By Amy Lewis
Photography by ChiChi Ubiña
“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
I was prompted to write this article because of a breakdown my son had recently on one of our numerous car and plane trips. He’s 18 and into rowing. He hopes for recruitment, so we are in the thick of traveling to many college campuses. He lost it and proclaimed, “how can I possibly achieve my all-time best 2K this fall on the erg if I can’t maintain my diet and workouts? I’ll never reach my goal!” The kid trains five days a week, 1 1/2 hours a day, and his diet is stricter than mine. It is high in protein and many many balanced meals throughout the day. He has to be lean and strong!At that moment, I could not have agreed more with him. Everything I do and preach is consistency, cross-training, and clean eating. The schedule is everything. Traveling throws all of this off and hopping back on can be tough and discouraging. If you have gone away with me, the first thing I do is worry about my fitness. I like a nice hotel, but if I have not mapped out my workout schedule, I’m not going. My most stressful vacation is the annual trip with my parents to Ocean City, NJ. No good gyms and it is all fried food (and for the record, I have eliminated fried food from my diet).
What are some tips to enjoy traveling without completely relinquishing all the hard work you do at home? Here is what experience has told me.
If you are staying in a hotel, the hotel you stay in makes all the difference. Check and make sure it has a fitness center (I call and ask what equipment they have). Some higher end hotels, like The 1, offer personal training. If that’s not an option, find a program online you can follow. There are so many to choose from. I usually have my trainer send me a five-days of programing.
If you are in a rental home, your best bet is to research classes and gyms around it. If that doesn’t pan out, then you are at the mercy of fitness creativity. I bring my workout bands. They are light and take up no room in my bag. It’s your best bet for isometric training. Outdoor cardio is a great option: hiking, walking, jogging, paddle boarding, swimming and the ultimate best, running on the beach barefoot, if you can.
Maybe the hardest part of traveling and most robust to navigate is consumption. When I travel, it’s one of four things that can go wrong, I eat terrible food, I drink too much alcohol, I don’t eat at all (because I can’t find good food) or the worst, I drink and not eat. Not eating for extended periods encourages my muscle to fall flat. I’m not fueling and helping the muscle tissue to sustain its look. Gone are the days that you want to starve yourself and be skinny. I want to eat and build lean muscle. The best resolution to this is to go in with a plan. If you go out for a meal, try to eat four different colors. Even if you eat the pasta, balance it with greens, reds, protein or order two appetizers instead. Buy some fruit, apples/bananas to take wherever you go. I do not usually eat protein bars, but when I travel, I stock up on a box – the RX ones. I’ll eat them for breakfast if my options are all white flour-based. I also pack raw nuts. These are perfect for flying. You’re not tempted to eat the chips or pretzels.
I love to travel and want to enjoy it. I follow these tips because when I get back to reality, I want getting back on schedule to be seamless and not torture. It usually takes about two weeks, which is a short enough time before getting discouraged. My motto: travel and indulge, but allow for some time to keep your body in check.
Photographed on location at 293 Stanwich Road, Greenwich. Listing is with Courtney Belhumeur, Sotheby’s International Realty.
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