Thursday, 14 August 2014

Fit for travel

There is a hint of irony to the title of this post in that I have a cold for the second time in the space of a month. I am not coping well with this. I don't do ill very well (I know, who does?) and feel very frustrated and fed up. I don't usually resort to Berocca and pharmaceuticals but am currently taking a cocktail of these in an effort to steel myself for our 26 hour bus ride to Bolivia tomorrow. Yep, traveller shiz is about to get very real after being relatively coddled in the US, Brazil and Argentina so far on our journey. 

Part of my frustration is due to the fact that I had just been getting back into my exercise routine after the first cold struck in Brazil. Yes, believe it or not I did have an exercise routine on the road. Before we set off, Andy and I agreed that we wanted to make sure we keep fit on our trip. Not least because Andy has signed up for the Patagonia Marathon which is fast approaching on 27 September. In my case, I just want to make sure I feel at my best and ready for anything while we're out in the big wide world.

Obviously, travelling and exploring new cities involves a lot of walking, which has been excellent training for our four day Inca Trail hike in September. My beloved Fitbit tracked this particularly busy week in Toronto. 



While Andy has focused on running, I started off doing outdoor bootcamp style exercises during our first few weeks in the States. Our arrival in April meant the weather was great for outdoor exercise. Before we left the UK I made sure I had a few of my favourite no equipment workouts printed off or noted down. Good sites for these include two of my favourite blogs, Carrots and Cake and Peanut Butter Fingers, just look under their Workout pages. Pinterest is also a brilliant resource for workouts or just good old fashioned Google. 

Whenever we were headed to a new destination, I'd look at Google maps to figure out what parks there were near where we were staying. Once we arrived, I'd go and take a look first and make sure they seemed suitable - safe, clean and not too exposed to public view! Then, I'd get to it! Most of the workouts are focused on body weight exercises, so I'd add in 30 second runs between each move to add in some cardio and break it up. I'd usually do each set of exercises through twice in this way, plus a warm up and cool down. I tried to do this at least three times a week, and managed to stick to it pretty well. 

Then we got to Texas and the summer heat and 90% humidity hit us like a truck. Ouch. 


It was time to take my workout indoors, under the aircon, and rediscover my love of barre method workouts. I have the Barre 3 app, so used this to string together the short ten minute workouts into longer sessions. When we got to Nashville I went a step further and went to a BarreAmped class which was great fun and really spurred me on to keep going. BarreAmped was created by Suzanne Bowen of Suzanne Bowen Fitness, so I signed up to her online workouts which are really great. You can tailor a programme to what you want to achieve and how much time you have, or follow one of the programmes she has created. 

Keeping up the exercise has been a little harder over the last month or so in South America, though. Although the weather is cooler, it's a lot more difficult to find decent outdoor spaces, particularly with regards to security. And the wifi connections are not as speedy, so streaming the barre videos can be an exercise in frustration, pardon the pun! Add in two weeks and counting of illness, and things haven't been going so great. But, when I've felt up to it, I've done what I can, including the online streaming and taking my bootcamp workouts indoors. The main thing is to do what you can, and I've realised we use the same excuses on the road as we do at home, so they are just as easy to overcome. I look forward to feeling better again soon and getting back to it, whatever form it may take in Bolivia.

I hope this inspires you to keep fit, on the road and every day. 

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