FITNESS TO TRAVEL: 12 Steps to be in shape for your next vacation
Who doesn’t love vacations, right? Vacations are to take it easy, be carefree, get out of your routine and make the most of each day.
In order to make the most of each day and take full advantage of your vacation, I think you would agree that having a great energy level is essential.
As an athlete, my fitness goal is preparing for a competition. But when I am getting ready for a trip, my personal goal becomes my trips.
The answer to work on a fitness goal for travel is to get ready for active travel: Incorporating a long hike or trek during my trips is a great goal and I follow a fitness preparation plan for hiking.
It also keeps me motivated to be active before and during my vacation in pursuit of my fitness goal. It is a win-win.
It doesn’t matter what exactly your personal goal may be, just use your vacation of a lifetime to drive your mind to a goal and work on a plan that motivates you.
Every year I challenge myself to go somewhere new and to do something physically demanding during my vacation. For years this has been a big deal for me to get ready for a personal fitness goal.
The idea of being physically and mentally prepared, combined with the excitement of exploring a different part of the world is a great feeling to push me outside my comfort zone, and I am here to motivate you to do the same, with this Fitness to Travel Guide: 12 tips on how to be in shape for your next vacation.
Travel & Be Healthy is my philosophy for a happy life balance and for this purpose, I decided to start a journey to inspire and empower others to find life balance, and follow a healthy lifestyle.
FITNESS TO TRAVEL: Many reasons you can use your next vacation as a Fitness Motivation
✔︎ You may want to look good in that bikini during your vacation at the beach or on a cruise
✔︎ What about being active and keeping up with your kids during all the exciting activities
✔︎ Maybe you have a personal goal to go on a trek during your vacation
✔︎ Or maybe your goal is to hike a mountain in the Himalayas in the high altitudes
✔︎ It can also be to feel good during your vacation, while you are planning to climb the stairs in those places that you dreamed about – the Eiffel Tower, the Duomo, the Vatican, the Inca stairs on the Montana Machu Picchu, or that temple in the top of the mountain somewhere in Southeast Asia…
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Fitness for Travel Why it is Important
Traveling can be hard for our bodies and health in general. And I believe that having a healthy lifestyle is essential for all of us travelers – Business travelers and/or adventurer travelers.
Here are a few reasons:
- We spend long hours on the plane: It is important to have the good muscle strength to not feel sore during a long flight. You can try to do some mobility and stability workouts before and after your flight.
- Healthy in General: It is important to be healthy in order to travel (go figure 2020 Pandemic!) – So keeping up with a fitness routine and healthy eating habits your chances of getting sick will decrease.
- Jetlag and lack of sleep: Sleep is one of the most important aspects of enjoying a trip overseas; you need to be well-rested if you’re going to enjoy a full day of adventure, but there’s no denying that travel often disrupts your sleep routine.
- Energy Level: We need energy levels to keep up with our travel routine. One way to improve it is to add as little as 10-min aerobic exercises early in the day, such as walking, cycling, or even do a workout in your hotel room.
- Traveling demands us to more active during the day: It means, you will be walking and moving around. When we are sedentary, we will be limited on how much we can do. Keep moving before, during, and after your travel routine.
And this list can continue…see now how a fitness for travel is so connected?
FITNESS FOR TRAVEL 12 Tips to be in shape for your next vacation
1- You must enjoy your fitness journey
This is my number one piece of advice. You must enjoy the journey, and I cannot emphasize this enough.
If you get started on something that doesn’t make you happy, it won’t be worth it. Enjoying it is the key to keeping pushing yourself. You must find a way to enjoy exercise.
If you hate the idea of hitting the weights at the gym, you should find something different that you feel excited about doing, and that makes you look forward to that time of your day.
What about outdoor activities such as a nice power walk, running, or a bike ride?
Maybe a yoga or dance class. You can join a workout group and exercise in parks or at the beach. Swimming lessons, scuba dive, mountain climbing…. There are so many choices, and you can find something you’ll enjoy.
2 - FITNESS FOR TRAVEL: Plan to go on an Active Trip
The best thing you can plan to follow a fitness-for-travel journey is to go on an ACTIVE TRIP!
If you set a goal for your next vacation as an active trip, you have great motivation to prepare for your fitness travel journey.
By getting ready for a long hike or trek, for example, you can start to follow a fitness plan for hiking.
Other ideas of active travel that I have done, and maybe it can inspire you:
- I have hiked the Tongariro in New Zealand
- I have climbed the Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal,
- I faced my fear of heights and climbed ice walls in Iceland,
- I have trekked and lived with a hill tribe in the remote mountains of Vietnam,
- I have been on several safaris in Africa while camping in the wild
- I have the incredible opportunity to Backpack in South America
3 - FITNESS FOR VACATION: Have a Workout Plan
Be realistic with your plan. Jumping into an intense routine can lead to disappointment, or even worse, injury yourself when you cannot keep up with it.
After you decide what exercise fits better your needs and you feel comfortable with, it is time to plan ahead.
How many times per week, what time of the day works better for you and try to mix some different activities so you don’t feel burned out.
It doesn’t matter if you have the chance to hit the gym for your workout routine, or if you are working out on the go, from your home, at the park….the most important thing is to Have a Plan. Here you can find more resources:
- Follow my YouTube Channel for workout videos
- You can buy a Sissy Squat Machine and workout out your whole body with this very affordable equipment from your home
- For cardio lovers, check this Complete Guide for the Best Elliptical Machines on a budget!
- You can have a workout plan using only portable fitness equipment and workout from anywhere, as short as 30-min a day.
PRO TIP: A Fitness for Travel journey has 3 main pillars that are equally important: Exercise, Diet, and Mind Set. Choose an exercise that you enjoy, opt for healthy eating habits, and set your mind by envisioning your goal!
4 - FITNESS FOR VACATION: Have a Diet Plan
Keep in mind that exercise and balanced meals complement each other.
When you combine both, you won’t just start to look better, but most importantly, feel better. You will start to have higher energy levels, improve your well-being, have better concentration and the list of positive things can just go on…
Make sure you balance your meals between clean carbs, lean protein, and good fat. Stick to 3 main meals per day, have healthy snacks between your meals, drink plenty of water, and don’t consume high sugar and processed food.
These healthy habits should be a great start not only for you to achieve your fitness goal for your next vacation, but also are habits that over some time following will allow you to be in shape without putting in a lot of effort.
PRO TIP: The most important thing about your diet is that YOU MUST ENJOY IT! Find something that fits your lifestyle: Vegan, vegetarian, high protein, maco diet, keto…Doesn’t matter what is your diet, the most important thing is to find something that allows you to follow and be consistent. Find my whole article about the Keto Diet guide here.
5 - FITNESS FOR TRAVEL: Find Life Balance
It is so easy for us to be caught up on the busy lifestyle between work, family, social engagements, and other priorities and while all these things get in the way of your health and fitness plan, you need to prioritize your days.
This means that you may wake up 1 hour earlier in your day to make that time to take care of your health. It is not an easy habit, but once you start it and build up the habit, it will become harder not to exercise, just because you become so used to prioritizing in your life.
Reserve some time during the weekend to prepare your meals, therefore you will have planned and followed your healthy meal plan for the week.
PRO TIP: One of the most important things in life is to find a Life Balance. It is not easy, but it is possible. All you need to have is discipline and a plan to work on priorities. Check my full article on how to find Life Balance in 5 Easy Steps.
6 - Have a Mind Set!
Find a real meaning for your next fitness goal and ask yourself: Why I am doing this?
Whether you are an athlete or someone who is looking for an adventure, facing any challenge is a mental exercise. Do not neglect your mind (conscious and subconscious) as something to exercise.
When you envision a goal, it becomes your new reality.
Picture yourself multiple times per day achieving your goal. Before you start a physical exercise, picture yourself doing it successfully (crossing the finish line, lifting a weight, hitting a yoga pose, finishing a swim, etc.). Picture it in your mind in full color! Feel the accomplishment!
While you are doing exercise, imagine you are climbing the mountain, strolling on the beach, or walking around that romantic city seeing ALL the sights.
Use your mind and your body and dreams will come true. Unlock the power to create your own reality through your conscious and subconscious mind!
7 - You need to be consistent with your plan
The most important thing you can do is plan, execute and be consistent towards your fitness goals.
Don’t let that busy day to be an excuse to skip your training or workout day. If anything gets in your way, make your fitness goal be a high priority.
A busy day ahead of you? What about getting up earlier to make up that extra hour in your day?
The important thing is to keep moving…
PRO TIP: We all live a very busy lifestyle. In order to keep you with your fitness for the travel journey, a great idea is to have a workout area set up at your home, and get up earlier and have your workout done first thing in the day. Check this Best Workout Portable Equipment and never miss a workout again!
8 - Track your progress
This is key, and one of the most motivational things you can do to achieve your goal.
If your target is to lose weight and feel better about yourself, take pictures once a month and compare your progress. If you trying to get faster and stronger, track your timing and strength progress.
The scale shouldn’t be the only way (or the primary way) to track your progress.
PRO TIP: You can track your progress for your fitness for travel journey using a fitness journal and a consistent way to measure it. I write down: my weight, measurements of my chest, waist, hips, legs, and arms and compare month by month the progress. Plus the progress on your exercise routine, and notes of my diet.
9 - You must be your biggest motivation
Don’t base your goals on anyone else. Do it for you!
It can be frustrating when we try to do things based on others. You are doing this primarily for yourself and your personal achievement.
As an example, when I was getting ready to hike the Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayas, some people said to me that there is no way to train for high altitude trekking, as I may be affected by the altitude and not be able to hike it. I didn’t let this demotivate me. There are plenty of ways to prepare physically and mentally for my goal, and I kept pushing my limits to achieve my personal goal.
Quit the negative self-talk, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Acknowledge that while you may have gone off course today, you will do better tomorrow.
10 - Find a partner
If you find it’s boring or you need some extra motivation, finding a partner is one of the best alternatives.
I always train with my husband and we prepare for our trips adventures together, and I find us pushing and motivating each other.
Like minded people have the benefit of making exercise infinitely more fun.
11 - Respect your limits for your Fitness for Travel Journey
It’s important that we push AND respect our limits.
To have a fitness goal during a vacation doesn’t mean to go from no training and suddenly target to climb Everest.
You’ll always find something that fits your personal goal and for you to push your limits to progress. Take step by step and work on a bigger and better target for the upcoming trips.
Give yourself some time to adapt to the new routine. Don’t expect to see results in a few days and start to work out a week before you leave on vacation. Depending on your fitness goal for that vacation, make sure you plan accordingly.
Be stronger, faster and better than yesterday!
12 - FITNESS FOR TRAVEL JOURNEY: Be Proud of Yourself!
Yes and yes! Be proud of yourself.
Pat yourself on the back at the end of each training session, or give yourself credit for taking that step towards your goal. The feeling of achieving your goals is something that no one will ever take away from you.
Imagine yourself completing your fitness goal and put your mind toward it!
When you are back from your vacation, you will have an amazing story to tell your friends and family and you’ll motivate everyone around you to also follow a fitness-for-travel journey to look and most importantly, feel your best!
Final Thoughts Fitness for travel
Make healthy habits part of your lifestyle.
Have a plan and be consistent. Don’t follow every diet that comes along. What works for me, may not work for you. You are the only one who can tell what healthy habits and workout plan works best for you.
The key to getting into shape and remain in shape is to be consistent with your plan and listen to your body.
What makes you feel good? What keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the day? What helps you kick ass and feel motivated during your workouts? What keeps you feeling good and looking fit?
My mantra is “Make time, not excuses!”- Without time to keep you with your fitness goal? Wake up 1-hour earlier or skip that 1-hour TV time in the evening and add your workout. Try to follow these options:
- 1 Hour of cardio using an elliptical machine – Here you can find the best elliptical options on a budget for small spaces
- Workout from anywhere – Here you can find the best portable fitness equipment
- Use a sissy squat machine for a full-body workout from home – Find here all you need to know + workout video to do at home.
If you learned to answer these questions for yourself, you will soon be on the road to embrace healthy habits as your lifestyle.
BE ACTIVE OUTSIDE THE GYM AND DURING YOUR VACATION
- Walk: whenever it is possible, get those steps
- Take the stairs: Always
- Get up and move: Whenever you can.
- Choose active vacation: Incorporate hiking, kayaking, swimming, biking…there are so many choices to be active!
Last but not least, get back on track when you return from your vacation. Don’t forget that your next vacation is a great motivation to get started to be in your best shape, but you can, and should continue to work on your fitness goal after you return from your vacation.
This is your new lifestyle…you can do it!