses of wine almost every night, ate cheeseburgers, steak, chicken fingers, fries, deep fried Oreos, and every food that you’re not supposed to eat.
But somehow, I lost weight and was in better shape than when I got there!
Here’s my theory:
I worked out like a demon and I didn’t snack.
“You can’t out-train a bad diet”
Well I damn-sure tested that!
Granted, I probably would’ve been in *great* shape if I ate better, but I’m not about that life. I’d rather eat what I want and then crush it in the gym.
Plus, I’m not training to be a body builder. I just want to look decent in a swimsuit.
But if you want to see results, don’t expect to do twelve crunches and call it a day (unfortunately).
Also, I did not snack. At all. If you don’t have snacks in the room, you can’t snack! I ate big meals, enjoyed them, but afterwards, I didn’t eat snacks or late night meals.
When I’m feeling bloated, here’s my go-to treadmill circuit, for the three people that are probably going to read this.
*5% incline for all*
1:00 at 4 mph
1:30 at 7.8 mph
1:00 at 4 mph
2:00 at 8 mph
1 min at 4 mph
2 min at 8.2 mph
1 min at 4
1:30 at 8.5 mph
2 min at 4
:45 seconds at 11 mph
1 min at 4
:45 at 11 mph
1 min at 4
:45 at 11
Depending on how I feel, I’ll do just that circuit (if I only have 20 minutes to spare) or I’ll lift either arms or legs afterwards. I know people say weights are a lot better than cardio, but I like to get a good sweat going and get my heart rate up.
OPTION 2 – Watch your portion sizes and/or Walk A LOT
When I was in Europe for a week, I wasn’t worried about staying in shape. It was a trip I had been looking forward to for a LONG time, and I wanted to make the most of it.
However, I ended up LOSING weight. This is not to brag. I probably just lost muscle from not working out, but still — I didn’t turn into the Michelin Man as I was expecting, which was a nice surprise.
We walked 6-7 miles a day. Our first stop, Monte Carlo, was very walkable. The weather was decent (60 degrees F, sunny) and it’s a small city, so instead of renting a car, we walked. This actually worked out better so we could take a TON of pictures (bonus points for this basic girl!). Walking (or running) has now become my favorite way to experience a city.
Also — it seemed like the restaurants we went to in Europe served a lot smaller portion sizes. Most nice restaurants usually do this in America, too, but it was something I noticed. (I don’t want to generalize an entire continent, this was just my experience).
France was where I learned to love red wine. I’ve been a beer-drinker my whole life. I still enjoy it, but I definitely don’t feel as bloated after drinking wine.
Some travel days are going to be so hectic that you won’t get a workout in. And that’s okay. But once again — control what you can control.
Try to eat healthy at the airport. Don’t get a huge fast-food combo. I’m a nervous flyer anyways, so I don’t like having a completely full stomach anyways.
But I know that not all airports have good options, so sometimes, you’re gonna have to get Burger King. It’s one meal, so no worries. Just try not to make it a habit.
An obvious one – drink lots of water. I love coffee and alcohol so I tell myself that this is preparation to “treat myself” once I land. Ha.
I used to “treat myself” to candy at the airport. Flying makes me so nervous. But now, I treat myself with things other than food. Food shouldn’t be looked at as a reward all the time. Instead, I always get a magazine for my “treat”. Also, if I treated myself every time I flew during baseball season, that would be like once a week. Yikes. Haha.
Lastly, I want to add — I am NOT a personal trainer, nor a dietician. I was college athlete, so I have a background in fitness, but these are just things that have helped me while traveling.
What are YOUR favorite hacks for staying in shape while traveling??