We all know about the “Freshman 15”. It’s a high school graduate you know, knew, or know of; perhaps it was you, go away to freshman year of college, and during that first year pack on 15 pounds. It’s the “Freshman 15”. New location, new foods, differing rest and school/work schedules, friends and party’s all add up to the increased buldge. As adults we face this same dilemma when going away. We go on a trip and everything we are used to in terms of food, rest, work, relationships and workouts change, typically, for the worse. Given that, if we’re not careful, we’ll pack on some variation of the Freshman 15, years after our actual, freshman year.
How do we travel, be in differing time zones, sample the local fare, have fun, enjoy the experience, but not feel deprived and avoid packing on the pounds? One of the best ways is to take the trip fitness minded. Go on the journey “on purpose” to stay in shape and not give back hard fought gains through poor choices and blowing off workouts. First off, pack, smart travel munchies in your bags, as a flight delay, or layover can put you in the famished zone and airport eateries are not known for nutrition. If you pack small portions of smart foods you can stay satiated and beat the mass quantities of calories calling your name in the airport.
Destination fitness is fun, due to the differing gyms and people in those gyms at or near your destination hotel. It always gives you an extra “pump” to go somewhere fresh and do what you do, when you take care of you. Most, if not all hotels house some level of fitness space and equipment; may have dedicated fitness staffing and or some level of broad spectrum fitness programming. For the accountability, and if available, consider budgeting for a trainer a few times while there, to stay in peak condition. Ask your travel agent, “Does the location have a 5 star gym to go with its 5 star rating and if so, tell me about it”. Dig in a bit and you’ll find that staying on course while away is achievable. If the location does not have an on site facility, inquire about their relationship with any proximal fitness providers as they may have a contractual relationship within walking distance. If none of that works, search out gym locations first, hotel second. Many times I have been able to find a really cool gym and an equally cool hotel within blocks of one another, and then set up the trip in that order. You have busted gut; poured out sweat, ate judiciously, made trade offs to get to the look and weight you have now. Why blow it on a trip, and make the mistake of assuming it will be easy to get added weight off, once you get home?
Build work out “appointments” to reserve time for them, within your vacation schedule and eat sensibly, while managing your party propensity with alcohol and you win. Step away from the mini bar! Mini Bar equals Maxi You. Hey, wasn’t it a mini bar of sorts; the drinking, and lack of movement that gave us the Freshman 15 back in the day? Problem is, we are older, and getting the 15 off is a totally different proposition in our 30’s 40’s and beyond. Vacation and travel do not need to equate with over indulging and little to no movement. Fitness minded means traveling with intentionality, and coming home at the same weight, and in the same shape with a ton of great photos, memories and stories. Plus, you’ve learned the Freshman 15 already, right? RIGHT! You can do it.