Walking Workout with Arm Circuit. Get Ready For Ripped!


***Go Straight To The VIDEO***

Two weeks ago we embarked on an adventure to Portugal to visit some friends. We hit Lisbon, Nazare, and LagosThree culturally diverse areas, all exceptionally beautiful and worthy of anyone’s attention and time.

Whenever I travel, I spend as much time thinking and planning for my food and exercise strategy as I do my packing list. I know that if I don’t anticipate my health needs well, my energy plummets, my mood defragments, and I become that woman standing at the ticket counter ripping some poor agent a new one. Everyone is happier if I spend a little time pre-planning these areas!

The food category of “Food and Exercise While Travelling In Portugal” took about six seconds.

Fish + Veggies = Portugal Cuisine.

Sardines and salad on our first day
Sardines and salad on our first day

It is not difficult to stick to a whole food, or paleo diet in Portugal. Okay, there are a crap load of potatoes on every plate and tons of bread, but they are easy to avoid. The Portuguese are very accommodating. Stress to your handsome, stalky, swarthy waiter, that veggies be a focal point in addition to all the wonderful offerings of the sea. 


I had the pleasurable opportunity to consume oxtail, barnacles, sardines (head on), Mackerel (head on), blood sausage (didn’t know what it was until after! Insanely flavorful, I get the whole Twilight thing now). Portugal is a paleo followers dream. Don’t get me wrong. I consciously chose to drink several bottles of Vinho Verde a day and eat a little chocolate at night, but knowing that I was interested in savoring the wines of the region I watched my meals very closely.

Remember, there is no cheating, just choices.

Blood sausage (the dark bits!)
Blood sausage (the dark bits!)

The category of “exercise” (not just walking around,  actual workouts) is always tricky when you are on the move travelling. Exploring Europe one tends to get their ten thousand recommended steps easily. My husband and I make a point to see what insane amount of steps we can do touring around in a day. Our highest was 23,000 the day that we walked all over Nazare and O Sitio. Walking is a tremendous way to counter-balance some of the extra food you typically eat when tasting your way through Europe. But the rest of your body needs a little more intensity, at least a few times while you are on vacation!

Every “body” needs actual sweaty exercise regularly. Connecting with a local gym is sometimes difficult in a foreign country particularly when you are moving camp every few days. I had a Nazare bartender “Slavo” (actually Slavic not Portuguese) draw (on a napkin) the route to the local gym.  I knew that because of our jam-packed schedule, long leisurely workouts (my favorite part of vacation) were not going to happen. “Exercise”  would have to be fast and furious and inserted wherever opportunity opened a small window.


So, today’s workout video is set in Lagos, Portugal. The “Walking Workout With Arms Circuit” is an attempt to “up” the intensity of a simple walk when there are no other options for sweaty exercise available. I executed five rounds of each circuit, and my arms were burning at the end!

You should perform as many rounds of each circuit as you can. If you can’t do 20 reps of each exercise, that is completely okay! Go at your pace and build from there. I hope you enjoy this workout from Lagos. Portugal!



Here is another great arms workout with RESISTANCE BANDS

Suggested links! 

My favorite off-road walking shoe

Arm weights in case you don’t have giant Portuguese water bottles. 

FIRST STEPS: What could you be doing to supercharge your simple workouts? I leave with encouragement to try the arm workout this week and see if you find it to be enough of a challenge. Also, ask yourself, “Do I dial it in?” When you go into autopilot during exercise your body knows. I guarantee you will not see the results you are hoping for. I know you can do great things this week! 


32 Responses

  1. I love when I can double-time my workout! This workout is great for me right now, especially since I am pregnant and aren’t able to run anymore I do a lot of walking. Adding in the had weight exercises is a great idea!

    1. It is amazing what else you can add into traditional workouts to make them much more challenging. Thanks for commenting Heather.

  2. Such a great idea to stay with your eating habits and squeeze in some exercise. I’ve been working really hard the last 6 months, so I wouldn’t want to just stop on vacation.

    1. That is the tricky part, Shann. So easy for the monster in your head to say “go on, you’ve been so good, your on vacation!” Hard to tame that, but little steps like this can help….no pun intended.

  3. These are some great suggestions. I always struggle fitting in workouts while I travel. If the hotels don’t have gyms I’m in trouble! I’ll be sure to keep these suggestions in mind on my next trip. Looks like you had an amazing time.

    1. Wellll, yes but did you note the sentence about all the wine? Intentionally let up in some areas! Important to have some balance right? I made a choice to have a little extra wine then usual and balanced it with the food and exercise choices. 🙂

  4. What a great time – love this post – the trip is so enviable. I’m such a foodie and keen on authentic things I’ve never tried. You posted a couple – drooling in my desert over here. Then you look so motivational and effortless. So many good points and so easy with some thought and effort. I’m following!

  5. Great pics, while it is definitely harder to keep to an exercise regime during travel I always say the walking in and of itself is a good holdover. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Portugal was absolutely beautiful! The fruit, especially the pineapples was as sweet as candy. I was there in 2013. Would love to go back and visit more castles. Lisboa was a fun city, loved all the walking and the great supply of fabulous Food! and ancient architectual structures.

  7. Hi Heather,

    This was a great post. I haven’t seen any other blog take this approach- working out when you travel, so this is extremely refreshing. The ‘youth’ will also be interested to know that you now get twilight 🙂

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Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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