Midlife Fitness: Lesley McShane
If you have just started getting into the habit of a regular workout routine, the thought of missing out on several days while visiting family or taking a summer vacation may give you some anxiety.
It always seems when we’ve turned the corner on something like setting a health goal and are finally seeing some progress that something like travel, for work or pleasure, throws a wrench into the whole thing.
First of all, let me be the first person to permit you to take a day or two off to work, rest and relax, or be with your family. Doing those things are important. Know before you travel that there are no health consequences to this. So put your mind at rest.
“let me be the first person to permit you to take a day or two off to work”
But, a cautionary tale, know that while a couple of days off is fine, more than that may be mentally hard when getting back on the wagon. Missing up to 14 days of aerobic activity, if you have been active shouldn’t be an issue physically, but mentally can be another story.
So, if you are fragile in that way, let’s discuss four ways to work out when traveling.
1. Be Prepared To Work Out When Traveling:
If you are going to be away from home for a good chunk of time, don’t stress yourself about getting workouts in every day. Try for every other day. And make some preparation and do some research before you leave. Having a plan in place is so much easier than trying to pull it all together at the last minute on-site.
You’ll be much less likely to exercise away from home if you don’t pack items that you will need; like the proper clothes and shoes. So make sure to put these into your luggage. And know your schedule if you are away for work or if you have activities planned while on vacation.
Is there enough time to do a workout in the morning? What time would you need to get up? Are there breaks during the day? When are the big meals? Are there expectations of your time from others you are with?
2. Take Advantage Of The Hotel Or Resort Gym:
Before you leave, if you are staying at a hotel or resort, check out their gym facilities online. Do they even have one? What equipment does it have? This will help you determine what kind of workout you can do there. Will you need to take any of your equipment like a yoga mat or bands?
If where you are staying doesn’t have sufficient gym space or equipment, clear a small space in your room where you could do a quick 20-25 minute HIIT workout. There are many free ones available on YouTube that you can stream on your phone or laptop.
3. Get A Day Pass To A Local Gym Or Workout Facility:
Consider a day pass to a gym, workout club, or facility nearby. Or find a place where you can pay by the class, like yoga or Barre. Make sure to do this research before you leave home or check with the front desk. They may have some good suggestions on where you might go.
4. Get Your Family Involved:
If you are visiting some family over a holiday weekend, check to see if there is a 5k happening. How fun would it be to go run, jog, or walk at an event like this with your family? Most official 5ks benefit charities, so this would be a huge win-win. Not to mention a great way to build memories.
Talk to some of your family members before the trip. There may be one or two who don’t want to miss their workouts either. Make a plan together to make each of you accountable for getting your workouts in. And do them together.
“The easiest thing you can do to get your exercise is to take a walk.”
The Easiest Workout Of Them All:
The easiest thing you can do to get your exercise is to take a walk, jog, or run from where you are staying. Look up the surrounding area and plot a course. Or check out a local park. For a little bonus, stop every half mile and do a bodyweight exercise, like squats, lunges, or pushups.
The Benefits Of Staying On Track:
If you research before you leave, know what equipment you need, have your schedule, invite family to join you, and know where you are going to work out and the clothes you need to pack; you will be much more likely to do it than if you just showed up planning to figure it out once there.
The main thing is to get your work done or enjoy your vacation and family, but it is okay to focus on yourself for an hour or so a day to make sure you can show up for them 100% the rest of the time. If you need these workouts to keep yourself mentally engaged in your health journey, that is not selfish, but needed. You are important, too. Never forget that. So, take the time to work out when traveling, you’re worth it.
About the Author:
Lesley McShane is an advocate for all things midlife health and wellness. She is a podcaster, writer, author, and ACSM certified personal trainer who is fully committed to encouraging middle-aged women to prioritize their fitness and nutrition NOW to feel better and live happier, longer. She hosts the top 1.5% globally ranked podcast Redesigning Midlife where she and her guests talk about embracing the empowerment of midlife with the realization that it is never too late to feel amazing. Her mission is to help women discover that everything they need to create an epic and healthy second half of life already lives inside them.
Lesley enjoys cycling, music, being with family and friends, IPAs, the NFL, her doggies, motivating people, and generally being curious about life. You can visit her website at www.lesleylmcshane.com.