It's the beginning of a new year, which means fitness goals are being thrown around with reckless abandon.
But without a concrete -- and realistic -- plan, you're more likely to get overwhelmed and give up than find your fitness sweet spot.
Nike Master Trainer Traci Copeland is all about staying fit, but she knows the mental aspect of fitness is just as important as the physical.
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the name of the game is balance, something even Copeland struggles with from time to time.
And with so many Millennials traveling, balancing a healthy lifestyle while trying to see the world is something we can all use some help with.
According to Traci, here's how you can enjoy the journey without completely spiraling out of control.
Always pack something that will remind you to get moving.
In terms of traveling, I would say bring something like a jumprope, something that's easy to pack. I think just being able to see that in your suitcase, next to the bikinis or whatever else you have, might encourage you to get moving throughout your holiday. I would also say running is a really good way to enjoy vacation and actually experience a new city and a new place.
Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you can't get a workout in.
For me, I enjoy moving. I enjoy working out. That's how I like to start my days here in New York, or wherever I end up traveling for work. I try not to let that change too much, but I do give myself some allowances. [On vacation] maybe I won't work out as long or something. If working out is something you enjoy doing, of course you're going to find a way to do it in a new place. And sometimes, that's the fun in going on vacation.
Downloading a workout app can do wonders.
Having something that's convenient in your phone is something that I use when I travel because I don't know if I'm going to have access to a gym. So I end up using a workout app for anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, with or without weights. And you have something that's going to be with you in your phone, regardless of whether you have a gym or you don't have a gym, or you have shoes or don't have shoes.
Don't try and plan your vacation around working out, take what travel gives you.
I wing it based on what's available, especially because things change so quickly. You have to be ready to adapt. I went to Jamaica a few months ago. I didn't bring the best shoes, just flip-flops and tank tops, so I said, 'I'll just do a beach workout.' You have to allow yourself to go with the flow, naturally. If you're someone who likes to plan workouts all the time, then maybe on vacation, you want to fall back and be more open.
Try and choose workouts based on your travel destination.
If you're doing a beach vacation, maybe you're not just sitting on the beach getting a tan for five hours and having that mojito or margarita. Maybe you're actually doing some water sports activities, paddle boarding or swimming in the water. Using your environment is key. If you're on the beach, do a beach workout. I'm going to be in a more cosmopolitan city next week, I'll probably do a lot of walking.
Avoid using transportation when possible.
Walking around a city is definitely a great way to add something physical. Walking is actually just as good as running, it just take a little bit longer. If you ran three miles and walked three miles, it's actually the same effect. It feels good to enjoy a city that way.
Try and travel with people who are also interested in fitness.
It also helps to travel with friends who might want to work out every morning, or get a workout in at least two or three times while you're on vacation. That'll help encourage you, versus traveling with those friends who are just kind of going on vacation to sit on a beach and have a margarita. If I were in that situation [with friends who didn't want to workout], I would probably still want to get my workout in before I started my day. That way, it's over and done with, and I don't have to be worried about it.
Don't deprive yourself of everything a new destination has to offer.
I wouldn't say don't allow yourself to have certain things. Part of you wants to have a little bit extra, whether it's having a toast of champagne to bring in the new year, or something sweet after Christmas Eve dinner. I'm not saying not to enjoy what that city is offering, but balance it out with the good and the healthy. I'll be in Barcelona, which is big on paella. I don't eat paella every day, so it's totally going to change my diet and change the way I feel every day. Make sure you add good things to your diet to kind of rule out the things that are going to be unhealthier.
Traveling is always going to take a toll on your body, don't freak out.
Short-term effects are going to happen regardless when you're traveling some place far away. You experience jet lag and there are certain things you can't really avoid. But if you go on vacation for a week, you can't damage your body unless you're eating doughnuts and croissants and having bottles of wine nonstop. It takes a lot to damage your body in that way. You just have to decide, once you travel, once you go on vacation, what you're going to allow yourself to do and what you're not going to allow yourself to do.
Moderation and balance are the keys to enjoying vacation and staying close to your goals.
You just want to make sure you're staying consistent throughout your vacation, not going too far in either direction. The hardest thing is you don't want to undo the hard work you've put in. I wouldn't put yourself on a strict limit. You want to have fun, but you want to come back and be able to get back into your routine and your lifestyle. And you don't want to do anything that's going to take you off of that plan.