Motivation Monday: How I Stayed Fit in Europe

I just got back from my wonderful trip to Europe and went on my first run – intervals, nonetheless, and was shocked by my stamina. I hadn’t lost any significant progress! My times were spot-on, my legs strong, and I even busted out a few extra sets before jogging back home.

Keeping fit on vacation has been a recurring topic on the blog lately. I work hard for my fitness but I firmly believe in balance. I like to have my progress & travel, too.

It’s one thing to talk the talk and another to walk the walk, and I’m overwhelmingly proud of my success. So – how did it happen?

First – Walking everywhere

I expected to walk quite a bit in Europe, but not nearly as much as I could possibly imagine. We walked here. We walked there. We walked freaking everywhere.

Walking, walking, walking!

Walking, walking, walking!

My cousin and I walked so much for a few reasons; first, we both believe that wandering around is the best way to explore & settle into a new place. We strolled our way through Venice, Verona, Milan, and Lake Como until our legs ached and our hearts pounded. And don’t even get me started on my poor, poor feet. We went to bed every night with blossoming blisters and a dull, pulsing ache from toes to heels.

Secondly, we were on a tight budget. Naturally, walking was an easy way to skimp out of paying bus, train & metro fees. In Verona, we walked several miles to the touristy area to avoid shelling out a few euros for the bus. It might not seem like a lot each time, but we saved quite a lot by the end of the trip. Which we happily spent shopping in Milan instead!

More walking in Prague

More walking in Prague

(worth it, right?)

When we met up with my dad and little brother in Prague, they could barely keep up with us. My dad even tried to use google maps to gauge how far we’d walked on an easier day, and he came up with a number of at least eight miles. Eight miles! No wonder we both noticed our abs a little more taut, our legs a little stronger, and our pants a little looser.

Which, as my cousin pointed out, “means we can keep eating!”

According to My Fitness Pal, walking at a slow/leisurely pace for someone my size (5’6″, 140 lbs)  for an hour burn almost 200 calories. So, imagine the calorie burn of walking around for hours 11 days in a row!

Second – Dyna Pro Weighted Resistance Band 

IMG_0573

I’ve always been a big advocate of walking on vacation, but I was lucky to finally try out toning my upper body as well. In Europe (along with Southeast Asia, or at least the places I’ve been to) are largely lacking in the gym department. If you’re an average twenty-thirty something you’ll arguably find yourself in small boutique hotels with barely enough room for a lobby. We only saw a single gym on our trip through northern Italy and Prague, on the very outskirts of the teeny town of Verona. Plus, it was closed. At noon. On a Saturday.

I was stoked to try out my weighted resistance band from Dyna Pro – it was super light in my luggage, made it past security with ease, and was the perfect compliment to the lower-body walking. While running and surfing are my first loves, I do like to get my lift on too. Just like walking kept up my running fitness, my Dyna Pro resistance band kept up my upper-body fitness. 

Resistance band's most basic workout - stay tuned for more!

Resistance band’s most basic workout – stay tuned for more!

It was really easy to use, and I quickly figured out a handful of workouts to target different muscles. I didn’t have a pole to wrap it around for woodchoppers so I just had my cousin hold onto it while I worked out.

My first session at the gym (back & biceps) was just as easy as my run! I’m overwhelmingly stoked that I had a lovely little vacay but didn’t lose a single day of progress!

I’m a little swamped trying to catch up from my trip, but I’ll be posting a full product review as soon as possible.

Stay tuned,

Nikki

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