Lately I've been discussing some post-travel remedies to get back on track after you overdo it on a holiday. We've already talked about some beauty tips and nutrition tips so today we're diving into fitness.
If you want to indulge in all the delicious foods whilst traveling, you'll want to balance it with exercise. Even if you have a crazy fast metabolism and aren't concerned with the impact on your waistline, there are dozens of other health factors you should still consider (which are pretty obvious and not worth diving into).
While I typically focus on yoga, I knew I needed to add some HIIT (high intensity interval training) into the mix if I wanted to shave off "my croissant layers." And while I knew this needed to happen, I still have no clue exactly how much weight fluctuated for a few reasons. First, Europe (and pretty much everyone else in the world besides the US) uses the metric system- meaning they track weight in kilos rather than pounds. If that's not confusing enough to an American, in the U.K. they take it a step further and then convert their weight into stones (6.35 kilos = 1 stone). Given my disdain for math, I simply relied on the "hey, my pants are feeling pretty snug" method.
Whether you prefer my method or proper mathematics, if your goal involves weight loss you'll want to be sure to find some workouts that involve both cardio and strength training (again, HIIT is ideal). After trying several studios in London, and continuing this program once I got home to Nashville, I found a couple places that were exactly what the doctor ordered.
During my first month in London, I decided to use ClassPass since I wasn't familiar with any fitness studios in the city. Whilst searching for a HIIT (high intensity interval training) option, I came across Best's Bootcamp right between the Embankment and Charing Cross tube stops and decided I'd give it a go. Straight away I was a big fan. Aside from it being an incredible workout, there were lots of other things I loved about it that made me want to be there. They boast a friendly staff, resident DJ (who mixes new music everyday), state of the art equipment, lavender-scented iced sweat towels after your work out, and luxe beauty products in the changing rooms (complete with L'Occitane shampoo + conditioner).
When I extended my trip to spend another 6 weeks in London, I knew I wanted to work with Best's to get back on track in the fitness department. So I committed to 5 classes a week for 5 weeks, and then one week with 7 classes (yes, that means I went everyday). At first, it wasn't easy (my lungs and muscles hurt like hell) but I kept going. Aside from enjoying the studio environment so much, I quickly made friends with the staff and loved having their accountability. While they didn't actually have to do anything to get me there, the simple fact that they knew me by name and would notice if I was a no-show kept me committed to showing up each day.
While getting there is half the battle, giving it your all isn't easy either. At Best's there are no excuses to not give it... well, your best. Their ground-breaking instructor cam gives you total visibility on every move so that you can watch a 360-degree view of your trainer demonstrating each exercise while they talk through the main coaching points. And while the lights go down once class starts (to both allow you not to feel self-conscious of others watching + also to make you feel like you're in a night club rather than a gym) don't be fooled into thinking your instructor isn't watching. I can think of multiple occasions when I was called out because they knew could run faster (again: accountability).
If you're one that get's tired of doing the same class everyday (even if the exercises are changing) fear not. Best's also offers cycle classes in the same studio with all the same perks and amenities previously mentioned. I personally found enough variety in the Bootcamp classes but it was great knowing I had options all within one place.
I felt significantly better when I left London than when I got there, all thanks to Best's. If I hadn't found a studio, workout + staff that I enjoyed so much, there's no doubt I would have struggled more to stick to my goals. For those of you in London, I can't recommend trying them enough! And now is the perfect time because they're offering 25% off a pack of 20 classes using the code NOSTRINGSATTACHED if you buy before the end of January.
Thanks so much to Best's Bootcamp for an amazing 6 weeks of workouts! I'll definitely be back when I come to London again this spring :)
While on the "thank you" topic, thanks so much to Sweaty Betty for providing me with some new work-out gear while I was in London (I had seriously under-packed in this department so you saved the day!) I've always been a loyal Lulu-lover but I instantly fell in love with all the new bits I received. If you've never shopped at Sweaty Betty before, check out their online store (they do have a few US locations too!)
Having proper work-out gear that you feel good in (as silly as it may sound) really does help you get motivated to get dressed and out the door. Here are a few of my latest favorites to give you some inspiration for your next sweat session.
Once I came home to Nashville, I knew that I wanted to keep up the progress I had made at Best's by including more HIIT classes in my current routine. So along with my 3-4 classes every week at Shakti Power Yoga (an amazing studio that I highly recommend), I've been going to 1-2 classes a week at Shed Group Fitness.
SHED is hands down the most intense workout I've done in Nashville. I tried it for the first time just before I left for Europe, so I was excited to go back when I got home. In every class, you're led through 3-5 stations of moderate to high intensity exercises. Each station lasts around 5-8 minutes and includes options for all fitness levels. Not only does it tick the HIIT box, but it also is a studio environment that I enjoy. The music is always great, the staff is always friendly, and I love that you have some liberty to choose which station you want to start with (seems a bit less miserable that way!) So many of my Nashville friends love it here, so I always have a workout buddy to go with.
If you’ve never tried SHED, you can get your first class for just $10, PLUS this Saturday, Jan. 28th all classes are FREE!
While this is the particular plan that has worked for me, I realize not everyone will have the same goals (or be in both London and Nashville!) Regardless of where you are, it’s important to stick to these general rules of thumb if you’re wanting to get back on track coming off of a holiday:
Focus on HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to shed weight.
Find a studio environment near you that you'll enjoy going to.
Find accountability (be it a friend or through your studio) so you're less likely to quit.
Find proper work-out gear that you love to motivate you to get dressed + go everyday.
Have you found any other tricks to be effective or motivate you in general in the fitness department? Let me know in the comments below! And stay tuned for some more travel posts this week on more European destinations!