Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

10 Ways to Stay Fit During Long-Term Travel

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Long-term travel has a way of taking its toll on your body. Eating out at every meal, long travel days without exercise, and cheap drinks all add up. But it’s possible to maintain (or even lose) weight while traveling. Here’s how.

1.) Cook your own food

Choose hostels and AirBnBs with kitchen access. Buy your own groceries and cook for yourself. Compared to the U.S., produce elsewhere is generally much fresher and more delicious so you don’t need to be a pro-chef to create something amazing. This will also save you a ton of money.

2.) Workout videos

Download some workout videos onto your tablet or laptop so you can watch them offline. Then recruit some of your travel buddies to join you so you can stay accountable.

3.) Go on active adventures

hiking active fitness travel

Hiking, swimming, biking, and even just walking around a new city are fun ways to stay fit. More adrenaline-filled activities like climbing, canyoning, and surfing also fit the bill.

4.) Limit sugary cocktails

Sure, they seem like such a great idea when you’re on the beach. But all they really give you are excess calories, dehydration, and a hangover. If you’re in the mood for a drink, stick to wines, hard liquors, and beers.

5.) Don’t go crazy with the free breakfast

Whether it’s a hostel with endless bread and cereal or a full-on breakfast buffet at a nice hotel, it’s easy to over-do it. This is especially true when you’re trying to save money and think it will help you skip on lunch. Guess what? It won’t because carbs only fill you up temporarily. So go easy on the breakfast and make your own healthy sandwich for lunch.

6.) Pack healthy snacks so you don’t need to stop for a huge meal

While portion sizes are generally smaller abroad than they are in the U.S., they’re still pretty damn big. And a lot of people have three of these huge meals a day since they aren’t home with access to snacks. Pick up some nuts and fruits at the grocery store so you don’t have to go crazy with the restaurant meals.

7.) Limit indulgences to special, local foods

vietnamese food hanoi local cuisine

When it comes to traveling, moderation is key. You can’t go to a foreign country and not indulge. Trying the local cuisine is a huge part of the culture and experience. So skip the burgers, but occasionally opt for the local pasta or unique desserts.

8.) Take advantage of body weight exercises

If you don’t have time for a full workout video, you can still fit in several reps of body weight exercises. Squats, lunges, push-ups, etc are all great ways to ensure your muscles don’t whittle away during those long train rides.

9.) Take local classes

Muay Thai in Thailand, yoga in Bali or India, and dancing in Argentina or Spain are all unforgettable ways to stay in shape and have fun.

10.) Cut yourself some slack

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Don’t set unreasonable goals. More importantly, don’t feel bad when you screw up. You’re on vacation for Christ’s sake! Be flexible, be good when you can, and forgive yourself when you indulge too much or are too tired to get out of bed.

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Health and Fitness News You Missed This Week

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I read a ton of fitness/nutrition news every week so I figured why not share it all in one place? I don’t always agree with the findings and health research results are never black and white. Nonetheless, it’s always a fun read and you may just learn something new!

How much sugar is too much?

The FDA has declared a recommended cap of 50 grams of sugar a day for adults. In addition, they have plans to make nutrition labels start differentiating between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar. While I’m not a fan of processed foods in general, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Walking vs Running

A new study found that walking could actually be more beneficial for weight loss and weight maintenance than running. More proof that it’s simply not necessary to force yourself to be a running person.

“Skinny Fat” may be more deadly than obesity

The term “skinny fat” resurfaces and this time it’s deadly. Another study confirms that carrying weight around your midsection is dangerous for your health. This study also suggests that it could even be more dangerous for a skinny person with a fat stomach than a generally obese person.

Is working out harder really better?

Is our obsession with bootcamp and military style workouts healthy? Maybe not. While I don’t personally see anything wrong with it, this article makes a good point that you shouldn’t have to force yourself to do a workout you hate. You should find a workout you enjoy.

Do stronger legs mean a stronger brain?

A new study confirms previous findings that exercise works more than just your muscles. It can also improve brain health! Exercise your body and exercise your mind.

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Fitness Positivity: We ALL Work Hard

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It’s time for a bit of a rant, but I think it’s something that doesn’t get said enough.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I share how proud I am of myself and my progress and someone responds with, “But…you were always skinny.” Or if I’m showing someone my “before” photo and they say “But…you still weren’t fat.” I’m definitely not bragging in either situation and I don’t bring it up often. But sometimes I just want to share my excitement and get some support! How come it’s okay for a formerly overweight girl to post a before photo and get hundreds of comments of encouragement, but someone’s progress is smaller it goes unrecognized? I know that I should be proud of my own accomplishments and not need that recognition. And that’s all fine and good because I do this for myself. But sometimes, it would be nice! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

This brings me to another related pet peeve. And I think that all women who focus on fitness and nutrition probably get this. When I’m out and refuse to get dessert or eat something unhealthy, without fail, at least one person will make a comment. They’ll ask “Why do you need to diet? You’re so thin” or they might even go as far as to hint towards an eating disorder. First of all, I don’t diet, and I don’t think anyone should. I just try to eat healthy. And I do still indulge at least once a week. But if I were to indulge everytime someone said “It’s just one night,” I wouldn’t be so thin and I definitely wouldn’t be healthy.

And this goes both ways. There are plenty of people who work their asses off and don’t see results. Generally, this means they may not be doing something right (i.e.: too much cardio and not enough strength training), but other times it can be due to a medical condition that drastically slows metabolism. Either way, seeing someone who is overweight does not mean that they’re lazy! They could be working out every day while some thin girls don’t work out at all. You just never know!

Basically, don’t judge anyone else’s progress. Support everyone. Keep it positive.

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Adventures in Ireland (Part 1)

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Ireland was incredible. I spent 9 days exploring the country on my little solo adventure (I may have a future post about the perks of traveling alone). Of all the places I’ve traveled, it was the only one that was just as beautiful and amazing as it looked in the movies. The people were also just as warm and friendly. I made the journey by myself, but I made friends everywhere I went. They were all so open to telling me about the history and culture of Ireland. I’m not sure if I would have truly experienced Ireland without them.

Day 1 (and Day 9): Dublin

I arrived the day of the football match between Dublin and Kerry. So Irish pride was in full swing. Debauchery was also in full swing. I met some fun fellow American girls on a little pub crawl and we witnessed some very… colorful Irish men. While it was a lovely city rich of history (I had a drink at The Stag’s Head where James Joyce was once a regular) it was probably my least favorite part of the trip. Ireland really begins outside of Dublin, in my opinion.

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Days 2-4: Galway

Walking through the streets of Galway makes you feel like you’re in Disney World. The classic Irish architecture and traditional music playing everywhere is a rush! On my second night, I met up with some members of the Irish Navy and they taught me some songs and we all danced the jig. It was some mighty craic!

Galway is also close to many natural wonders. I took a bus trip to the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, which was breathtaking. As I was taking pictures I kept looking at them thinking “people are going to think I’m in front of a green screen!”

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ireland cliffs of moher travel galwayMy Britney Spears moment

Days 4-5: Killarney

On this trip it was almost like everywhere I went was better than the last! Killarney is much more of a small town and during the week wasn’t as big on nightlife. But the nature was incredible! Killarney National Park is gorgeous. I recommend renting a bike because it’s a LOT bigger than you think! My favorite parts were the Torc Waterfall and muckross house and gardens. The mine trail by Ross castle also has incredible views.  I actually spent more than one day exploring the park because I just kept wanting to go further! Although I probably should have stuck to the paths a bit since I almost had a run in with a wild dog.

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At the hostel I became friends with some lovely people from Australia, Belgium, Israel, and fellow Americans. I also can’t say enough about how great and friendly the staff were. They were always there to help and on this leg of the trip I really need it. More on that later.

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Make it Social: The Best Workout Advice I’ve Ever Received

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Back when working out was still something I had to force myself to do, I was at the doctor’s when I was absent-mindedly skimming an article about celebrity fitness. I was struck by something that Reese Witherspoon said. When asked how she fits exercise into her busy schedule, she said that she’ll get together with friends for a hike or run rather than having a lunch date. This really resonated with me because I felt like my need to workout was interfering with my social life. But you can have it both ways and it makes it so much more fun!

Make New Friends

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Biking with Tone It Up girls

Not only is fitness a great way to bond with your existing friends, but it’s a great way to connect with new friends, too. Through the Tone It Up community, I was able to find girls who wanted to do the activities I wanted to do, like going bike riding on Governor’s Island. We had so much fun and instantly bonded over our love of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Explore Nature

friends social hiking workout fitness exercise natureHiking upstate with my roommate

I never knew how much I loved nature until I moved to New York. Now I miss it all the time even though I rarely did outdoor activities when I actually lived in my small, rural hometown. Hiking and other outdoor adventures are amazing. They don’t feel like workouts because you want to go as far as you can to explore the beauty.

Find New Hobbies

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Girl Date: Kayaking on the Hudson River

There are so many fun and unique ways to workout with friends. Rock climbing, hiking, biking, running, swimming… even pole dancing classes! You’re sure to find a workout you enjoy. And even if you try something you don’t like (I was NOT a fan of the military boot camp class I took!) at least you had fun with your friends. Working out shouldn’t be a chore. There really is something out there for everyone.

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My Experience With Tone It Up

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Photo Credit: ToneItUp.com

Like many (probably most) women, I’ve had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food for most of my life. I would go through periods of emotional eating and weight gain, followed by seriously restrictive calorie counting where I would eat just 1200 calories a day (sometimes much less). At the time I thought this was normal. It’s not. And it isn’t necessary to go on a strict diet to lose weight.

When I joined Tone It Up, I learned the value of intuitive eating. For the first time I was neither bingeing nor restricting. I learned how to pick out healthy foods and eat moderate amounts without counting calories. For the first time, I wasn’t thinking about food (or food avoidance) 24/7. The website and the powerful community of TIU women on Instagram really changed my life.

I also learned the importance of strength training. Back when I was counting calories, I would do endless cardio on top of that. It didn’t get me the results I wanted. Yet, once I started eating intuitively and incorporating strength training routines 3-4 days a week, the pounds fell off and I look better than I’ve EVER looked. I realized that by forgetting to do strength training, you may lose weight, but you’ll mostly lose muscle. I’d rather look toned and healthy rather than just plain skinny. I highly recommend their videos, which you can find on Youtube.

The amazing community of girls on their website and throughout Instagram and Facebook are inspiring, dedicated, and incredibly supportive. I’ve also had the fortune to meet many of them and become friends. I couldn’t ask for better motivation. I felt that this post was necessary because Tone It Up inspired me to start this blog and one day I hope my blog can be as helpful to others as TIU was to me!

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My Secrets to Finding Free Workouts

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yoga beach fitness free workout outdoors

If you’re a runner, then this probably isn’t a concern for you. Or if you’re a machine person then Planet Fitness is a very affordable option. But if you prefer classes like I do, then it can be hard when you can’t afford to shell out over $100 a month on ClassPass. Yet, I work out at least 4-5 days a week without spending a dime.

Free Trials

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As One Fitness on the Upper West Side

Most gyms and fitness studios have free trials for as little as a day to as long as a week or two. So why not try out some classes? You may actually find one you really like that’s a good price for you. If not, you at least got some free workouts in!

Community Classes

Big cities (and many towns) often offer free workout classes at local rec centers or outside in the summer. In New York, we have Shape Up NYC, which offers classes like Pilates, Bootcamp, Zumba, and even Bellydancing all year long!

Youtube Videos

Tone It Up Youtube Video Fitness Free Workout Exercise Budget

One of my favorite ways to workout is by using free videos on YouTube. Most of them don’t require much space or equipment besides a few dumbbells (hey, if I can do it in my tiny NYC apartment, you can do it!) Some of my favorite videos are from Tone It Up, Blogilates, and FitnessBlender.

Special Events

Many companies, like Athleta, lululemon, and Nike, are now hosting free fitness events to attract new customers. Check your local store for schedules. I’ve gone to a few hosted by Athleta and they’ve all been great!

Bonus: Meetup.com

Another great option is to go to Meetups! There are plenty of fitness groups, which often host free classes or hikes. It’s also a great way to meet new friends!

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