This park bench will keep me fit in Dublin. Really, it will!

This park bench will keep me fit in Dublin. Really, it will!

In less than a week I will be leaving for vacation with my family. We're going to Dublin, which is where my husband is from. We go often enough, so I feel like I can prepare for just about whatever we need, including my own personal workouts. My husband is a swimmer. While he always brings a pair of running shoes, he knows he can fall back on (or fall into) swimming to get in a good workout. Swimming is the easiest, most portable sport. All anyone really needs is a pair of goggles, a suit, probably a swim cap - and of course, some body of water. I'm trying to minimize For my workouts, I plan on bringing one pair of running shoes, and two workout outfits. That's about it. And yes, I will wash them often.

I've been traveling to Dublin for about nine years now. I'm a 'glass-is-half-full' kinda gal. On each of the trips I've taken, or any vacation for that matter, I swear up and down that I will workout regularly. I still have hope for this trip, and I'm not trying to talk myself out of it...but whether it's jet lag, my kids puking on me, my husband not telling me what the heck is going on or a miscommunication in daily activities, I just don't get in the workouts I once saw in my mind's eye. Fortunately, getting out and about - if only for 30 minutes - is easy to do in my husband's family's neck of the woods.

Before I went to Dublin for the first time, I had no idea there were so many hills/mountains. It's not the Alps, but it's a far cry from pancake-flat Chicago, too. I distinctly remember one  of the first runs my husband dragged me along on, showing me every place he was familiar with. The hills never stopped. Ever. It was some crazy seven mile loop. I don't know about you, but when you're running through unfamiliar territory, you don't have your bearings and the person you're with is like the Energizer Bunny, life can get a little terrifying. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but definitely didn't want to throw up the white flag either. I stuck with this run, and by the time we finished, I was exhausted. 

Here's the other husband is a much faster runner than I am, and he likes to talk. He's a social runner. I like to talk, and if you calculated the amount of words each of us used every day, I probably speak volumes more than he, but when I run I'm not a fan of talking - especially when I'm totally winded. 

There is this park nearby that is fantastic for running, among other things. There are lots of park benches, so it inspired me to do a little work with those, creating this article with an easy-to-follow workout. You should try it if all you do is walk around the park, ignoring vacant benches on the side of the path. 

Other than the park bench workout, I plan doing a few of my favorite home-grown workouts. Here is what I'm printing out today, putting in a little binder and taking with me:

Full Body Tabata Workout: I love Tabata sets because they're short and extremely effective in both cardio and strength capacities. I'll need about 28 minutes to do this workout. Not bad.

5K Workout: I plan on racing more this spring and summer, so I want to turn my legs over faster. This is a great workout for that. It's also just a great workout to stay fit.  

Fat Burner Workout:  This is another really short, strength-based workout that will boost my body's metabolism long after my workout is over. 

So that's it. Those workouts, plus the park bench workout should be good! We plan on doing a little bit of sight seeing and I doubt I'll be able to get in as much personal time as I'd like...but that's part of traveling with small children. 

Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here