My Top Tips for a Fit Vacation
We are about to head out on week-long vacation.
I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant and feeling pretty great. (Okay, as "great" as you can feel at 30 weeks pregnant with a toddler to chase after. I get as much sleep as I got when my son was a newborn, I struggle to breathe with this prenatal congestion, my abs are actually sore from the amount this little girl kicks, I have zero patience for anything, and I'm JUST SO TIRED.) We are heading out for a trip to the mountains for some hiking, sightseeing, and most importantly NOT working on our house or prepping for Baby2 for a week.
Now, if you're like me, this all sounds lovely, BUT you know you're going to miss your workouts. My "me time" in the gym is one of the few things keeping me sane right now. This is the first trip we'll be taking as a family with my in-laws so I know it will be much harder to sneak away for a workout than it was before.
1. Pack Your Toys
Things that pack easily into a suitcase:
Deflated swiss ball with pump (bonus if it's only a straw attachment)
Sneakers (heck, you're likely bringing them anyway)
Workout gear (wear it as "travel gear")
Your mobile phone, charger + earbuds (not like you'd ever leave the house without your phone!)
Yoga straps or blocks (but really you can just use a belt and a small pillow)
If you pack them, you'll feel more obligated to use them
2. Designate Workout Times and Spaces
If you're traveling with a group it can be hard to sneak away, but sometimes there's a sight you don't care to see or a time that is easy to block off as your own personal "recharge" from the group. Personally, I workout best after my morning coffee or early afternoon, so I'll coordinate with my spouse ahead of time so I'm not guilted for opting out of a trip and he knows he can do the same. If your hotel has a workout room, great. If your home-share is less roomy than advertised, designate a small space where you can workout privately and uninterrupted for a specific amount of time.
*Please also consider safety while running and traveling. Ask your hotel front desk or host if there are nearby running routes and/ or areas to be avoided. Share your estimated route beforehand just in case there's an accident and you need quick attention. As always, never run in a shady area in early mornings or at night, and pay attention to your surroundings.
Be vigilant, not a victim.*
3. Book a Reservation
As a GroupX instructor, I'm a big nerd when it comes to fitness. One of my favorite parts of a vacation is getting to try out a new studio or seeing trends in different parts of the country. It gets me out of my comfort zone, and keeps me accountable. If you've booked your spot in a class, you have to go. (This is really helpful if you're traveling with people who don't quite "get it".) Sometimes studios offer new client rates or small package deals for travelers, so ask before you sign up!
4. Plan for Active Traveling
It's easier said than done when traveling with a group, but seek out activities that keep you moving. Look for hikes, pools, bowling lanes, laser tag, obstacle courses, parks, bike rentals, 5k events, and community centers that offer out-of-town passes. These often end up being the highlight of your trip. Opt for walking instead of driving when you can, or get in a few laps in the airport when possible.
I contributed to a "how to avoid weight gain on vacation" article a few years back. I'm not the biggest fan of how shame-y it's written ... but there are some good tips in there from myself and other certified professionals.
Let's be perfectly honest, some of the best laid plans often go awry. If you aim for a workout every day and only get in one or none-at-all, you're not going to explode. I had every intention of working out on my honeymoon in Hawaii and I think I only used the fitness center to refill my water between tequila shots. I have zero regrets about it. However, I have always felt that trying a new studio, getting in a 30 minute sculpt routine, or going for a jog along the beach has made for some excellent memories while away.