Staying on top of a workout routine or eating healthy isn’t always easy when you’re on the go. Today I brought in my friend Sarah Ashbourne to talk about fitness and travel. Sarah is a personal trainer who also shares my passion for travel and exploring new places so it was only fitting to get her take on it!
How do you know Amy?
I met Amy through one of my childhood friends of 10+ years –Marissa. We were watching the final game of the Raptors in 2020 and just connected right away. Whether it’s exploring a new part of Toronto, talking travel, blogging or business, we always have something to talk about. It’s amazing how you can meet friends in the most random places and create such a strong bond.
How did you get into the fitness industry and how long have you been a personal trainer?
I’ve been somewhat into fitness since I was a kid. I did gymnastics growing up, then varsity cheerleading in college. I didn’t fully commit to fitness until I graduated college though and that’s when I really started researching and working out consistently. My passion grew and I officially became certified in 2019. I have been a full-time trainer since fall of 2019 and running my own business since spring of 2020.
What do you struggle most with fitness-wise when travelling?
I used to feel guilty when I couldn’t get in a stereotypical “workout” at a gym but I have a more sustainable and balanced approach now. Now the biggest struggle is incorporating a workout into a busy travel schedule. I’ll usually try to add in at least some type of stretching or mobility, try a local workout class, or go for a long walk to get in extra movement. I always remind myself that any movement is better than no movement – whatever that movement is to you.
Do you have any tips on balancing diet and exercise while travelling?
For diet I suggest the 80/20 rule – 80% healthy and whole foods, 20% fun foods! You’re travelling and enjoying life, so don’t restrict yourself otherwise you may miss out on getting the full travel experience. Don’t indulge to the point where you feel sick, food will always be there. Pick what you want to enjoy as a treat and try to have the base of your meal as something that will fuel your body for all our adventures, not leave you feeling sluggish.
What are some easy/quick workouts that can be done in a hostel/hotel/Airbnb?
Any plyometric HIIT workouts (YouTube is amazing for them) or pilates/yoga! You need minimal equipment, can increase your heart rate as you wish and don’t need much space. These are also both great for when travelling because they don’t have to take an hour plus. You can be done in 10-45 minutes!
How would you suggest establishing a fitness routine while travelling?
Add it into your routine daily as a non-negotiable. Pick something each day to do that incorporates additional movement, whether that’s a workout like yoga or HITT in your room, a walk, hike or swim.
What’s your take on partying/drinking while trying to keep up with a healthy lifestyle?
Enjoy life, but don’t feel the need to go all out every time. I use the 80/20 rule here as well. Try to make sure that most of your nutrition whole food based and then some treats/drinks added in. On special occasions we tend to indulge a little more, which is okay. If having a couple extra drinks or enjoying that slice of birthday cake means you’re enjoying and living life, then go for it!
You can also make healthier choices when out partying such as trying a vodka or tequila soda vs cranberry juice, grabbing a seltzer, skipping the late night munchies, etc. You will feel better the morning after if you avoid chugging lots of sugar back with your alcohol – I promise!
How can you avoid FOMO if you don’t want to drink but still want to meet new people?
Find activities that you enjoy and you’ll most likely find people you connect with more there! There are lots of Facebook groups, Meetup communities, or activities hostels will run which give you a wide range of things to do. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, most people travelling are there to meet people as well. Drinking is such a small part of travelling even if it seems to be glamourized by some.
What healthy snacks would you recommend when you’re on the move?
Fresh fruit and veggies! Fresh fruit carts are my fav when travelling. If there’s a grocery store, pop in to grab some energy bars (RX Bars & GoMacro are my fav for minimal ingredients and good for you). Whole Foods will be your quickest, easiest, and healthiest option when on the move and unsure what to choose though.
What are some activities you can do while travelling to stay active?
Staying active is so easy when travelling – never underestimate walking! Here are a few ideas:
- Hiking – Depending on the terrain and equipment you’re carrying, this is a full body workout. If it’s a steep incline you’ll be getting a big leg workout in (all the booty work).
- Swimming – This is also a full body workout but a lot easier on your body. Try snorkelling, jump in the pool, or hit the beach!
- Kayaking / Canoeing – This is mostly upper body and core work– with the water as resistance and gear in your canoe to add weight you’ll get a killer chest and arm workout when canoeing or kayaking. These are also great activities to explore areas you wouldn’t be able to reach via land and get a new perspective on the area.
- Biking – Along with walking this is my go to when travelling because it isn’t too hard on my body but a great way to explore and usually pretty cheap or free! Great for when you’re on a budget.
When in doubt, walk it out! I love to walk because I not only feel it’s the best way to see and explore a new area but it gets you moving!
What equipment would be easy to bring along when travelling?
If you’re looking to bring light equipment with you on your next trip, try skipping ropes, resistance bands (booty bands, tube bands – these are great because they have handles) and sliders. If you can’t bring any, get creative! You can use cans, chairs, towels, pillows, etc to add to your workouts.
Where Can People Connect With You?
You can find me on Instagram (slide into my DMs if you wanna chat!) and over on my website – where you can book my services or purchase workout programs.
Thoughts on Fitness and Travel
If you’re someone who’s used to a strict workout routine, it can be tough when you’re travelling. I used to be pretty hard on myself if I hadn’t done a workout in a week when I was moving from country to country. It took a while to realize that each day I was walking anywhere from 15-20 km, biking around new towns, swimming and doing other activities that should count towards a ‘workout’.
I love how Sarah focuses on a well-rounded take to fitness and travel because it’s not realistic to stick to eating super ‘clean’ and doing long workouts each day when you’re exploring a new place!
That’s all for this week’s blog. I’ll be back shortly with another one but in the meantime you can keep up with my adventures on TikTok, join my Facebook community for travellers (700+ people from around the world) and follow me on Instagram!
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