This post is sponsored by Zappos.

I've tried SO many ways to workout on the go. There are a zillion articles about this, but it seems like people are really opinionated and personal in their recommendations. Some are all about CrossFit, dropping in to gyms or “boxes” in whatever town they visit. Some are loyal to yoga, insisting that any hotel they book must have an on-site studio or nearby instructors. Nate and I travel so often and in so many different ways, I've realized that it's impossible for me to workout on the go in the same manner every time.

How I workout on the go

4 Keys for a Successful Workout on the Go

Getting in a groove is challenging with our lifestyle, since I can't be too picky about my processes. On top of that, I don't have a ton of time in between work and taking care of four kids. Squeezing in a workout at home is challenging enough. On the go, it absolutely won't happen unless I make it a priority! For me to stay in shape, I've learned that I need to be adaptable, prepared, and fearlessly independent.

Have Reliable, Easy Gear

This is hurdle number one. When I read other travel and active lifestyle blogs, the first thing I look at is what the family's wearing. I have a strange obsession with gear, constantly wanting to minimize my stuff and optimize it for maximum efficiency. Shoes, I've realized, are a BIG deal because you can't accomplish much of anything if your feet are hurting. I usually travel with three pairs: comfy boots, versatile sneakers and small sandals.

Good shoes for a workout on the go

The sneakers are never too sporty, because I need them to fit in with a full day of activity and not feel weird if I find myself in a trendy restaurant or out touring a city post-workout. Thank God for the athleisure trend, making this a more acceptable thing so I don't have to deal with constant changes. I use Zappos.com to order all of my shoes because they have free 2-day shipping, easy returns, and awesome customer service. I steer clear of dedicated “running shoes” or “pilates shoes” or other narrow niches, opting instead for a low-profile all-around sneaker that can handle anything I throw at it.

Right now my fave pair are these New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2. The brand has always resonated with me because they develop products in their own way, putting function first and not really caring what anybody thinks. They develop shoes that they view as wearable and helpful to our daily lives, not simply trailing the trends that others set. Unlike other sports brands that can be intimidating, I find them to be totally accessible.

Learning how to workout on the go, even in nature

Grey is always my pick, because it goes with anything. I pair these with leggings or joggers for workout time, together with a graphic tee or trendy shirt. Not gonna lie: I don't usually shower right after a workout. I wear really, really good deodorant and stick mainly to light cardio or weights when I'm in a hurry. Then, I simply toss a tunic over the top or swap the bottoms for a casual skirt to look less “athletic” for the rest of my day.

Making time to workout on the go

Insist on Making Time

No matter where I am in the world, I generally go to sleep early and wake up early. Benjamin Franklin and I would have been buddies. I like to get up before the rest of my family and get some work done, then get straight to a bit of activity together before everything gets crowded. This admittedly means we aren't huge breakfast people – we've gotta grab and go. There's just something about the dew and the glow of the early sun that's invigorating, and if I don't catch that energy before it fades then my workout on the go gets more and more challenging. Figure out what your peak workout time is, and build your day around that.

Gain the Knowledge You Need

Investing time in learning different workout styles was key for me. I joined a gym and had a personal trainer show me some basics, and I tried a plethora of classes until I felt comfortable in just about every style. No matter what track, course, turf or machine I encounter, I know the mechanical basics that I need in order to workout on the go. I certainly don't mean to underestimate the gravity of that time investment. It's serious work. Once you have a firm grasp on how to properly stretch and work each muscle segment, though, the rest will fall in line easily enough.

Shoes for working out

Confidence is King for a Workout on the Go

There are days when I stick my headphones in and power-walk up and down the airport terminal, and people look at me like I'm nuts. Those are the moments when I remind myself that I am working toward a healthy, active future on my own terms. Let them stare. Let them judge, as my muscles get the daily movement they need to make me a better person. Even at the beginning – when I was sure I was doing everything wrong – I reminded myself that these were steps I needed to take to be healthy, happy and fulfilled. That matters far more than what anybody else thinks.

How do you like to workout on the go?