Fitness and Travel: How to Stay Healthy While Vacationing

Fitness and Travel: How to Stay Healthy While Vacationing

Your bags are stuffed to the brim with all of your favorite travel essentials: extra sunscreen, that summer outfit you’ve been saving since last year, and beachwear you’ve spent all winter getting summer-body ready for. It’s safe to say that you’re mentally checked out from pressing work responsibilities and ready to soak up the sun on warm sandy beaches, drinking a surplus of tropical refreshments and putting away your micro scale for your summer adventure!

As a freelance writer and model, my work demands that I be on call and be very mobile. At any given moment I can be asked to pick up and go, and that can range from just about any location, with no guarantee that I will have access to a nearby LA Fitness.

The great news is that you don’t have to let your commuting or upcoming travel plans get in the way of your fitness goals and progress! You might actually see added benefits to working out while traveling because you are subconsciously telling your mind that fitness is everywhere I am, not solely in the confines of the gym! Remember, it’s all about integrating fitness as a lifestyle not solely a destination for producing results.

Granted, in comparison to a weekly regiment, these workouts are a bit more “relaxed” in intensity, but hopefully, with these easy tips, you too can maintain the progress you’ve worked so hard to reach pre-vacation season!

Tips for increasing fitness during travel:

1. Skip the Uber.

If conditions are safe and you have time to spare, save the cab fare and take a nice stroll in the area. Not only will you acquire major steps towards your daily step-goals, but you will simultaneously be able to take in and explore the city or perhaps coastal regions of your vacation time.

I have been able to experience far more on foot when traveling than relying on the convenience of public transportation. So, at any opportunity, plan ahead, wear your comfy shoes, and get those steps in!

2. Indoor Workouts

Whether you are stuck inside your hotel room/Airbnb due to poor weather conditions or you aren’t familiar with the area, working from your “home-away-from-home” might be your only resort for added physical activity.

No worries here, a 15-30-minute full body HIIT blast can do just the trick!

Mini HIIT Blast Circuit:
(Repeat 2-5 times depending on your fitness level)

  • 25 squats
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 15 triceps dips
  • 10 burpees
  • 5 pushups
  • *1-minute plank
  • 5 pushups
  • 10 burpees
  • 15 side lunges
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 25 squats
  • *1-minute plank*Use resistance bands to give your body an extra challenge.

3. Working out under the radar.        

We get it, you’re on vacation. This is the time when you can completely sign-off from those at home responsibilities and break away from the mundane routine of every-day-life. The last thing you want to do is give yourself the chore of having to carve out time for a workout when truth be told, you would much rather sink your toes in the exfoliating warm sandy beaches.

Remind yourself that fitness can be experienced in many diverse and creative ways. You can swim, go horseback riding, hike, surf, go dancing, or boogie board and burn some calories while having fun. When we make fitness a part of the experience, it becomes more welcoming and less demanding to our physique!

4. Pack with intention.

What’s in my fitness travel bag:
Travel fitness essentials
•Tennis shoes
•Jump rope
•Resistance bands (1-3)
•Disks

Whether at home or island hopping, one thing you can always control is what you’re putting in your body as much as what you’re doing with your body on vacation. Enjoy what may seem like never-ending cheat meals and not counting calories or sticking to your macros. You’re on vacation—embrace it! While you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor, upping the hydration is the golden rule of all golden rules!

Consider that your body is probably working overtime in a week of relaxing and fun, so when you can— hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If you have access to fresh citruses like lemon, limes, grapefruit or oranges, increased electrolytes and vitamin C will help replenish cells, relax muscles and keep that summer glow working from the inside out!

Wherever your travels take you, if you can’t find an LA Fitness nearby or much room in your suitcase for all your gym gear, know that your goals don’t have to start or stop solely on the convenience of your gym accessibility. Living well and doing well is based on intention and wherever you decide to take it!

To find an LA Fitness near you, click here.


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Break Up with Your Diet, Start a New Relationship with Food

Break Up with Your Diet, Start a New Relationship with Food

It is near midnight. The house is quiet, and it’s officially “lights out.”  Then, suddenly you are alarmed by a loud and mysterious rumbling that begins to echo to every corner of your bedroom. You turn over and reposition your lethargic body on its side; hoping it was all just a part of a dream. A few minutes pass and the same resounding rumble begins to grow even more violent. You can no longer ignore the internal calling we all dread to acknowledge a quarter past midnight. No longer can its origins be disguised for anything other than the dark deep abyss of your hollow stomach.

Translation: You’ve got the serious case of the late-night munchies.

At this point, you have a decision to make. You try to talk yourself out of dragging your sluggish legs into the kitchen to satisfy your appetite, but the internal debate of “to eat or not to eat” is waking more neurons in your brain, making it nearly impossible to fall back asleep. Feeling restless and still hungry, you head to the kitchen and look for anything that doesn’t require any actual effort beyond pouring yourself a bowl of cereal.

Like many of us, we have all experienced a similar internal dialogue when deciding between making healthier choices over the not-so-healthy-ones. We are confronted daily with choosing between the salad or fast food, the workout before your 8 am meeting or hitting the snooze button for the fifth time. Unfortunately, we are often faced with the guilt and only momentary satisfaction when self-control is less effective on those days your supervisor decides to leave a free-for-all box of hot-and-ready-to-eat donuts in the conference room. Then there are those seasons of pure discipline when it’s strict dieting, no sugar, skip the happy hour, and the “I’ll just have a spinach kale salad with vinegar and oil on the side.”  Unfortunately, we are often faced with short-lived results only to return to the same habits as before.

So, if we are what we eat, what’s the secret in actually doing it well?

Food is Fuel

Let’s put some things in perspective – our relationship with food has gotten a negative rap throughout the existence of American mass media. It is either introduced as being the enemy or the solution to our overall well-being. It is either quick-fast and not nutritionally dense “meals” we have easy access to at your nearest fast food chain, or it’s posed as an almost militarized form of consumption, aka steamed veggies and grilled chicken Monday through Friday.  

This duality of “good and bad” types of eating sends many of us on an emotional roller-coaster when making day-to-day healthy choices. I carry the firm belief that our relationship to food is tarnished when used for reward or punishment. If we bring it back to basics, when we were first developing as a species, food was medicine, and a resource to aiding our bodies to function and fuel itself for our day-to-day activities. We have commercialized the food industry so much, that we as consumers feel trapped and often disempowered when making instinctual decisions about what our body’s actual need!

The fact that every single day we get to decide when and what we eat is nothing short of a privilege; especially when we consider people who geographically, socially, and economically don’t have the same luxury. So, when we take a step back and see the purpose behind why we eat, we might be able to lessen the pressure of making those healthier choices.

You might be thinking, does that mean I have to drop the cookies and grab the carrot sticks instead? Well…not exactly.

Food is Fun!

Looking back, I can attest that every great childhood memory, every birthday and celebration has good food somewhere in the picture. I’m talking about that feel-good-straight-out-of-Grandma’s-oven home cooking or recalling the greatly anticipated pizza parties when your class scored highest in the school’s spelling bee. There were no counting macros or guilt-tripping myself into burning extra calories on the treadmill at the gym the next day. Food was something to be enjoyed in those moments, and they still should be!

Navigating healthy-living through food shouldn’t feel like a death sentence to enjoying quality time with friends and family. Rather, it is acknowledging that food and these impressionable moments in life often go hand in hand, and we can find ways of empowering ourselves by setting ourselves up for success. For example, try introducing newer ways of enjoying more vegetable side dishes at the next family potluck, or adding more fruits and veggies in school lunches for the kids over fruit snacks.

When we surround ourselves with healthier options we are more likely to incorporate them in our lifestyle with greater ease than the polarizing feeling we often feel when we are under-prepared and just down-right hungry.

A person who knows a lot about eliminating the stress and pressure around food while still enjoying healthier choices is former White House Chef to the Obamas and Food Policy Advisor, Sam Kass.

Kass knows a thing or two about ways you and your family can feel more empowered on making better choices without the fuss! His newly released cookbook, Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World, is based on the philosophy that there is no “right way” but there is always a better way we can approach diet and nutrition to support our households and the planet. His approach to changing our relationship with food is approachable for anyone wanting to take a more proactive step towards optimal health, minus the excess will-power. Think “small changes that collectively make a bigger impact in the long run!

“Eat one vegetable a day. Just one. Eat whole grains and beans once more a week. When this becomes your new normal–in two weeks, ten weeks, or a year–you raise the bar again.”

Sam Kass

Former White House Chef to the Obamas and Food Policy Advisor

If there is one food trend I think we have all been neglecting it is that food is our friend when we allow it. It is the fuel and the fun in our lives that collectively make for a better, more enjoyable living. You were made to enjoy the fruit of your labor (literally!) So if that means working your butt off and enjoying that ice-cream with the kids on the weekend so be it. If it means learning new ways to cut out processed sugar and introduce fresh and dried fruits to curb an unhealthy habit, that’s great too.

Making better choices for you and your family ultimately comes down to meeting the needs that are going to support the lifestyle and results you envision having. For me, my “better” means throwing out fad-diets and picking up healthier ways to live for the long run. Call me crazy, but I’m a firm believer that you can live a healthy life and still have that cake and eat it too!

Sources

  1. Kass, Sam, and Aubrie Pick. “Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World.” Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2018.

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Do Well, Feel Well, Live Well

Do Well, Feel Well, Live Well

So, you want to feel better but maybe you are like me and find that keeping up and adopting new “trending” wellness regiments only seems to add more stress, rather than alleviate it. A journey towards living well is just that, a journey, with an intentional beginning and an ongoing honest reflection of oneself.

We go to great lengths to “feel good” but how many of us make a conscious effort in taking the time to process when we are not? This is far from a self-help article, but it is calling to attention something more pertinent in the community of wellness; self-awareness.

Too often I find that the general populace is bombarded with a surplus of information from (quite possibly) good intentioned wellness experts and gurus explaining why celery juice is the cure-all for many of your life’s problems.

To avoid those overwhelming crash and burn moments or the feelings of added stress when trying to find the perfect beginner-friendly yoga class, we wanted to provide some simple and effective ways to assist feeling like a better you – mind, body and spirit!

Living well supersedes the latest classes and juice cleanses. Confronting your stressors and identifying key reasons for what may be causing stress in your life could be a great start towards optimizing new wellness practices you may be more inclined to try (and hopefully implement) on a more regular basis.

This isn’t to say that certain wellness activities and regiments are not beneficial. However, they are only beneficial to us when we can identify what our mind or body needs. Feeling well truly begins with acknowledging when we may not be, and honoring those feelings by identifying what could be the potential cause is a key first step.

Quick tips on living well:

  • Keep a stress journal: Writing down what is stressing you can be a productive way of releasing the crowdedness of the mind. Try writing or keep a notebook for deeper reflection to help identify what challenges you are dealing with, whether it’s physical, emotional, etc.
  • Go outside: Sometimes changing your environment can be the quickest way to change your perception on a given situation. Taking an average-pace walk gets your endorphins up and mind more connected to the body. A little nature and some fresh air can be the perfect reset button you need.
  • Breathe: Sounds simple, but taking a moment to close your eyes, sit in a quiet place, and take in some deep soothing breaths can help boost oxygen levels and settle minor anxieties throughout the day. At each inhale breathe in from your nose counting one to ten and exhale from your mouth counting down ten to one, repeat 3-5 times or until your only focus is that of your breath.
  • Gratitude: Speaking or writing out what you are grateful for is a simple practice that takes no special It does, however, shift your focus on what isn’t going right to what has (or is) working in your favor!
  • Eat clean: Before you grab that pack of cookies or down another coffee, brighten up your plate with colorful whole grains, fresh veggies, and fruit. Consider adding: walnuts, raw almonds, snap peas, bell peppers, carrots, apples, berries or citrus fruits which are natural energizers. The more fresh, raw, and colorful your meal is, the better. These make great snack alternatives and are packed with nutrients that your body and mind will thank you for!

Hopefully, with these tips, you too can take care of yourself by listening more intently, acknowledging when things may feel a little off, and taking small steps towards activities that address the anxieties or indifferent feelings that naturally crowd our daily lives.

It’s okay to pause, declutter, and simplify taking care of the most important relationship you’ll spend growing with – that abundant and proactive individual being none other than yourself!


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Member Spotlight | Devin Ryan: My Journey in Fitness

Member Spotlight | Devin Ryan: My Journey in Fitness

Fitness was indoctrinated very early on in my life. Healthy competition and athleticism began with seasons of tee-ball, basketball summer camps, and track and field in high school, supplemented by dance on the offseason. With a buzzing household of four active boys and my bountiful curious female presence, my parents always encouraged us to “go outside and play.” My household was never not moving!

My earliest (and perhaps fondest) memory of fitness was watching my mother every day after school. She hastily preheated the oven before going to her bedroom as she got us settled into our school work. There, she removed her tailored office clothes, kicked off her favorite black patent-leather “cockroach-killer” heels and traded them for one of my dad’s t-shirts and her favorite spandex biker shorts. With her work files piled high on the kitchen counter, she threw some pasta sauce on the stove with a heaping amount of fresh and dry herbs simmering over low heat for that evening’s dinner. At exactly 3:30 pm every afternoon, she popped in her early 90s aerobics VHS tape and jumped right into her enthusiastic stepping. I marveled at the overly-animated, permed out fitness instructor sporting spandex and white ankle socks motivating my super-hero of a mom to “go for another 30 seconds more” as she panted between incoming house calls and me racing my sibling’s toy-cars by her feet.

This image of my multi-faceted mother trying to balance work, family, and self-care is forever engraved in my mind. I understand now why it was necessary for my mother to commit to fitness. To my mother, fitness was loving herself and caring about how she felt regardless of the external demands life asked of her to fulfill. To this day, I credit my mother for not only being an example for healthy living but continuing it as a practice today. She was, after all, the person I went to get a gym membership with. We worked out together, supported each other, and reminded one another (while thrift shopping) that the number on the tag of that dress is not as important as the way you feel in it.


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Personal Training: Finding the Right Trainer for You

Personal Training: Finding the Right Trainer for You

Whether committing to new fitness goals or finding new ways of sustaining them, Pro Results® personal training may be the key to unlocking your potential and getting the results you’ve always wanted. Many wellness enthusiasts have no problem with living an active lifestyle. Some can credit their childhood with seeing examples of healthy living or competing in sports during their adolescence.  However, others are not as adept in motivating themselves to work out or eat healthier.  No matter where you fall on this spectrum, everyone can benefit from some expert guidance to improve, motivate, or encourage your fitness journey.

So, if you are ready to make that jump into the uncharted abyss of personal training, here are some key points you may want to include when choosing who can best assist you on ensuring that your goals are met.

1. Identify your personal fitness goals.

This step is vital in getting the most out of your personal training. If you don’t identify what you want to achieve or why you run the risk of investing time and money with someone who isn’t able to effectively guide you toward achieving your fitness goals. In a way, a personal trainer’s assessment is similar to a physician’s approach when you’re feeling under the weather.

A physician recommends appropriate tests or remedies for helping you feel better after assessing how you’re feeling. This comes with the right amount of honest conversation, in order for you to be on your way toward the best version of you. Before consulting with any fitness guru or expert, know your needs first, as they will be an internal guide when gaging if personal training is working for you. Remember, you’re the client and you set the precedence for how your trainer distinguishes a proper plan of action for you.

2. Consulting with a Personal Trainer.

Once you identify what you want to achieve, you’re ready to do a little window-shopping. This part of the process doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds. The ball is essentially in your court – you are “hiring” this person to be your guide on your fitness journey. Once a reputable LA Fitness Pro Results® employee assesses your goals, they will partner you up with a trainer whom they feel will best be able to facilitate your fitness concerns. If for some reason the fit doesn’t feel right for you, you can always re-approach the Personal Training Director and ask for an alternative trainer.

Finding out if they are a good match comes down to two essential things: 1) do they fully understand your needs and 2) are you two compatible. LA Fitness has a selection of certified personal trainers for you to choose from.  (*Disclaimer: Each club has a different selection of training staff available. Be sure to check in with the personal training department of your home club to see what is available to you.) No matter how credible or how many years of experience your trainer has under their belt, selecting the right trainer for you comes down to whether you two work well together.

The trainer and client relationship is just that, a relationship. Therefore, enjoying the trainer’s company and his or her approach to fitness and health is key.

3. Seek recommendations.

Perhaps the easiest way to make your decision of who to commit to on your fitness journey is hearing from people who have trained with the trainer you potentially want to work with or asking a club manager. Getting some else’s insight on a personal trainer can better assist you when making your final decision. LA Fitness club managers are great resources to utilize. Most gyms also include a short bio on the trainer, which is very helpful in getting an insight into the trainer’s experience.

4. Uphold your end of the bargain.

No matter how wonderful or credible your personal trainer may be, they are simply guides and an added source of accountability for you. It is important to own your contribution to this new level of commitment. Applying what your personal trainer suggests to your life in and outside of the gym is going to be worth more of your time and money spent in between your training sessions.

5. Progress check.

It is absolutely okay to take a step back during these sessions and assess how you are feeling. As you progress in your fitness journey, your needs may evolve as well. Check in with yourself and reflect on how your training is or isn’t going with the goals you initially set. Ask yourself questions like, “Have my goals changed? Am I being challenged enough? Are my needs being properly addressed?” Continue having open lines of communication with your trainer to see to it that you are getting the most out of your time together.

Like anything else, personal training is what you make it, and what you want to get out of it. Starting there, at the goals you wish to achieve, and finding someone who will guide you in reaching those goals can make for a fulfilling experience along your fitness journey.

Personal training can be that extra boost you need to switch out of your mundane gym visits or be the foundational basis for your fitness regimen. No matter where you find yourself on the journey, approach this aspect of wellness with purpose and with the added knowledge that you don’t have to reach your goals on your own.

Schedule a personal fitness assessment today! Not a member yet? Try us out for 3-days free.


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