Tips for Traveling: Food & Fitness

IMG_1572 I absolutely LOVE traveling and try to take little trips whenever I can, but it can sometimes be difficult to stay on track with my normal eating and exercise habits while traveling. I understand how traveling can mess with the normal rhythm and routine. Being away from home without access to your usual food and unable to prepare your own meals can make it hard to stick to an eating plan. And being without access to a gym can make it hard to stay on top of your workouts.

I believe it is Important to truly enjoy yourself when you are on a trip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make healthy choices while away from home! Such as, choosing water at a meal out instead of soda or beer, choosing whole grains instead of white, packing your own healthy snacks and taking lots of walks while exploring the city or place you are visiting!

It will always depend what kind of trip you are taking, where you are going and for how long, but no matter what you should always do you best to stay active and eat nutritious foods whenever possible. And drink lots of water!! When we are on the go and away from the routine we tend to forget to drink enough water, but keeping your body hydrated is so Important!

As someone who Loves traveling and does so semi frequently, I have had to learn through trial and error some different tricks and tips for staying on track.

Here are a few of my Tips for Traveling (will do another post about this topic again):
~Thinking & Planning Ahead~.
FOOD: Are you able to bring food with you during your travels? And will you have access to healthy snacks and food once you arrive?

If you are traveling by car then you will have many options to pack whatever you want. Even if you think you will have access to a grocery store with healthy options I recommend packing a few essential items just in case. I have made the mistake more than once, thinking I would have immediate access to a grocery store, only to discover it was already closed or was too far a distance to get to the first day during a trip.

If you are traveling by plane it’s a different story of course but I still recommend packing a few essential food items for the actual flight and when you arrive, such as fresh and dried fruit, unsalted nuts, fruit and nut bars, and protein bars. The food on airplanes is also heavily salted and can be very fatty, so be aware of what you are eating. I usually do eat some of the airplane food, as most of the flights I take are usually 12+ hours, but during my layovers I try to only eat fruit and veggies and drink lots of water.

Living here in Germany, the majority of the time I travel by train or bus, as it is the cheaper option and I don’t have a car, and so I make sure to pack a small bag of snacks for the trip.

IMG_6122-2My personal snack and food list for a road trip/train ride include: Homemade sandwiches and smoothies, fresh fruit and veggies such as bananas, oranges, apples and carrots, fruit and nut bars of some kind (beware of extra added sugars!). My favorites in the U.S. are Lara Bars, which are literally made of just fruit and nuts. Here is Germany I have yet to find a good quality, affordable bar. I also love to have a crunchy snack so I pack either whole grain crackers, rice cakes or bean and rice chips (full of fiber and protein). In addition I pack my own Peanut Butter to have with my rice cakes or bread that I buy. And I always bring my liquid Stevia drops with me everywhere to flavor my coffee, as I really try to avoid white sugar.

 

EXERCISE: Will you have access to some kind of gym or other area to do your workouts? Are you able to fit your workout gear in your bag?

If yes to both, great! Pack your workout gear and plan to set aside a bit of time for your workouts in the best way that work so for you. Even a half hour to one hour workout will really benefit you! If you are tracking with someone, make a plan for staying active together and then hold each other accountable.

If you will not have access to a gym, no worries! There are so many mini workouts that can be done outside or in a hotel room that require no equipment. My suggestion, search on YouTube for some routines, or check out my Facebook page for some Workout Videos to get ideas of some No Equipment routines! Some other ideas: find a local park and take a jog, or go to a local football stadium and do sprints on the track or up and down the bleachers!image

Sometimes there are places you go where there is no place or option to really workout, and that is where walking comes in. Walking is a great form of exercise!! Even 35-45 minutes of walking is better than nothing, and if you’re like me and love exploring the places you go, chances are you will be walking much more than that! Just remember to stay hydrated and drink water when out and about! And even if you can’t pack your full workout attire, try to pack comfortable walking shoes.

Sometimes our bodies need a break from the routine and a few days or week off can actually be beneficial. But I understand it can be hard to jump to jump back into the routine when you get home, check out my blog post Tips for Getting Back on Track to see my Personal List of what I do to jump back into the routine.

I hope these tips help! Please comment below if you have any questions. I will do another post about this topic again in the future.

Much Love, Alena ❤

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training.

~Please keep in mind this article was written based on my personal experience, and my own research and findings. I hope this article will shed some light on what HIIT is and why it is beneficial. NOTE: Before beginning any type of intense training, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor or physician to get cleared for this type of exercise. If you have any questions, please comment ❤ Alena~

For all the women following Kayla Itsines BBG, you will see that HIIT sessions are incorporated from weeks 9 onwards. This means that at least one time a week you should be doing a HIIT workout lasting from 10-15 minutes. But that does NOT mean you should stop doing your LISS session, i.e. Low Intensity Steady State cardio, as there are Still benefits to doing this kind of cardio training. I will do another post about the benefits of LISS cardio training soon.
Cardio, Cardio, Cardio…

Most of us have experienced the Cardio obsession at one point in our lives. I.e. Spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical everyday, hoping to loose weight and see the results we’ve always dreamed of. The truth is steady state cardio alone will only do so much for most people, but to truly see a change in your body, and develop some lean muscle mass, you must incorporate a wider variety of training styles, pylometrics, weight training, and HIIT cardio to name a few. And DIET plays a huge part of course! Not restriction, but eating Wholesome, Healthy and Nourishing foods (but that’s a discussion for a different time..).

In the beginning of my Fitness journey, I was the girl who spent all my time at the gym doing cardio and I rarely ventured away from the Treadmill and Elliptical trainers. But after discovering Aussie Trainer Kayla Itsines’s Instagram account Spring of 2014, I began to realize that there were so many other forms of exercise to incorporate and try, including HIIT. I began incorporating High Intensity Interval Training into my routine around Summer 2014, and I have loved it ever since!

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HIIT aka High Intensity Interval Training is now one of my Favorite forms of exercise. But what Is HIIT?

HIIT is an enhanced form of interval training and form of cardiovascular exercise. It is an exercise strategy with alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise (strength or resistance training) and less-intense recovery periods, usually 30 seconds “on/active” time and 30 seconds “off/rest”, lasting between 10-15 minutes. HIIT not only burns more calories during the workout, but also continues after you’ve finished your workout. Because the workout is more strenuous, your body needs more energy to repair and recover, so you actually continue to burn more Fat and Calories in the 24 hours following your HIIT session. Meaning it’s an intense and effective workout done in a very short amount of time!

HIIT is known for improving health, boosting weight and fat loss, promoting HGH (human growth hormone) production, and improving strength and stamina, among other benefits. It can be done in a variety of form of workouts, so long as it alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of low-moderate activity or even complete rest. From my personal experience, I saw a greater fat loss when I started incorporating HIIT style training into my routine in addition to a few low intensity cardio sessions. HIIT is a great way to get in a solid cardiovascular workout in a short amount of time.

There are many different forms of HIIT exercises and different on/off ratios and they all have so many benefits! Sprinting, biking, using a variety of resistance training exercises at a fast pace. My personal favorite form of HIIT is Sprinting on the Treadmill, using the 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off method. Sprinting on the treadmill allows me to see how fast I’m going, see the time in front of me and I can easily hope on and hop off to the side during my rest period. I typically do 15 minutes of 30/30 sprints with a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down period as well, for a total of 25 minutes. After warming up with 5 minutes of fast paced walking or a very light jogging pace, I increase the speed to a moderately high speed, but not my maximum. I do 2-3 rounds of sprints at this speed, then for the remainder I up the speed to 90-100 of my capacity, usually ranging from 16.3-17.0 kpm/.

This is what works best for Me and what I like the most. However, I do occasionally switch up my HIIT routine and do a session of a variety of high intensity exercises in a similar format. By combining a variety of body weight and weighted exercises, you can create your own High Intensity Interval Training routine. The key is to complete them in short 30 second bursts, giving your best effort, then have a short rest period. I encourage you ALL to do some research and find out what works best for you. If you are a newbie to HIIT training, I recommend starting out with 8-10 minutes of HIIT and gradually working your way up to 15 minutes total.

imageNeed IDEAS for HIIT? Check out my friend Mandy & Candy’s awesome Youtube channel for 2 different HIIT videos! A Jump Rope HIIT Video and a complete 15 minute HIIT routine, which incorporates 15 different exercises and a timer, meaning your whole Workout is planned out for you! Awesome right? Here it is:

Need More Ideas? Check out these articles: 7 Minute HIIT sesh, 5 ideas for HIIT, Treadmill training

Now get out there and HIIT It!!! ❤ Alena