As I write to you, I’m back in Scotland (briefly), taking a breather between post-graduation travels. Although I designed this ‘what I wear to the gym’ post before I even went to Spain, the topic made me think of how actually ‘going to the gym’ has been difficult during this time. Because I travel a lot, however, I’ve learned the importance of pre-planning, balance and smart packing in feeling great — without letting fitness become an all-consuming chore.
In Spain, the Airbnb we stayed in had no gym (obviously), nor were there any gyms nearby. While I’m not training for anything massive, I do notice a difference in my mood / overall physical feeling if I don’t train for more than three days. Because I’ve learned this, I always try to make time for some form of activity beyond solely walking (which I always try to do as much as I can). Besides packing resistance bands and my workout log, I usually pre-plan how I’m going to incorporate ‘activity’ into my trip — especially when friends don’t want to partake. In the Canaries, I went for runs along El Puertillo beach before they even woke up. I’ve found that getting it out of the way in the morning — especially when you can’t schedule in a class — is really important. I also love to run because it allows me explore different parts of the island I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Although running doesn’t have the same impact as a weights workout, its better than nothing (and besides — how often are you in a Spanish village anyways)? Each day, I like to put as much as I can down in my exercise log — just so I feel like my routines haven’t completely gone out the window.
Make it fun / incorporate new things you want to try
In London (NYC, LA etc), I love trying new workout classes. If I’m travelling to a big city (where I speak the language), I like to book 2 or 3 workout classes in advance — just so I have ‘well I already paid’ as motivation to get my butt out of bed. As well, some gyms even have 7-day trials, where you can sign up for classes in advance and pay less than you would otherwise. Last time I was in London, I tried UN1T London Bridge (really recommend it) where I had 7 days of unlimited classes for £20. To keep it fun, I always try new places. For my upcoming trip to Paris, I booked an outdoor bootcamp class outside the Louvre. Each trip, I always come home with new knowledge to incorporate into home workouts.
If I’m struggling to get in satisfying workouts (AKA my whole trip to Spain), I try to compensate through mindful eating and alcohol consumption. That being said, I make a point of trying local cuisine, even if it’s not the healthiest in the world. If I have a good mix of healthy and not-so-healthy, I appreciate the not-so-healthy food even more. When I’m at home, I find that upcoming travels are motivating to cook plain at home — all so I can drink more Rioja on vacation lol.
One of the top reasons I used to never workout while travelling was the weight of my suitcase. Yes, really. Although this may seem basic, packing versatile trainers that work for both the gym and walking around = crucial. A shoe like the NMD (are you really surprised I’m mentioning this lol), looks cool on the street, yet won’t damage your feet on a run. The great thing about only owning black gym clothes is that they all coordinate too. Also, if you pre-plan how many times you’re going to exercise, just bring enough clothes for that and ENJOY the rest of your trip people :).
That’s it for this week folks! I hope you’ve found this post helpful, and be sure to share your favourite international gyms with me below or on Instagram (@stephieirwin) — I’d love to hear from you.
Leggings: Sweaty Betty
Trainers: Adidas NMD
Workout log: Moleskine
Phonecase: Apple Battery Case
Bag: Adidas Stella McCartney