Self-led Workouts

Yesterday morning we woke up to blue skies and calm water; it was hard to believe that an 800 mile wide hurricane was “barreling” towards us.
We were very tempted to stay another night but five-hundred meteorologists can’t be wrong so by mid-afternoon we packed up the car and had a relatively uneventful drive back to Charlottesville.   The guy who came to board up the house we were staying in probably played a part in our decision too.
As the optimist that I am I am focusing on the glorious 45 hours I had at the beach, rather than the mandatory evacuation.
No shoes from arrival to departure!
Living room dance parties with my 4 vacation companions!
Mid-night ocean skinny-dipping!
Turtle nests!
Apple-ginger-rum-zucchini bread!  (Look for a recipe soon, this combo was a winner.)
Workouts on the beach!
My year of living in Peru was a lot about self-reflection and self-motivation.  One of the best things to come out of that time was learning how to workout on my own: without the aid of videos, classes, trainers, hand-weights, or treadmills.
Even as a personal trainer and aerobics instructor I used to find it really hard to workout completely on my own.  The elliptical and a magazine or t.v. made it so much easier to knock out my 30 minutes of cardio!   Peru changed all that.  I didn’t step foot in a gym for over a year and a half and still worked out nearly everyday.
Learning to workout on your own is incredibly self-empowering.  I feel like I am owning my health when I workout in unusual situations or when everyone else is moving towards happy hour.
Preparation helps motivate a self-led workout.  I knew that I would want to workout at the beach so I brought my running shorts, a tech shirt, visor, a watch, running shoes (which I didn’t use), and a 20# kettlebell.
Having proper clothes and equipment makes things a little easier but don’t let lack of preparation throw you off though!  
There are plenty of exercises/activities that you can do sans sports bra, shorts, kettlebell, or proper shoes!
  • walking (o.k, you might need proper shoes for this one)
  • lunges/squats
  • plank
  • push-ups
  • tricep dips
  • Pilates
  • dance parties :)
  • squat thrusts
Most of these exercises can be done wearing anything from Pj’s to jeans and require only a few square feet of space.
Or standing on the beach facing the vast ocean.
Do you workout on vacation or does the lack of gym/classes/equipment throw you off your routine?
What’s your favorite workout-to-go?

10 responses to “Self-led Workouts

  1. That is MY kind of workout. 😀

  2. hey girl — lovely trip & lovely tips! sorry you had to evac early. glad you are safe though. i just did a recent post on keeping healthy habits on vacation, so I am a definite YES to your workout question. My go-tos are bodyweight high intensity training (burpees, pull ups, pistol squats, knee raises, chin ups, etc), plus you can run (or do yoga) about anywhere. My routine doesn’t change all that much from what I do at home. Great post!

  3. Mm, I love the thought of working out in front of the ocean. A perfect place, I think.

    Looking forward to seeing that recipe. It sounds *amazing*.

  4. dance parties are definitely my favorite! I’ve done a combo of dance/yoga in some small hotel rooms/ guest rooms while traveling, when the weather was prohibitive against running outside.

  5. Hi Faith! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and it’s great inspiration. I stopped going to the gym and started working out on my own about 2.5 years ago and have never looked back. Feeling that motivation comes exclusively from within and not from being pushed by an instructor or a working out environment (such as the gym) is truly empowering, plus it saves lots of time and money. One of my favorite workouts is going to the beach (I live on the coast), getting into the sea with the water halfway up my thighs and running along the shore like that. Great strength and endurance training for your whole body :) I think the sea is truly therapeutic… the ultimate mood booster and awesome for any physical ailment too.

  6. Hi Faith,
    Just found your blog this morning while following a labyrinth of other fitness bloggers’ recommendations. I too am a PT and Group Fit instructor and still find it challenging to workout when away from the gym my favorite outdoor tool is my TRX. Hard to use on the beach though as you need an overhead structure to mount it on! Love your blog and wonderfully positive attitude. I blog at Come for a visit!

  7. Running is my fave do-almost-anywhere workout. But I also have a workout involving pushups, lunges, situps, dips, squats, and pullups (or not pullups if there’s not bar) that can be done pretty much wherever.

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