In 2015, after thinking about it for a few years, Fitness Adventure Travel was finally added to the services offered at Kirchoff Fitness. At that time, I had no idea the impact it would have on me as a coach, on my clients and on the communities and new friends we have made across the globe.
Over the years I have had clients come to me with a variety of goals- weight loss, event training (marathon, triathlons, etc.) sports specific training, rehabilitation, gaining better motivation, better mental health, etc. Being a former classroom teacher and coach I’ve seen the value of team building, and in our outdoor women’s boot camps many have reported the importance of the community aspect of group training. So why not combine community building and add a physical and mental challenge?
After planning and training for various trips it occurred to me that these adventures improve so many aspects of health! They can be life changing. The physical activities we do improve the strength, flexibility and endurance of the body. But according to Columbia Business School Professor Adam Galinsky in this Atlantic article international travel (the kind we do!) can improve cognitive flexibility. Here are 5 ways fitness adventure travel can improve health-
1. Move your body more
Being fit, strong and mobile will increase the enjoyment of your adventure trip. Planning to climb, ride or run while traveling? Prep work is key – we train for our adventures! The physical, mental and nutritional training is key in embracing the challenge. And when at your destination you’ll be on the move as well. Whether it’s hiking, running, walking, yoga, taichi, riding or kayaking, you’ll be on the move. Could it inspire you to add more movement when you get home?
2. TAKE TIME to enjoy the local food
Although the slow food movement (opposite of fast food, promotes local food, fresh ingredients and traditional cooking ☺) is definitely a movement in the US and Europe, on all of our Adventure travel trips….slow food is a way life. Take for example, Oaxaca, where the locally grown food is not a movement. We will explore the amazing markets, eat as the locals do, and spend time eating the fresh local food. Although eating out is a big part of travel…sharing a meal with friends and community members can help us be in the moment and slow down a bit. Bringing a few new recipes to change up the weekly menu has happened too.
3. Decrease stress triggers
Getting out of your daily grind and creating new fun experiences can increase happiness. Even if your vacation is busy and you don’t have work or family stress…you’ll be experiencing new things. Take it one step further: UNPLUG….so good for the soul. Buh Bye cortisol!
4. Gain social connections
Traveling with friends (our groups are full of AWEOME LADIES) can increase social connections. One of the keys to happiness is feeling a part of something bigger- COMMUNITY. Also, by connecting with the local people and guides, you make friends that last a lifetime. You can spread the word about the services you received. Adding a service project can create mentorships, opportunity, and can help us learn and listen to what others need. Maybe we can all help the world community in our own way.
5. Build Awareness/ Mindfulness
Fitness Adventure Travel allows us to not only strengthen the body; it helps build the mind too. By observing without judgment and being open to new experiences it allows us to recognize what is happening in that moment. This is a skill that can definitely carry over in everyday life when you get back.
Adventure Travel Tourism Association (ATTA) President, Shannon Stowell put it best in his TED Talk presentation “Change the World…..Take a Vacation.” Let’s get out there and travel!
Since that inaugural journey we have had incredible groups of women go to the following:
- Choquequirao, Peru
- North, Central and South Vietnam
- Istria, Croatia
9/2018 Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania SOLD OUT
3/16-25/ 2019 Oaxaca, Mexico Only 3 slots left. Sign up HERE
Contact [email protected] to get on the list for Bhutan- more info coming Fall 2018.