Honestly, working out when I was traveling used to be the last thing on my mind. Then I hit 35. Things all started changing then. I got tired of always coming home from a trip heavier and feeling like I had to start the fitness quest all over again. I mean, it still happens, how could it not when you are eating out more and indulging in more wine than normal, but I have found ways to make it better. I may not be able to go to my favorite class at Rise Nation but there are other ways I can keep myself fit on the road. Here they are:
There is nothing quite like getting to a new city and just walking around exploring. You see so much, the square with a delightful cafe that wasn't on the map, the moms pushing strollers to their favorite playground, shops where you can find the perfect piece to take home, all the while logging in miles of steps. You work out without even thinking about it and get to know a new city and you can drag your kids along with you! It is really one of my favorite things ever.
One of the great things about living in Los Angeles is the abundance of hiking trails and sunshine. You don't even need a gym membership to stay active and fit. The same is true when you travel, especially when you are camping, and usually the kids are so excited to be out in nature, in a new place, that they are more than happy to hike along with you. The state and national parks are full of trails to explore and you can find maps on their website. You can also check out the website, www.trails.com, to find city hikes or hikes that aren't official national or state park ones. Get out there, get your hike on and work that chocolate cake off your booty!
2. Fitness Apps
The beauty of the smart phone is that you can always have a personal trainer in the palm of your hand! There are so many fitness apps these days that there really is no excuse not to stay active at least a little. My husband's favorite is the 7 Minute Workout Challenge, and he has gotten me pretty into it too. The workout is seven minutes of high intensity training using 12 different exercises to give you a full workout. The exercises use your own body's weight as resistance so no equipment is needed. You can also do more than one rep, setting the app to however many reps you want to do and how much time you have. It is great and does actually get your heart rate going after just seven minutes!
Another app I love is the Qe2 by Nicole Stuart, that uses pilates moves to give you a Quick Easy workout. I am a pilates addict so this app is great for me. You can choose which area you want to target, arms, legs, butt, etc, and just workout those areas or do them all! Her videos are nice to watch and easy to follow, taking you through an array of mat exercises. And, again, no equipment is needed, making it a great travel workout!
3. Hotel Gym
If you're a gym rat (I'm not), and you're staying at hotels, then you should use the hotel gym! Most hotels these days have some sort of a gym, even if it is just a treadmill, and guests get to use them for free. I have tried to make myself use the hotel gym before and, really, I just hardly every do it. But that's ok because gyms aren't my thing! I'm not a runner and find most machines very boring but I know some of you out there love them. So sneak out of the room before the kids are up and head down for a quick workout without ever leaving the hotel!
4. Check Out a Class
I'm not a gym rat but I am a class rat. I love a good class (hence Rise Nation!) and am always open to trying a new one. Also, my husband knows after this many years together that I am much happier and more fun to be around when I have snuck in a class! My favorite way to find classes is the Mind Body app, where you can find classes by your location and type you are looking for (yoga, cross fit, barre, etc.). I use it every time I am in a city for more than a few days and save the studios I visit so that I can visit them again the next time I'm in that city! It's a great way to get out and discover a new neighborhood or meet people, all while keeping yourself fit.
5. Bring Your Mat
When I travel on my own, I many times will bring my yoga mat with me. Usually when I am with the kids, space is more limited and I have to leave it home, except when we are camping and it can double as a mat for under the sleeping bag. Even if you can't bring your mat, you can use a towel to throw on the ground and do some sun salutations. I haven't had a hotel room all to myself often since having kids but the one time I did, I brought my mat and and had some glorious yoga sessions all by my lonesome. Although, my kids enjoy yoga now and doing sessions together is one of my favorite things to do and keeps all three of us limber and strong.
6. Take a Seat
When you travel, especially with kids, things can get kind of hectic and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Even though I thrive on that chaos and activity, it can get to me after a while. So I make sure to take five minutes when I can to meditate, even if it is in the bathroom before I take a shower or next to the pool while the kids play. It doesn't have to be a big, drawn out thing, just a chance to take a breath, feel it in your body, appreciate where you are and be. It slows you down and lets you fully take in this beautiful gift of travel you get to experience.