Workout On The Road With These 6 Fitness Programs

Workout On The Road With These 6 Fitness Programs

Staying active and healthy are essential parts of living a full life. But, sometimes, travel can get in the way of that. If you’re used to counting reps in the gym, transitioning to a life on the road can be a little tricky. There are plenty of ways to work up a sweat on your travels, but occasionally, you just need a classic workout video to satisfy that inner fitness lover. Below are six of the best workout DVD programs that feature bodyweight exercises so you can get your burn on without the heavy equipment or pricey gym membership.

1. Insanity

If you consider yourself a workout-fiend or a psychopathic fitness-junkie, Insanity will be the perfect on the road program for you. The videos, steered by Shaun T, run from 40 minutes to an hour and feature, as the website puts it, “the hardest workout ever put on DVD”. The program is famous for it’s maxed interval training method, which essentially has you working twice as hard, for twice as long. The workouts are not for the faint of heart and will have you wishing you were finished after 5 minutes. But, if you trudge on, you’ll work your way up to lean muscles and stamina that can’t be beaten – all without any fancy equipment.

What it’s for: Muscle and Endurance.

2. Jillian Michaels’ BodyShred

Jillian Michaels has taken fitness to the next level year after year with her killer workout DVDs, and BodyShred is no exception. This program features ten 30-minute workouts that focus on three main areas: strength, cardio, abs. Each workout takes an interval approach to concentrate on getting you fat burning, muscle building results in no time. With high-intensity intervals, resistance exercises, and overall dynamic cardio, this program will be best if you want to beef up your regular fitness routine on the road without being tied to a physical gym.

What it’s for: Fat-Burning

3. Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Inferno

If you’re not big into sweat-heavy workouts but want a way to tone your body and develop a strong core, you’ll want to experience Jillian Michael’s Yoga Inferno. This DVD features two 30-minutes yoga-based workouts, and isn’t a complete program like the others on this list, but will be ideal if you want a consistent way to improve your form and commit to a disciplined yoga practice. The first workout is body weight only, while the second workout incorporates light hand weights (which can easily be switched out with books, water jugs, or the like) and both feature modified and advanced poses to accommodate yogis on different legs of their spiritual journeys.

What it’s for: Tone and Strength

4. Zumba Tone Up

If you’ve ever taken a Zumba class before, you know just how fun these workouts can be. The Zumba Tone Up program is no exception – it’s a great option for beginner to intermediate level workout fanatics, and can be done without any additional equipment (if you nix the 2 pound Zumba weights). If are just starting on your fitness journey and want a workout that’ll help you improve your cardio and rev up your metabolism without overdoing it, Zumba Tone Up will do just that. Or, if you’re a regular fitness phenom and just want to make sure you stay active on your travels, this program will help you keep your body in shape.

What it’s for: Cardio and Tone

5. Billy Blanks Tae Bo

If you’ve been interested in the fitness space for a while now, you’ll know that Billy Blanks nearly invented the game. His Tae Bo programs combine the best of kickboxing and other lower body movements to get your core whipped into shape. The Tae Bo advanced DVD focuses on working your entire body without any unnecessary equipment, and focuses on building a firm core with an even firmer base. Tae Bo combines action cardio with skilled muscle movements to be an on-the-road workout that will entirely replace boring leg and ab days at the gym.

What it’s for: Abs and Lower Body Strength

6. Core de Force

Insanity is crazy, Bodyshred is intense, but Core de Force is next-level throttle. The series of workouts in this program are based on high-yield mixed martial arts movements and work your entire body from head to toe (though there is plenty of focus on a sculpted, firm core). If you’ve done the mid-tier workouts like Tae Bo and Bodyshred, and if you feel like you’re ready to push yourself into the next fitness level, Core de Force will be a great way to show your body that you can be a travel lover while keeping yourself in a high-performance state.

What it’s for: Core and Weight Loss

And that’s it for now! Do you have any fitness programs that have made your travels more active? Comment down below!

Bullet Journal: A Traveler’s Best Friend

Bullet Journal: A Traveler’s Best Friend

Bullet Journal: A Traveler’s Best Friend

Traveling with a Bullet Journal has made all the difference.

I have very wise, very resourceful, very on-top-of-it female friends. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a bunch of women smarter and stronger than me around at all times! One of these awesome women in my life recently introduced me to the idea of a Bullet Journal. This particular bestie is always developing and refining the best methods for productivity that work for her and when she first told me about the Bullet Journal, I wasn’t that into it, because the Bullet Journal system is analog and I’ve always been a digital girl. But then, two important things happened: the first is that I saw her using it and I was majorly intrigued. Even though my system has always been digital, I’ve done much long-form journaling in a notebook. And I like notebooks. And pens. And pretty papers.

The second was that she told me to look up some “Bullet Journal porn” – which is totally a thing – on the net. BuzzFeed had a few articles about it and Pinterest has LOADS of BuJo (the slang, of course) images. So, I listened to her, because she’s a wise lady, and I did look it up, and I got obsessed.

Before I go on, the first thing you should do is hop on over to the site of the creator of the Bullet Journal system, Ryder Carroll, at Ryder has a brief but really informative video giving the basics of the system. I could explain it myself, but who could do better than the founder of the whole system? Jump over and take a look!

….waiting….waiting….eating chips while waiting….

Okay, now that you’re back, I can tell you why I love the system so much for travelers! As you saw in the video, the Bullet Journal system isn’t complicated. At its core, it’s about using a notebook as the ultimate customizable planner and task management system. You use a series of notations to distinguish tasks, events, notes and whatever else you may need and you create calendars for yourself based on what you want.

Pre-made planners never did it for me, because they never had everything I needed (hence why I was a digital girl – the internet actually does have everything I need!). But the beauty of the Bullet Journal system for me was that I could not only create a planner and task management system, I could also use it as my long-form journaling notebook when I go traveling. And I could keep EVERYTHING travel I wanted to in it. This is why I think the Bullet Journal is the best thing since sliced bread for travelers – we’re notorious memory makers and we also have to be at least a bit organized to hop from place to place. The Bullet Journal is a traveler’s best friend!

Because the Bullet Journal is totally, 110% customizable, it can become exactly what you want. Let me show you some of the ways I use my Bullet Journal (which is now the love of my life and goes with me everywhere) to keep my sanity on the road.

How I use my Bullet Journal to stay sane while traveling

1. I log simple, daily tasks

Bullet Journal

Excuse my terrible writing (you’re going to get a headache if you try to read it). As you can see, this is an entry for Friday, January 13, 201. In the middle of the page are my simple tasks for the day. When something came in my head, I wrote it down, and it helped get it OUT of my head. Which helped CLEAR my head. Which helps me not lose my shit all the time on the road.

2. I track habits

bullet journal

This is something a lot of Bullet Journalers do. It’s a simple grid with days of the month going across the top and habits goign down the side. As you get through each day, you check of the habits you managed well that day. Some of mine include “Meditate” (which I suck at), “Exercise” (which I don’t even know why I put on the list because I do it every day anyway – it’s who I am) and “Read” (which forces me to read something other than work-related stuff, if even just for a few minutes a day).

3. I have a place for gratitude

bullet journal

I couldn’t show you my completed gratitude log from last month (because it said things like “cute boys” and “chocolate all the time”), but this is what my gratitude log looks like – as you can see, it’s really simple! Just days of the month down the side, and then I write in each night a little thing I was grateful for that day. It works wonders for making me feel calm and centered and happy, and, well, grateful!

4. I have random pages of things that make me happy

Places (yet) to travel, books to read, movies to watch. I have spaces for all this stuff in my Bullet Journal – so I can get it out of my head! And it’s nice to have a book that’s my “everything book!” That’s one of the reasons its become the love of my life.

5. I calendar

I create the most basic calendars for my future planning in my Bullet Journal. It’s actually kind of calming and relaxing to sit down at the end of every month and have everything I need in front of me for the next one. I also really like the clean lines (cuz I’m a nerd).

6. I food log (and keep track of how I feel based on what I eat)

I’m a delicate fucking flower. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. I get really tired or dehydrated or cranky if I’m not carefully watching what I eat. I’m still not very good at it, but the BuJo helps a LOT! All it took was creating a simple page like this to jot down what I’m eating and how I’m feeling. (Please don’t judge me for my shitty, all-over-the-place diet this week!)

7. I journal my heart out

bullet journal

At the end of every day of logging tasks, I sit down and write long-form journal entries with my Bullet Journal. This is one of my favorite things about the system: it’s built however you want! I don’t know a lot of other Bullet Journalers that do the long-form thing, but to me, it feels perfect to have everything I need or want or think right there!

As you can see, my Bullet Journal LITERALLY contains my life. I also have travel plans and doodles and loads of other things in it (but NOT doodles that say “Mrs. Anjali Timberlake or anything…). If you are at all a journaler or planner or even traveler looking for a new system, I’d highly encourage you to try it!

The 6 Essential Oils You Need For Travel

The 6 Essential Oils You Need For Travel

Essential oils are life. No, really, they are. I’m a big believer in natural and holistic medicine versus traditional western medicine, and essential oils play a huge role in my regular care routine. I use them for pain, stress, insomnia and so much more, but recently I’ve learned to love them all over again for travel. We already talked about how getting an oil diffuser necklace can help you calm your nerves on your next flight, but which ones should you carry with you? You don’t want to pack on extra pounds in your luggage, so picking the most essential (pun-intended) oils will help you travel light. Below are the six oils I think will serve nearly any purpose you’ll have on the plane, when traveling, or even when you’re hanging out back at your home base.

1. Peppermint Oil

Did you ever have a teacher tell you to suck on a peppermint before a big exam? That’s because peppermint is excellent at improving focus. It’s also known to relieve tension headaches, and it is my personal favorite oil for this exact reason. Just massage a few drops of the oil on your temples to help mitigate the symptoms of your pain. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint’s active ingredient, menthol, has been known to thin mucus and loosen phlegm, making it a perfect sidekick for alleviating the symptoms of a cold or flu. It also has a soothing effect when applied topically to the skin, which can come in handy if all that traveling irritates your skin.

2. Lavender or Sandalwood Oil

It’s no secret that lavender oil is excellent at promoting relaxation and melting away your stress, but it can also promote deep restful sleep when used in aromatherapy. The compounds in lavender make it naturally antifungal, which means it is great to have on hand to ward off any on the road fungal infections, and can also be used to combat the symptoms of eczema and acne. Another essential oil that exhibits similar properties is sandalwood oil. This oil has been known to have strong antiviral and antiseptic properties, and is often touted as being one of the best first aid oils for travellers to carry around. Sandalwood also has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for anyone suffering from regular muscle spasms or nerve pain, or anyone who might experience regular skin and joint inflammation.

3. Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon is one of my favorite smells in the entire universe, mostly because it reminds me of snickerdoodles and chai. But, it’s also pretty great to walk around with a little dab of cinnamon oil behind your ears and neck instead of a chemically-laden perfume. Aside from the smell benefits, cinnamon oil used in a diffuser or ingested orally can be beneficial in boosting heart health, controlling blood sugar and improving insulin resistance, fighting parasites, soothing a sore throat, and acting as a natural deodorizer for your person or your personal belongings more prone to icky smells (think: running shoes).

4. Clove Oil

If you hate bees and other buzzing, whizzing insects, you are going to love clove oil. Bees, wasps and even flies tend to hate the smell of cloves and will do anything they can to stay away from them. If insects aren’t your concern but you have been suffering from tooth pain, good news! Cloves have long been an ayurvedic remedy for gum disease and toothache. The oil also has tons of antioxidants which when absorbed via diffused molecules in the air can help fight off free radicals. For me, just like cinnamon oil, clove oil naturally makes me feel a little less homesick because it reminds me of the chai my dad used to make for me growing up. It smells amazing, and it will definitely help you with nerves if lavender isn’t one of your favorite scents.

5. Lemon Oil

Most commercial cleaning products are jam-packed with lemon or orange as scent boosters, and it isn’t just because they are aromatically pleasing. Citrus based oils act as nature’s natural disinfectants and help keep the things around you squeaky clean. Aside from giving the toilet seat a quick once over with a little lemon oil and a rag, this oil can be amazing as a natural boost to your travel detergent. It’s also great for skin (especially for those who have been looking for a natural astringent that really works!) and can help you get stronger, healthier hair. Internally, lemon oil can help alleviate the symptoms of nausea and can work to help you get rid of your cramps and indigestion. It’s a natural immune booster, too!

6. Eucalyptus or Tea Tree

There are two types of people in this world. Those who love eucalyptus and those who swear by tea tree. Whichever group you fall into, having one of these two oils in your travel kit will be an excellent decision. If you’re prone to colds and flus, eucalyptus might be a better solution for you than tea tree. It’s known to help open up your airways, reduce mucus, and fight off the microorganisms that attack your body when you’re sick. It is also perfect for those who regularly suffer from sinuses, and work wonders as a natural wound cleanser. On the other hand, tea tree oil is just as potent and has been making waves in the beauty world due to its natural acne-fighting power. But, more than surface level solutions, tea tree goes deeper to help you ward off cold sores, fight congestion and respiratory infections, get rid of fungal infections, ease irritation from psoriasis and other skin conditions like insect bites and sunburns, and relieve your earache. Overall, these two oils are perfect as all-in-one first aid and wellness solutions, and you’ll be glad you kept one (or both) of them with you.

Essential Oils Are All About You!

At the end of the day, any of the above six oils (okay, maybe eight – I couldn’t pick!) will be great additions to your travel wellness case. If you’re new to the essential oil game, I suggest starting with eucalyptus, peppermint, and clove for a compact, works-for-everything kit. But, of course, building your essential kit is all about picking the oils that will work best for you, so take some time to consider how you’ll be using the oils in your travels!

Travel Products To Calm Your Nerves On Your Next Flight

Travel Products To Calm Your Nerves On Your Next Flight

I love flying. As far back as I can remember, my favorite part of traveling has been enjoying the blissful silence of the airplane. Unfortunately, my mother feels differently. We traveled to India a lot when I was a kid and each flight seemed to be progressively more difficult for her. Before the plane even starting rolling off of the tarmac, her anxiety would start to build. To prepare herself for the nausea, headaches, and intense nervousness to come, she’d swallow a few pills and have her brown paper bag at the ready. Inspired by a better solution for her, I did a little digging into products that help flight anxiety and thought I’d share them here for those who might need a way to take the edge off!

1. The Cubix

Fidgeting is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety. Most people that deal with high stress or anxiety find themselves impossibly restless, but finding a healthy way to fidget and direct uneasy attention can help promote instant calm. The Cubix was designed with fidgeters in mind – it features six sides on a hard cube, each with a different “fidget”. The main fidget themes are: spin, click, roll, glide, breathe, and switch. With varied objects on each of the sides (including a small joystick, a clickable ball, and a rotating dial), you’ll be able to keep yourself busy throughout the entire flight. The real beauty of the Cubix, though, is its size – it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so you won’t have to worry about extra cargo.

2. An Oil Diffuser Necklace

If you haven’t already jumped on the essential oils bandwagon, now would be a great time to start. Oils can help eliminate your anxiety by improving circulation and blood flow, relaxing your muscles, reducing headache, and getting rid of nausea. They do tend to get a bit messy though, and fussing with a large oil diffuser on the plane is just not feasible. Thankfully, getting an oil diffuser necklace can solve this problem in a snap. Pick your favorite oils (peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are best for nerves) or carry around one blend of them all and place a few drops inside the pendant. The necklace uses air to diffuse the oils instead of steam, so you’ll be able to smell your blend and calm your nerves without your flight neighbors getting headaches of their own.

3. An Acupressure Pillow

If you have a travel yoga mat and can squeeze in a few asanas before you board the plane, do it! If not, or if you want a little extra tranquil security, an acupressure pillow will do the trick. It’s no secret that acupressure is an ancient goldmine for stress relief, but most people think you have to make an appointment with the local healer to get your dose of repose. That’s where the pillow comes into play. The tiny raised spikes along the entire surface of the pillow help you reach pressure points you might not even know you have. For a soothing plane ride, try positioning the pillow behind your lower back (to hit the pressure point Will’s Chamber). Or, if true calm is what you seek, place the pillow behind your Shoulder Well – the midway point between your shoulder and the base of your neck.

4. An Adult Coloring Book

This one is a no-brainer: coloring makes everything better. As grown-ups, we’re told that coloring is a “kid-only” activity, but adult coloring books have challenged that notion in recent years. You can find books with animal designs, mandala patterns, floral prints, and even iconic landscapes. Whatever your artistic jive might be, throwing a thin activity book and a pack of your favorite colored pencils in your carry-on bag will be easy. There is no technology involved in this peace activity, which means you can open up your book and start rainbowing your life away as soon as your board the flight.

5. A Meditation Playlist

If you don’t like fidgeting and would rather sit still and find your perfect flow, meditating will be the best way to combat your anxiety. Being a seasoned practitioner may be helpful in achieving calm sooner, but being a newbie is perfectly okay. For some direction to your meditation (and a good way to block out the noise of the plane), pop in your headphones and listen to your favorite guided CD or playlist. Some good examples are Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s stress and anxiety CDRoberta Shapiro’s calming collection, and this nature sounds box set.

Find What Works For You

Whether you’re a fidgeter, a meditator, an artist, or all of above, finding the flight-proof relaxation method that works for you will help add the positivity back into your trip. Of course, this is just a short list of the hundreds of relaxation products and tactics out there, so if you have any favorites, leave a comment down below! And of course, happy (and peaceful) travels!


San Jose, Costa Rica Travel Guide

San Jose, Costa Rica Travel Guide

If you’re thinking of visiting the land of Pura Vida, check out this helpful post I’ve put together as a San Jose, Costa Rica Travel Guide!

San Jose, Costa Rica and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer the Costa Rican traveler. Although many people fly into San Jose and immediately leave for one of the touristy areas, such as La Fortuna, Monteverde, or Tamarindo, for example, I think it’s worth spending two to three days just staying in San Jose!

There are a few sights to see in the city, and a few sights to see outside the city, but more than that, staying in San Jose will give you loads of opportunities to talk to citizens of Costa Rica and get a true feel for the country outside of the major tourist areas.

I had a wonderful stay in San Jose and wanted to write this post about some great thing to see/do there, as well as places to stay and eat cheaply. So let’s go!

Things To See & Do: Many people will tell you that staying in San Jose, even for a few days, isn’t worth it, but I really disagree with this. When I was there, I went to the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then I took a cab downtown and walked around for a few hours by myself. While I there, I grabbed some food and headed to the Mercado Nacional de Artesanias. I didn’t get a chance to check out the Teatro Nacional, but that’s another big draw for visitors to the city. All of these places are beautiful, easy to cruise yourself (without getting a tour or guide) and great to meet locals!

You can also do what I did and do a short day trip just outside the city. I went to Doka Coffee Estate, Poas Volcano, and La Paz Waterfall & Gardens, but there are lots of options. If you are into it, you can even drive the three hours to visit Arenal and back!

Where To Stay: I stayed at the Costa Rica Love Hostel, which was outside the city proper, in Heredia, and was small and had very friendly owners. That said, Pangea and the Costa Rica Backpackers Hostel are two places I’ve heard a lot of great things about! I knew someone staying at Costa Rica Backpackers in the city and she was really happy with her experience.

Where To Eat: San Jose is a city, so there are obviously lots of options for food! (I had Chinese food my first night there, because it was the closest to my hostel!) That said, if you want to save money, try eating at the “sodas” or small, family restaurants. You’ll save a ton there and get some delicious, authentic food. I shudder even writing this, but there are McDonald’s and Taco Bell in the city if you need your fix for American food (yes, I’m calling Taco Bell American food because it’s disgusting fast food!).

How To Get Around: I took taxis or walked while I was there, simply because it was faster than waiting around for a bus. Taxis aren’t too expensive, but if you are really into it, you can totally take cheap buses around the city. If you stay near downtown, many things will be walkable for you.

Cost Expectations: The one big misconception I think a lot of people have about Costa Rica is that it’s very, very cheap to live here or travel here. That’s not exactly true. Costa Rica is cheaper than the States, that much is accurate, but not by much. My meals out were between $4 and $6 depending on where I was eating (at the sodas or at bigger restaurants) and by cabs $10 and $15. So go expecting to spend, really, as much as you want. If you want to save, there are easy ways to do it, but if you want to live more comfortably while there, that’s possible also.

Overall, I definitely think a few days spent in San Jose is worth it for any travel to Costa Rica. I hope my travel guide helped and that you’ll be hopping your flight to Costa Rica soon!

Introducing My New Book… “Quit Your Job & Travel The World”

Introducing My New Book… “Quit Your Job & Travel The World”

Have you ever wanted to quit your job and travel the world?

I’m assuming, if you’re reading The LITMO Life, the thought has crossed your mind. 🙂

Since I’m so passionate about this lifestyle, I’ve just completed my first book designed to give you all the resources you need to actually quit your job and travel the world – and start designing the exact life you want, not the life you think you should be living!

So, why did I quit my job to travel?

Because I thought there should be more to life than going into an office, going home, and doing it all again until we die.

Traveling was, of course, an important part of the reason I felt I needed to be free of my traditional office job. It didn’t make sense to me that out of every 52 weeks, most of us got just 2 weeks of vacation. It also didn’t make sense to me that we worked 5 days out of 7, and we were expected to cram the rest of our “lives” into our evenings and weekends. In the few nightly hours after work and on the two days of a normal weekend, we were supposed to: see friends and family, do household errands, pursue hobbies, work on side projects, and get enough rest and relaxation to be ready for work on Monday again.

If this was the system, I often thought to myself, the system was broken.

Was it any wonder, then, that so many of the statuses on my Facebook and Twitter feeds were about sleeping, crying, or drinking through the work week?

It seemed that so many of us were unhappy with the way we lived our lives, but so few of us were willing to do anything about it.

So after I quit and started living the life of my dreams, I really wanted to help other people do the same!

In this book, you’ll learn everything you need to know to quit your job & travel the world, including:

  • How to leave without burning any bridges
  • The preparations you should be making three months, two months, and one month out
  • How to pack and what you’ll need
  • How to choose your first destination
  • How to make a sustainable income to keep traveling long-term
  • And so much more!

If you’ve ever considered traveling the world, full-time, on your own schedule, this book is a must-have.

Check it out now on Amazon – you can get it in Kindle or paperback!