TRAVEL & FITNESS: 5 Takeaways on how to find Balance in Life

tips to be in shape for your vacation

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TRAVEL & BE HEALTHY: 5 Takeaways to Find Balance in Life

The holy grail for many people today is to find Balance in Life! Imagine finding a life balance between Travel and a Healthy Lifestyle? Sounds too good to be true right? It NOT EASY, but IT IS POSSIBLE. Here, I share my journey and 5 takeaways to find balance in life between travel and a healthy lifestyle and I hope to inspire you.

I am an International Marketing Manager, professional Figure athlete, and founder of the Adventure Travel & Healthy Lifestyle blog, Paula Pins the Planet.

I understand very well when we try to balance work, family, traveling, social life, and a healthy lifestyle it sounds that there are not enough hours in the day to do it all.

Finding balance in life between travel and a healthy lifestyle is not an easy task, as traveling takes a lot on the body.

Long hours on the plane, we don’t always have access to healthy meals and gym, not enough time for working out…and the lack of resources can go on!

During many years I have traveled up to 50% of my time on international business trips, also traveling for fun during my vacation time and I still had to keep up with my fitness journey.

I started to get overwhelmed (go figure) with so much pressure I put on myself to get it all.  Then I found out that all I would have to do was to dosage with proper prioritization, planning, tons of discipline, and time management in order to find that balanced lifestyle.

Here I share 5 takeaways on how we can find balance in life between Travel & be Healthy and I hope to inspire you.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel for a workout on the go and follow a Fitness routine from anywhere in the world!

Jump to:

Balance in Life Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Botswana self-drive safari at the campsite

In this article on how to find life Balance in Life between travel and a healthy lifestyle, you will find:

    • Why maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for travel
    • An overview of my Fitness Lifestyle
    • An overview of my Travel Lifestyle
    • How I found Balance in life between Travel & be Healthy
    • 5 Takeaways on how to find Balance in Life between Travel & be Healthy 

Why a Healthy Lifestyle is important for Travel

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:

    1. 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. 
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Energy Level: We need energy levels to keep up with our travel routine. One way to improve it is to add some exercise first thing in the morning, such as walking, cycling, or even do a workout in your hotel room.
    5. 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. Plan to carry some portable fitness equipment with you, and get your workout done from anywhere. 

And this list can continue…see now how travel and a healthy lifestyle are so connected?

My Fitness Lifestyle

I am a typical gym rat! My passion for a lifetime is working out with weights.

I am a professional Figure athlete – a girly category of Bodybuilding, where the athletes need to have the right amount of muscle, combined with hardness and body symmetry.

But I also run, I do yoga and go on hiking and trekking during my trips…I am constantly finding ways to be physically active.

I started to work out at age 16, I started to compete in Figure when I was 30 years old, and at the age of 38, I became a Professional Natural Athlete.

Fitness has been my lifestyle from an early age with a combination of working out and healthy eating habits.

Well, as a Figure athlete I work out twice a day, 7 days a week, eat 6 meals a day, and prepare all of my meals. I feel that if I am not working out, I am eating or I am in the kitchen cooking or cleaning dishes.

 

It means, all the beauty of freedom, to get out of the routine, and just go with the flow that traveling brings to us, is completely gone when I am training – and I turn on my “machine state mode”  – eat, train, sleep, repeat…

But the best thing about being an athlete is that I learned a lot about myself through this journey.

The feeling of getting better, faster, stronger combined with my mental toughness (that did not know I had). This passion for the physical and mental challenge took me to next level.

Balance in life for a healthy lifestyle

My Travel Lifestyle

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.

I am also a very serious World Traveler!

At the age of 24, I left my home country, Brazil, and I never went back. So far I have lived on 3 different continents and traveled to over 40 countries for both, business and leisure.

I have watched the sunset in Angkor Wat in Cambodia, 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 lived with a hill tribe in the remote mountains of Vietnam, I have been in several safaris in Africa while camping in the wild…and much more!

My favorite thing to do is to go on adventurer and ACTIVE TRAVEL, where I can explore each place I visit, and at the same time, practice physical activity. Not only is physical activity good for your physical health, but it’s also good for your soul!

I also have traveled all over the world for business, as I worked as an International Marketing Manager.

I am on a road at any opportunity I get and as I like to say “if you don’t see me at the gym working out, you will find me at the airport somewhere in the world” 

Hiking to get in shape for my vacation
iceland self drive itinerary

The Enlightenment Moment I Found Balance in Life

I had the “what should I do with my life” moment.

I was now a professional athlete and found my passion for the sport and had reached the next level. But I was also a professional travel blogger, and what could I do about my other passions for traveling, photography, and learn about new cultures?

If I continued to compete in Figure, I wouldn’t have time to prepare for trips. I wouldn’t be able to prepare and weigh my meals or have access to the gym during my busy traveling schedule. Could I continue to do all that I loved or would I have to sacrifice one thing over another?

After a period of self-life reflection, and playing different scenarios in my mind about what would make me happier, I realized that I did not have to sacrifice one or the other. The answer was to “find balance in life!”

Like everything else in life, it is important that we find balance, and that we feel fulfilled doing things that we are passionate about.

BALANCE IN LIFE: My Fitness Routine

    • GIVE 100%: During my competition season, I give 100% and maintain focus to achieve my fitness goal
    • WORKOUT: I don’t miss a single workout session, even on the days when I feel extremely tired and sore.
    • DIET: I don’t have much of a social life since I don’t drink anything besides water and I only eat my homemade controlled portions, 5-6 meals a day
Full body resistance band workout
Resistance bands full body workout

BALANCE IN LIFE: My Travel Routine

    • I GO ON ACTIVE TRIPS: I just keep moving to add long exploration walks, hiking, trekking, or any other physical activity
    • HEALTHY EAT HABITS: I don’t follow a strict diet, especially if I am traveling in remote places and I cannot be too picky. I like to enjoy the local food, but I always look for healthier alternatives and I practice portion control
    • NO STRESS: The most important thing, I don’t feel guilty for not working out or following a diet. I know I will get back to my schedule when I am back home, so I enjoy my time off.
    • TRAVEL ON VACATION: When I am traveling on vacation I feel so blessed to be able to explore our wonderful Planet, and my main focus switches from hours of hard work to achieve my physical goals as an athlete, to enjoying the moment and exploring the new.
    • TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS: Since business trips are more frequent, I need to stay consistent with my training. I look for a hotel that offers a gym and will get my workout done first thing in the morning.
finding life balance between fitness and travel to Peru

5 Takeaways on how to find Balance in LIfe

1- TIME MANAGMENT

I truly believe that time management is the most important thing and the root of any life balance decision you have to make.

During many times I have been overwhelmed with my crazy busy travel schedule, trying to take care of my career managing my workload, and still, find time to work out…

Oh, and I am also a fur babies mom, and foster mom and I still have a social life!

You will need to have discipline and “train” yourself to manage your time and see what works best for you and evaluate your productivity on a daily basis.

Decide if your goals are tangible and at the end of the day, evaluate your level of satisfaction. Continue this exercise until you find the perfect recipe that works for you.

PRO TIP: Your goals can be managed by hours in your day, or periods of time during your year, or set goals for the short, mid, and long-term to accomplish things you want to do in your life.

2- WORK ON PRIORITIES

You don’t need to choose one thing over another. If you prioritize things, you can do it all!

I start my day with a “to-do” list and I try to stick to the plan as close as I can, this way I can organize myself and manage my priorities.

I am a perfectionist who is always putting very high standards on myself, and I push myself to take the courage to focus on one pillar at a time and try to convince myself I don’t need to do it all perfectly all the time.

When I am competing, I give it all. When I am traveling, I enjoy it all!

PRO TIP: It is important that a healthy lifestyle 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!

Life in Balance for a travel and healthy lifestyle

3 - BE CONSISTENT

Consistency is not that easy, especially with our super busy lifestyle. But it is possible!

You have to have a clear objective for each day or week and stick to the plan. To achieve life balance there is no such a thing as “go with the flow”

As some examples:

    • When you are following a workout and diet plan, be consistent with your plan
    • Set a wake-up call for an hour earlier and do some yoga, go for a run, or head to the gym first thing in the morning. You will have a much better day guaranteed.
    • Go to bed early, this will allow you to get up earlier and do your work out.
    • When you are back from your vacation, be back to your routine and take the willpower back. A trip or a vacation shouldn’t be an excuse to let the hard work go, but it should be a rewarding time for all your hard work.

4 - MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES YOUR LIFESTYLE

I don’t diet, this is my lifestyle!

I trained my brain and my body not to like unhealthy (processed food, fast food, high sugar, grease, fried…) and I don’t crave those types of food.

When I am not traveling I plan and prepare my meals, as it helps to keep on track of what I eat.

If you don’t have a plan, with the crazy lifestyle you will end up eating whatever you find in your fridge or skipping many meals because of lack of time. Plan, prepare, and execute your meals.

When traveling, I see myself getting super excited about trying a local dish that is prepared with fresh ingredients or trying some of the local exotic fruits.

It doesn’t mean that if you go to Italy, you aren’t going to try a delicious pizza or that amazing gelato, but have 1 gelato instead of 3.

Practice portion control and incorporate it as a lifestyle, including when you are traveling.

PRO TIP: It is very important that you change your eating habits by avoiding empty calorie food, gradually cut sugar, and have balanced meals (protein + carbs + fat + fibers) – Also, by eating smaller meals and avoid large meals at night.

Enjoying some pasta in Italy and finding life balance
Gelato in Italy

5- BE AN ACTIVE PERSON

This is key! Our bodies need to move and be active.

Hitting the gym after 8 hours of sitting in front of my computer is the best feeling.

Make choices to walk instead of rent a car or motorbike. Stroll around the cities and appreciate the local culture. It is so easy to just walk thousands of steps while we are having fun exploring.

Here are some things you can follow to help you to start to plan an active lifestyle:

    • GO ON AN ACTIVE TRIP – What about training for that big adventure coming up, such as choosing a trek or hike during your vacation? It’s a perfect goal to be active before and during your vacation.
    • You can start a fitness preparation plan for hiking before your next trip.
    • You can follow these 12 tips to be in shape for your next vacation and have a plan to look at, and most importantly, feel better about yourself. 
    • If you are on the road a lot or don’t have time to hit the gym, I have prepared this very detailed guide of The Best Portable Fitness Equipment that you can easily carry on your backpack or carry-on,
    • If you workout from home, check this amazing guide for the Best Sissy Squats Equipment 
    • Also, I have a YouTube Channel with many exercise routines on the go that you will love to follow.
Weeki Wachee River is a must do in Florida
swimming at Weeki Wachee for your trip to Florida

Final Thoughts on how to find Balance in Life

Maintaining a life balance between travel and fitness can sometimes feel impossible.

It takes hard and consistent efforts to achieve it, but in the end, you’ll find yourself enjoying the time you are at home following a healthy lifestyle, and living in the moment while you are on the road traveling.

Be mindful and make sure you enjoy whatever you are doing at the moment while you are doing it. Add quality to whatever you are dedicating your time to.

Prioritize your goals and manage them by hours of your day, or period of time. Whatever works better for you and for your accomplishment.

Don’t try to do it all at once because you will feel overwhelmed and most likely, you will fail.

I hope to inspire you to find balance in life – Travel & be Healthy everyone!

Read more: FITNESS & HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

 

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Hi, I am Paula

Marketer, Blogger & Athlete

I'm a Brazilian native who calls U.S. home.

Travel & be healthy is my philosophy for a happy life balance, and for this purpose, I embarked on a journey to inspire and empower others to seek new adventures and live an active and healthy lifestyle..

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4 thoughts on “TRAVEL & FITNESS: 5 Takeaways on how to find Balance in Life

  1. Cathia says:

    I love the fact that you wrote: “If you prioritize things, you can do it all”. Usually we overestimate how many things we can get done in a day. Makes a huge difference if we prioritize things and manage time
    Love the topic, well done.

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