Woes of the Traveling Athlete


Staying fit while on vacation is always a struggle. You’re out of your element, your schedule is different, you don’t have your usual equipment, you probably want to be lazy and skip it. But you don’t have to. I firmly believe that continuing my routine on vacation is how I avoid the dreaded vacation weight gain.

When I’m traveling I do my best to pick hotels that have a gym. I do my research and book accordingly. It doesn’t always work that way. When there isn’t a gym option and maybe the weather is a little iffy, I have two choices. The first is to suck it up and go for a run in the rain anyways or to do a workout in the hotel room using the Nike Training Club app.

What are the woes of a traveling athlete? Sometimes it can be a hassle to make it work. First, you have to plan ahead. This could mean figuring out gym access, running routes, researching places to hike, etc. Second, sometimes you DO need a break. So plan that accordingly, too. What are some of the other challenges I’ve noticed? See below:



All of the casinos I’ve stayed in have had pretty decent gyms in the hotel.

The woe of Vegas?  BESIDES the decadence and overindulging…You almost always have to pay extra to use the gym. The last time I went to Vegas I paid to use the gym and was glad I did. Michael was usually staying up late playing poker and I’d get up at my normal time and have a good hour or so to kill. I headed down to the gym and got my workout out of the way.

Vegas is a good place to stay fit, ironically. If you don’t want to spend the money on the gym access, you can always go for a run on The Strip. That was a GREAT experience for me! So much fun! We were staying at The Palms and I just went for a run around the hotel. I got to see things I normally wouldn’t see by doing this. If you’re not a runner, don’t worry. You will get TONS of exercise simply walking everywhere in Vegas. The Strip is deceptively long and you end up walking probably 10 miles a day.



Running along the beach in Kona was amazing–one of my favorite memories of our trip to Hawaii beside swimming in the ocean (so much better than the pool at the gym). If running and swimming aren’t for you, what about kettle bells?

The woe of Hawaii? Michael decided to bring his 20 pound kettle bell to Hawaii with the intention of working out in the morning, which he did a few times. He packed the kettle bell in his carry-on and had no issues going through security on the way to Hawaii, but returning, the Hawaiian TSA was very concerned about it. They wanted to know what it was, why he brought it and eventually made him take it out and check it like a suitcase. He was annoyed at having to pay TWICE for the luggage when he could have put the kettle bell in his suitcase and save $20 and he was also worried that he wasn’t going to get the kettle bell once we arrived in Portland. We stood at the baggage claim for a long time before it finally came out. A lone kettle bell with a tag on it.



I love Austin. What a cool city. The culture, the food, the sites. There is so much to do and see there and I definitely felt like I was “at home.” People say that Austin is just like Portland, but hotter, and I felt like that was a pretty accurate statement the few times I’ve been there.

The woe of Austin? THE FREAKIN’ HEAT. Wowza. It was so hot every time we’ve been there (which is twice, LOL).  The last time we went there for our anniversary after Michael’s sister’s wedding it was in 107 degree territory. That was way too hot for me to go for a run, or for us to really go for a hike (which we did do a small hike once), so I had to think of something else I could do. I found Barton Springs, which was a natural spring they turned into a “pool.” It was a nice alternative to a sweaty, dizzy run in 100 degree heat.

Make It Work

The good news is that you can usually make SOMETHING work. It may not be ideal (like doing crunches in your hotel room) and it may not be what you wanted to do (like weight lifting, but there’s only cardio machines available). My motto is that something is better than nothing. Even if it’s an evening walk or a quick swim in a hotel pool, doing something to move your body will make you feel better.

So what are some of the fitness hassles and challenges you’ve encountered while traveling?

Get on the Path to Healthy

This post is all about getting healthy, staying healthy and how to balance fun with health while on vacation. It was a recent #fitblog Twitter chat and even though the weekly chat is now over with, it’s still a great topic because summer is upon us. Check out an old post I wrote on How to Stay Fit on Vacation for some more in-depth ideas.

What is your #1 tip to eating healthy?
Everything in moderation! I don’t deny myself anything I want, I just make sure what I eat is within my calorie range for the day and not in massive quantities.

I try and start my day with a healthy breakfast. Eggs, fruit, coffee, maybe some oatmeal. Then I eat fruits and veggies for my snacks. As long as I have those two things down, the rest is a cinch. If you start the day making healthy choices, it’s easier to stick to it as the day goes on (at least for me).

When you’re traveling, what are some of the easiest ways to eat healthy?

Splitting entrees or appetizers with your travel mate is also a great idea. Often times when Michael and I go on vacation we want to sample the local foods and getting appetizers or smaller portions and sharing is a great way to do that. You get to try a little bit of everything! A way to do this is to check out the Food Truck scene in the city you’re visiting. Portland has a fantastic and HUGE food truck community and there are pods scattered all around the city.

I also like the appetizer tip because you discover things you may not have tried otherwise. For example, the last time I was in Austin we went to a trendy, upscale restaurant called La Condesa. We went there because Yelp reviews recommended the Guacamole Flight! A Guacamole Flight?!?! Sign me up! It did NOT disappoint.


It was something I’d never heard of before and never experienced and it was one of the coolest things we did in Austin this last time around!

Another issue with traveling is airport food and/or not having access to healthy snacks. I try and pack healthy snacks with me if I’m traveling. Obviously road trips are easy–pack whatever you want! But flying can be difficult with all the limitations we have now. I try and remember to bring an empty water bottle with me so I can be sure to drink water. When I went to Hawaii, I packed a bunch of individual boxes of raisins and protein bars in my suitcase and they totally came in handy on the trip. Bananas and other fruit are easy airplane snacks, too.

How do you choose to stay fit when traveling?
This one is easy! Whether you’re traveling in a plane or a car, there are still ways to stay active.

I tend to plan my fitness around the vacation. If it’s the winter and I’m somewhere there is going to be a lot of snow, I take my snowshoes! If I’m going somewhere where there is hiking, I bring my boots. The point is to plan ahead and scout out some activities that would be fun and keep you fit.

My preference while traveling to find a hotel that has a gym.

Hotel Gyms or pools are kind of a must have amenity for me. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but SOMETHING. If I happen to be at a hotel that has neither, there’s always a way to get in a workout. I like the Nike Training Club app for that.

Some of my happiest vacation memories include doing something active. A few examples: hiking in Arizona, running along the beach in Kona and swimming in the ocean in Hawaii, running with my brother in Texas, swimming in a natural spring in Austin, and running the Strip in Vegas.

What snack or food is your weakness when it comes to hindering a healthy diet?

This depends. Pizza and ice cream were my trigger foods when I was 250 pounds. I’ve pretty much gotten over that and I can eat those things in moderation without bingeing. When I’m on vacation, I really want to try the local foods. And sometimes it’s just SO GOOD it’s worth the extra calories! Franklin’s BBQ comes to mind instantly. 🙂

Another weakness on vacation is alcohol. Whether I am vacationing somewhere that has good wine or beer tasting, or if I’m on a beach where all I want is an umbrella drink…those calories can add up quickly. I try and make better choices with my liquid calories and I am going to get a foo-foo drink I try to keep it at just one.


Was that Pina Colada I had in Kona the best ever? Not really but it tasted good, had an umbrella in it and I was sitting on the beach! I enjoyed it and just let it go.

What about you? How do you answer these questions?