Kettle Bells? We thought you said jingle bells.

He sees you when you're running... He knows when you lift weights.

Christmas is just around the corner, and we all know what that means. Intoxicating levels of rum-balls, pudding, and lots of gingerbread. Instead of compensating with an overly unrealistic New Years Resolution to amp up your treadmill speed from 9 to 14, we decided to get some insights from one of Australia's most inspiring fitness duo. Cue the brains behind Function Well, founders Natasha and Darren of the iconic Function Well to get their insights on how to successfully manage travel, exercise and Christmas.

What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to maintaining their fitness while travelling?

It really depends on the duration of the holiday, if it is only a week or so having a week off training won’t do any harm physiologically, it’s more psychologically. Many people fall out of the training routine by going on holidays, which can result in them taking weeks, months, and even longer to get back into their pre-holiday routine. Without a doubt, the best way to start the day when on holidays at home is getting up in the morning and doing some sort of movement. If you are away on your holiday, kicking off your day with a jog is a great way to sight see: you’re getting the best of both worlds that way! 

Keeping up your fitness routine when on holidays does require discipline, but it is well worth keeping up the routine though as discipline and will-power will strengthen as they are called into action.  


When you travel, what are your must-pack essentials to keep motivated?                  For us fitness is a way of life; packing our gym gear is like packing our swimmers for a beach holiday. If you struggle for motivation to train, the best thing you can do is the night before set out your workout gear, write down the workout you are going to do the next morning and then set your alarm. When the alarm goes off, get up, get dressed and get it done.


Any health or fitness tips for long haul flights?
Drink plenty of water, minimise alcohol consumption, pack some healthy snacks and move regularly with some stretches at the end of the aisle. Do your best to get some sleep in to help yourself at the other end too!


How do you guys treat Christmas – do you have days off? What are your plans to stay on track?
On Christmas day we don’t set ourselves any restrictions. Over the Christmas period if we have a few days where we eat outside of what we normally would or have a few drinks, we’re not too concerned because we want to enjoy time with family and friends that we may not often get to spend time with. If we eat or drink more than normal, we will always train hard the day after- it's a good way to re-set and start feeling good again. 


Top 3 tips for travel + keeping fit?
1. Book a hotel with a gym wherever you go or research the
area to make sure there’s a good gym close by.
2. Do something active and adventurous while on holidays – hire bikes,
walking tour, mountain climbing etc. A good holiday for us is if we get
train early most mornings, do something active that we can’t do at home
and have an afternoon nap whenever we want.
3. When you arrive find the local grocery store and buy some healthy

Keeping fit comes down to discipline, people want the magic pill, the easy way. There is no easy road to being fit, the only way is to be consistent and to challenge yourself always to be better than you were last workout.


Favourite place to travel and why?
This is a hard question as I love travelling and experiencing all different cultures. If I had to choose one it would be the concrete jungle NYC. I love the hustle and bustle and you can find absolutely anything you want or need anytime of day. Darren loves Thailand, he loves the culture, food, cheap massages, and fun activities to do.


Have you ever tried a health camp or fitness lodge? If so – where, and would you recommend it?
8 years ago we went to Gwinganna, it was amazing. Taking time out to regenerate and restore balance is invaluable for everyone, especially in todays high paced stressful world.
Next year we’re planning on heading to Thailand or Bali to experience a retreat over there. One day as a passion project we’d love to have our own Fitness Retreat.


Natasha – what are your tips for juggling kids and exercise when travelling? 

Our kids have been to Bali a few times because it’s an easy and enjoyable holiday with kids! The resorts have kids club - best thing ever! That makes it really easy to exercise. We generally put them in kids club first thing in the morning and get a session done and they can go back in the afternoon so you can have some time to yourself. If we don’t have access to a kids club we will get up early and take turns before breakfast.