By Alexa Cyr
As summer ends, and we hop on our final flights to Florida, it’s important that we find ways to stay in shape in the midst of foreign food and the notorious “airplane belly”. Having traveled from Europe to the East Coast and everywhere in between this past summer, I know that it has been a challenge to find healthy alternatives and time to work out. However, the desire to rest is not a good enough excuse to lose all of your progress. There are plenty of opportunities to choose the lighter option and find a workout class near you, no matter where you are in the world. Take it from me, as someone who has trained for approximately a dozen fitness competitions; I know that we can’t just rely on our home routines. We all travel every once in a while, especially during the summer. So, here are some tips that may help you maintain your physique when you’re plagued with sodium-dense cuisine and an unfamiliar environment.
- When in doubt, go with what you know. Though I am a huge proponent of familiarizing yourself with local cuisine as a part of the travel experience, when you are unsure of the process with which a dish was made and what kind of ingredients were used, go with a salad. Find greens, healthy fats, and proteins to keep you full. Remember, if you can’t read it, there’s a likely chance it’s battered, fried, and filled with unnatural ingredients. Try to find a grilled protein that was cooked with minimal oil, unsaturated fats, and some hearty complex carbs to keep your metabolism running fast.
- Walk, walk, walk! A great part of traveling is marveling at the historic sights, the white sand beaches, or the new atmosphere. So, a great way to ensure that you’re doing the most to stay active is opting to walk instead of Ubering or cabbing it. Take your Fitbit or Apple Watch and take careful notice of how many miles you’ve walked and calories you’ve burned. Set a goal for each day of your trip, and try to adhere to it as much as possible. Though I am a huge fan of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) cardio, LISS (Low-Intensity Steady-State) cardio is good to keep your heart rate at a quick and effective pace, which can in turn help burn fat if executed correctly, according to Women’s Health Magazine.
- Find a class to keep it fun! Recently, on my last trip to New York City, I made an effort to book a Soulcycle class with my dad. Spin classes are great outlets to have an entertaining, but extremely effective workout session. We made it a bonding opportunity as well as an integral part of the trip, in order to be kept accountable. Find a class near you using Yelp, Google Maps, or Trip Advisor, and make it an excursion. It can be a fun way to burn some calories while trying new things. If the class idea doesn’t work out, though, a large majority of the hotels have a fitness center with weights, cardio machines, and yoga mats. Use the resources that you have available to you. Make sure to mark your calendar and set your alarms because you need to take your health into your own hands.
With all of this being said, staying in shape while traveling is difficult and takes dedication, but it’s not impossible. Hold yourself responsible for your well-being. Drink a lot of water, sleep as much as you can, and also relax. It is a trip, after all!