By Michele Herrmann, Regular ContributorThis post is part of Jessie on a Journey’s Inspiring Travelers series. Traveling can change your life in many ways, though not always for the better. In terms of travel fitness and health, switching up your routine — not to mention getting into a “vacation mindset” where any indulgence is seemingly fine — can seriously wreak havok on your body. But it doesn’t have to. In fact, travel vlogger Anastasiya Gorshkova has made it her mission to stay fit on the road — and show others how to do it, too. In 2015, Anastasiya took the leap to pursue one of her biggest dreams: to share her love of travel fitness by creating workouts on YouTube and starting a wellness-focused blog called Anastasiya Craze detailing some seriously amazing trips. Here, Anastasiya shares her story with Jessie on a Journey, along with best travel fitness advice for you.
1) How did you get into fitness?I came to the U.S. by myself from a small town in Ukraine when I was 16 years old. I had no family, friends or relatives here, so fitness became an important part of my life. And the more disciplined I became about my workouts, the more successful I became in my everyday life. I graduated from college with a double major in business administration and international business, became one of the youngest Associate Investment Advisors at PNC Wealth Management, learned five foreign languages and was accepted into the top MBA program in North Carolina. Fitness always stayed a big part of my life. Last year, I decided to pursue one of my biggest dreams: to share my love for fitness by showing effective and exciting workouts from the most scenic destinations in the world and to inspire women to achieve their goals and aspirations.
2) Fitness and traveling sound like a unique pairing. How do they correlate?I am passionate about helping women to achieve their fitness goals. In fact, it’s why I switched gears to health and fitness after a decade-long career in banking and investment. Women from around the world come to my fitness channel and share with me their success stories of how my simple, yet effective, workouts, gorgeous scenery and motivational stories and encouragement, not only helped them to get in the best shape of their lives, but also made them feel strong and confident inside and out. In addition to my YouTube workouts, I also do individual online consultations with women from all over the world. Most of my clients are busy businesswomen who travel often for work and find it hard to find the time to work out. When you factor in hotel fitness rooms that may or may not have decent equipment, having to work out with strangers at a crack of dawn, dining at different restaurants and ordering a room service, it can be challenging to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. It’s why I design a customized diet and exercise plan for my clients, motivate and guide them to make sure they stay on track with their goals, plan around their business trips and food they love.
3) Was it challenging in the beginning to incorporate your usual fitness routine while traveling?Incorporating my usual fitness routine while traveling has never been a challenge for me. First, my workouts never require special equipment, so I know that as long as I have a mat, I can exercise literally anywhere-park, backyard, poolside, beach and even a hotel room. Second, my workouts are short but intense, and therefore perfect for busy travelers like myself. You workout your whole body in less than 30 minutes in the comfort of your hotel or living room and then you are done. Third, it’s all about time management. I always tell my clients that a workout is a meeting you schedule with yourself. So anytime I organize my activities for a day, or a week, I always make sure to pencil in those workouts. Your body does not care if it’s a Monday, holiday season, busy week or a vacation time. It needs you to take care of it and no one can do it for you.
4) How do you choose the fitness routines and locations featured on your YouTube series?When it comes to my fitness locations, I always look for places that inspire me. I know if I feel inspired, I can share that feeling with my audience and get them excited about working out and achieving their goals. How can you not get inspired when you are doing leg raises surrounded by the bright lights in the middle of Times Square or when you squat hold on cobblestones in front of the Colosseum, one of the greatest works of Roman architecture?! I also love to show my audience every new country I am exploring and have them experience with me its culture, food, traditions and everyday life. We explore together! My blog is the extension of my YouTube channel. This is where girls go to read my health tips, learn more about the workouts we do or places we explore and get their free workout calendar that I design for them monthly.
5) What is your fitness routine while traveling?I am an NASM certified personal trainer. While traveling, I like to workout first thing in the morning. It sets the tone for the rest of my day, no matter what I do. It gives me strength, energy, and concentration to take on the day. I love working out outdoors, so I go for a quick run, then turn on my YouTube videos and for 30 minutes I push my limits. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym. If you follow a proper diet and do 30 minutes of my intense workouts daily, you will not only get in the best shape but also maintain it for the rest of your life. I believe that healthy lifestyle is a choice that each one of us makes daily.
6) Based on your travels, what perceptions on fitness have you discovered?I can definitely say that more and more people around the world realize the benefits of fitness and healthy lifestyle. I think the main difference lies in the way people in the U.S. and Europe approach diet and exercise. For example, in the U.S., it’s all about the latest workout and diet trends that offer the best results, preferably in the shortest amount of time. In Europe, people enjoy more traditional ways of working out and a lot of them still prefer to do it outside of the gym. When it comes to diet in Europe, most countries follow a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and fish, small meal portions, and a moderate amount of wine. Of course, when I work with women from different countries, I take all those differences into consideration and adjust their diet and workout plan accordingly.
7) What tips do you have for travelers to help them stay in shape while on the road?
- Eat right. This is definitely number one on my list. Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean that you have to eat food that will leave you feeling bloated and tired. Proper diet is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you are staying healthy while you are on the road.
- Don’t postpone your workout. There are so many benefits to a morning workout. It will boost your metabolism, mood and energy level, keep you alert and focused throughout the day. You are also far more likely to stay consistent with your training if you get it done early in the day rather than wait for later when you feel less motivated and fatigue.
- Never miss a Monday workout. There is something about working out on Monday that makes you feel like you are off to the right start of the week. You’ll definitely be more likely to stay consistent with your workouts for the rest of the week. In addition, high-intensity exercises will help to reduce anxiety prior to the work day, encourage self-control and more discipline for other areas of your life and improve your sleep cycle.
- Drink plenty of water. The body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Flying dehydrates you because of the lack of humidity in the cabin air, so I recommend to drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight. This will help you to avoid headaches, fatigue, travel lag and dry skin. I would also recommend drinking a glass of water every hour while you are on the plane. It’s also a good practice to skip any alcohol beverages and coffee during the flights. But if you are a coffee drinker like myself, then limit your consumption to one cup and drink plenty of water with it.
- Make exercising part of who you are. Walk more, take the stairs, explore the city on foot. Those are small but important things that each one of us can implement into our busy schedules daily.
- Plan a workout. Sometimes our schedules can get pretty hectic. So I find that the best practice to stick to your workout regimen is by planning your workouts ahead of time. I usually plan mine on Sunday for the week ahead. Pencil your workouts in and I promise you will be less likely to skip them.
- Pack your workout outfit and a mat. That’s all you really need to get a nice intense full-body workout. If you maintain a proper diet and workout regularly, you will stay in shape no matter where you are or how busy your life gets.
Do you have any travel fitness advice to add? Please share in the comments below!
Travel Fitness Packing List[columns] [one-fourth] TheraBand These bands take up almost no space in your luggage and are great for working your entire body. I love using these for arm workouts I’d usually do with free weights. [/one-fourth] [one-fourth] eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat This 2-pound portable travel yoga mat is easy to fold, not to mention eco-friendly, biodegradable and durable. [/one-fourth] [one-fourth] GO Move Mat Carrier The GO Move Mat Carrier is designed to carry mats of any size with a simple hands-free design. Gravity cinch closure is easy and noise free. 10% of proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. [/one-fourth] [one-fourth] Organic Cotton Headband Keep your hair in place while you workout with this cute organic headband in assorted colors. [/one-fourth] [/columns]
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