feel fierce on the go
I wish I could tell you that I've always been super into fitness and that it's always been a priority in my life. That's simply not true. I halfheartedly played tennis in high school and then promptly fell off the bandwagon until the spring of my junior year of college when one day I drove to a trail in Des Moines and started running. That Forrest Gump-esque moment changed my life. It definitely wasn't pretty. I struggled through those first two miles, but within two months, it wasn't uncommon for me to go out for seven miles at a time. I wore through shoes, I started cross training, and even bought a foam roller. That was when it all changed for me. I realized I wasn't running to lose weight or look a certain way. I was running to feel a certain way. While the shape of my body did change a little as I progressed, that wasn't the goal for me. My goal was to keep feeling healthy.
I don't look like a stereotypical runner. I'm not the stereotypical picture of fitness. There are still parts of me that jiggle and parts of me that I wish were smaller, but I realized that feeling healthy is more important than being teeny-
tiny. When I was at my thinnest, I didn't feel healthy. Now I feel strong and confident and capable. Fitness became an empowering thing for me. I work out to feel like I run the world.
I've heard a lot of people become concerned about maintaining their fitness routine while traveling. While everyone says, "You walk so much that it doesn't matter," it does matter, because those routines keep us feeling confident, fierce, and who wouldn't want to feel their best while traveling? Here are the best resources I've found for prioritizing fitness while traveling:
This might be obvious, but running is still my go-to for fitness, simply because it can be done anywhere. All you need is a good pair of shoes and you're on your way. It's also a great way to see the city you're visiting. I recommend finding a walking tour online and running it. You'll hit the highlights in record time and I can guarantee you won't get bored. That being said, if you're going to be running in the tourist centers, go earlier in the day so you don't have to fight the crowds to get your cardio. My favorite time to run is early in the morning for this reason. Also: be careful on cobblestones: they will destroy your ankles and knees if given the opportunity.
Yoga with Adriene
I love yoga. While I'm not a human pretzel and definitely not zen all the time, I'd say I'm an aspiring yogi. It helps me sleep better, recover from running and just generally have better days. Yoga with Adriene has been partially responsible for my recent yoga obsession. She uploads new videos regularly and has everything from a five minute yoga break to complete one-hour classes. It's all up to you to choose what you need and find what feels good to you.
If I'm having a bad day, I do a Blogilates video. Cassey Ho, the founder and instructor is the perkiest, peppiest fitness cheerleader that I've found in a long time. And you guys, these videos WORK! There is no need for fancy equipment as it's all done with your bodyweight. All you need is a wifi connection (but if you plan ahead, you can find her guides on her website for when videos aren't an option). Right now I'm a big fan of her bridal bootcamp series, even though I'm not getting married anytime soon. They're ten minute videos that focus on a different part of the body. Combine three or four and you have a complete workout--no gym required. It feels like working out with your best friend.
Popsugar is a recent obsession of mine, as I have been looking to challenge myself in new ways without a gym. Their barre workouts are perfect for strengthening my legs for running to prevent injury. This YouTube channel also has a wide variety of workouts to keep things interesting. If you're bored with your workout, it's your own fault. Head on over to Popsugar to find some inspiration. Be warned though: some of their workouts use equipment, so just be sure to pick bodyweight workouts.
These equipment-free workout options help you travel light and travel healthy. Obviously these may not be the best fit for everyone, but I swear by these when I don't have access to a gym--and even when I do! What are your favorite fitness tips for life on the go?