Live a Little, Will Ya?

Megan Dahlman
August 23, 2016

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"For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8 (While this verse doesn't exactly apply to this topic, it definitely made me think about how important perspective is with physical fitness.)

I'm not working out while on vacation. I had hopes and plans (I tucked my bands into my carry-on and brought them all the way to Europe with me), but it's just not going to happen.

For many of my clients, I carefully design workouts for them that are completely doable while traveling. Whether you have access to a hotel gym, just your hotel room or the common area in the house you are staying at, there are simple and quick exercises that can be done.

No excuses, right?

Well, I'm not so sure...

For some reason the intensity of other personal trainers is starting to wear me out. "No excuses! Go hard or go home! Burpees or die!"

There is a trainer I follow on Instagram (I won't name names), and she's nuts. She never wears a complete outfit - sports bras for days. She's always posting photos and videos of herself doing every sort of push-up, burpee or squat jump in various types of settings. It's a badge of honor, I guess. Spiderman-push-ups on the beach. Box jumps at the park. Side lunges in the bathroom. Ok, what?! This is real life, lady. Who can relate with this?

Before I left for Italy, I had visions of posting some cool moves as I traveled across the country. Believe me, I was going to bring some Strong Mommas to Europe and throw down! Then I got here and thought...nah.

Why? What's the point? For the cool pictures? So annoying...

As I walk into my rooms at the different B&B's we're staying at, I know exactly what can happen in that limited space and with minimal time. Quick, minimal workouts are my specialty!

But I'm not going to do it. And here's why:

I'm not going to shrivel up. My body will not atrophy to nothing in just two weeks. I might lose one rep of push-up strength and will probably be ridiculously sore after my first workout back home, but I can handle that. No big deal.

I already put the work in. My metabolism is at a place where eating Italian food and not exercising for two weeks will not cause me to balloon up by ten pounds. Maybe two or three, but I'm ok with that.

We're walking everywhere. My husband wears a Fitbit and we're averaging about 10 miles per day, most of it up stairs. No, walking will not make me "stronger", but I'm not trying to come home from Italy a stronger woman. But, this is anything but a sedentary trip.

We're in hill country. This entire country is built on hills. There is not a scrap of flat land anywhere you go. Most towns are built on top of a hill with the parking lot at the bottom, and stairs to the top. It's our new joke..."stairs, always the stairs". So with all of this walking and stair climbing, my legs are pretty wiped most days.

I can disassociate from fitness. When the environment calls for it, I can check out. I'm not going to miss out on a moment of Italy because I was stuck in my room doing planks. It makes me think about that trainer on Instagram - she's doing beach lunges while her friends are beach lounging in the background. You need to know when to simply live.

I don't want to show off. This is what it came down to for me, quite honestly. The rubber met the road, here. My body doesn't need it for these two weeks, and my "goals" won't suffer. The ONLY reason for me to workout out here would be to prove something about myself. To prove to you, my follower and reader, that I am always "on"....that I have no excuses...that I am a hard core trainer that never takes a break. But it's simply not true, and I suppose that sets me apart from other trainers. I can take a chill pill. And hopefully that makes me more relatable.

All in all, I'm not disappointed in myself for not working out these two weeks. I don't feel guilty whatsoever. As soon as I get back home, I'm sure I'll hit the ground running (well...squatting, anyway...)

And on your next trip, if you're not "feeling it", that's ok! When some of my training clients come home from vacations, they sheepishly admit that they didn't workout as planned. They always say "I'm sorry to disappoint you". Nothing could be further from the truth!

Real life needs to happen. Sometimes beach lounging is far more important than beach lunging. Take a step back and evaluate your situation. Chances are, taking a break to enjoy life for a smidge will not disrupt a thing.

Until next week, arrivederci! I'm off to climb more stairs and eat more pizza...

As the queen of quick, minimal workouts, I couldn't leave you with nothing. These following workout routines require zero equipment, minimal space and about twenty minutes. Perfect for traveling!

Beginner: Metabolic Conditioning
Intermediate: Just Body Weight
Advanced: Body Weight Conditioning

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Trainer, nutrition coach, and Christian mom — in a culture that’s obsessed with “gym-selfies” and a number on the scale, I’m passionate about helping moms discover what it feels like to actually love their bodies and thrive in them.
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