We frequently get asked how we stay fit during our world adventure. We are not professionally trained fitness and diet experts. However, we are super conscious about our health and well being. Since I was a teenager, fitness has been a big part of my life. My fitness journey started way back in middle school where I ran track, played several sports and ultimately fell in love with basketball. I’d like to think Rick got serious about fitness when he met me. . .haha. . he may disagree with that! Working out on the road can be a bit challenging but the key is consistency and a solid routine. There have been times when we’ve struggle with our fitness discipline. We are constantly on the move and change homes every 4-7 days. We have kids who need 24/7 attention, and we’re still planning and living out of a suitcase. Creating a workout schedule can sometimes be a challenge but one things is sure, we never regret a good workout.
For the majority of our trip, our accommodations are made through AirBnB. Since our rentals do not have a gym, we always try to book a house/apartment close to a local park with a playground or a place with a yard and some space. In that case, we can do our workout while the kids run around and play. What is amazing is the fact that Leo and Mila observe mom/dad and quite often they want to join us during our workout sessions. The other day during our HIT workout in the park, Leo ran 4 laps of 400 meters! It was so cool to watch him do it and Mila joined him to try and catch him, haha. It’s so neat to watch your kids try to mimic you - Leo usually works out with Rick while Mila serves as my added weight during planks : ) Very often one of us goes for a long run while the other watches the kids and then we alternate.
As I mentioned before, we do not have an ability to do our workouts at the gym, but we found a solution. Rick brought with him 4 DVDs from BeachBody and mixes up his Insanity and P90X films. These workouts can be done anywhere anytime, no special equipment needed, so it definitely fits our nomadic lifestyle. I follow a polish fitness trainer Ewa Chodakowska. Originally I took with me 3 of her DVD workouts but she recently came out with her own online tv station and all of her workouts are available online! I constantly mix between high intensity cardio workouts and pilates workouts. Our goal is to workout 3-4 times a week to maintain our level of fitness. I discovered a great yoga trainer Adrienne and do her yoga sessions on my rest days. Of course, there are times when we travel all day and don’t have an opportunity to work out. In that case we came up with a little solution - each month we start a new challenge. For example, December was all about burpees - the goal was to do 50 burpees a day. This little challenge can be done anywhere and it only takes 5 - 6 minutes. January is all about push ups and the goal is to do 50 a day, so join us!
This is an example of a workout we did today:
With a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down, this workout should take about 35-40 minutes.
When we originally planed the Countries we wanted to visit during our journey, one of the things that we focused on was weather. We wanted to follow summer/spring around the world to allow us to really get out and explore. During our global adventure, we’ve completed over 20 hikes, most of them quite intense, with a good 8-14 km distance. Rick has an added weight since he also carries Mila on his back. Everywhere we go, we try to stay as active as possible. We rent bikes, paddle boards, or try a new activity such as surfing or local yoga class. We also explore cities mainly by foot. You would be surprised but very often we do 10-15 km just by walking and sightseeing different attractions in the city. I am not saying that a city stroll is a workout but it definitely is better than sitting on the couch and eating junk.
Speaking of food, we have learned that healthy and well balanced diet is the key when it comes to staying fit. You often hear from professional trainers that abs are build in the kitchen, or that 20% are your workouts and 80% is what you eat…I guess there is a lot of truth in “you are what you eat”. So let’s focus on what we put inside of our bodies. Each morning we start with a warm cup of water with either lemon or lime and believe me, this little morning drinking routine will immediately speed up your metabolism. Next we enjoy a good cup of coffee - we are not vegetarians but try to eliminate as much meat and incorporate a plant based diet. Breakfast is our favorite meal of the day. We alternate between old fashioned oatmeal, toast with avocado and tomato, homemade pancakes and recently, our absolutely favorite - smoothie bowls. We fell in love with this delicious and healthy meal that is super easy to make. All you need is a blender (we bought an emersion blender during this trip), favorite fruit, and several different toppings - nuts, granola, chia seeds, etc. This is our favorite recipe:
Pulse mango and banana until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cut the kiwi and strawberries and put them on the top of the smoothie bowl. Top with up with some delicious granola and viola, you just made yourself a super delicious and healthy breakfast!
Our lunches are usually on the go, since we are always doing something outside of the house. Most of the time we make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Sometimes when its been available to us, I make quinoa mixed with roasted zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic, broccoli and kale. I usually make it the night before. We also pack fresh carrots, sliced cucumber and peppers with hummus as a snack. Hummus is super delicious and so easy to make. Here is my favorite recipe from Healthy Mummy.
Another great snack that we make on weekly basis are homemade granola bars (recipe from Minimalist Baker). Once again, they require minimal equipment and are very easy to make. They are Leo’s favorite snack. Last but not least are my world famous power balls! I alternate the ingredients but my favorite consists of dates, coconut flakes, almonds, honey and coco powder. I blend these ingredients using my immersion blender (food processor would be ideal) and then form them into a ball - easy, fast and healthy, perfect snack for an active family.
Dinners can be a little tricky since very often we do not return until late but I learned that preparation is the key. As soon as we arrive to our new destination, we visit either a local farmers market or a grocery store (The day before I make a meal list for the next 4-5 days and write down all the ingredients). We buy all of the necessary produce - pretty much we fill up the whole cart/bag with fresh fruit, veggies, grains, and diary. First, this allows us to buy only necessities, and secondly, it saves us a lot of time since we do not have to make extra trips to the market. If we happen to arrive late to our new house, my go to meal is whole wheat pasta with homemade pesto. Its easy and fast to make, and so is the fresh pesto. I mix fresh basil, spinach, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, almonds, parmesan, salt, pepper and olive oil using my blender. I adjust the olive oil amount to achieve the right consistency, that’s all. It’s such a delicious and quick meal, everyone in our family loves it. If I have more time, I usually prepare a greek salad with hummus and pita bread. Leo and Mila love chicken nuggets and fries so I found a healthy alternative - I baked homemade fries and chicken nuggets, here is my favorite recipe. As a side, they eat fresh cucumber, carrots and peppers, nothing complicated.
We also try to stay hydrated throughout the whole day. Fortunately, Leo and Mila like to drink tap water, and on special occasions, we buy them apple juice. Anyone who has kids knows that they love to snack so having enough of munchies is the key. During our long car rides, we take granola bars, nuts, fruit and cut up veggies. Our fitness goals haven’t stopped us from splurging on the things we love; chocolate, candy for the kids, red wines and plenty of desserts - freshly baked french croissants, delicious italian tiramisu or fried balinese banana. There is nothing wrong with enjoying sweets - everything in moderation (or in Rick’s case, thats why he works out).
Maintaining a well balanced and healthy diet with a solid workout routine is not rocket science. There are countless ways of finding the right workout, fitness class or healthy meal plan. It’s a combination of self motivation, common sense and goal setting. Preparation and self discipline are the main components of health and fitness success. So do something today that your mind and body will thank you for later. Get up, put your workout shoes on and go for a walk, run, bike ride, anything; life is too short and the last thing you want is to wake up and wish you have done it earlier…