JV Favorite: Mike Rahlmann: Fitness Consistency while Visiting Disney

Julie shares one of her favorite episodes from this season. Give it a re-listen or listen now if you missed it! In this episode, I interview Mike Rahlmann. Mike is a Disney expert extraordinaire! He’s been a  host of the Be Our Guest Podcast for over 14 years and is a Disney-focused travel agent. He is also an avid runner who has received many medals at runDisney marathons. As a fitness and Disney lover, Mike shares his expertise on how to be mindful of your health and fitness while visiting Disney, and still live the experience to the fullest.  


Mike has been podcasting for over 14 years and has produced over 2000 shows! His inspiration to start the Be Our Guest Podcast came from Lou Mongello. It was originally something that he started for fun out of love for Disney, but he has followed his passion and it has turned into a full-time thing! Before starting the podcast, Mike was an elementary school teacher. He talks about his experience growing up and how that led him in his career journey. His father switched careers mid-life and provided the example that it’s okay to pivot and pursue something that you love! Mike learned about podcasting by assigning it as a presentation method for his students. From there, he branched out and created the podcast which led to him working as a travel agent as well. He came to a crossroads in his career where he needed to choose one direction instead of doing it all at once. In 2017, he went into travel full-time.  


Mike is a runner, but it wasn’t always his passion. He grew up playing baseball and lived an active lifestyle. As a young adult and new parent, he became more sedentary than usual and realized he needed to get more active. He started doing runDisney marathons because it was a great motivator to have a Disney trip involved. Every time he runs a Disney marathon, it feels like a celebration. 


Fitness and vacation planning can pose a challenge for many people. We all want to have the best experience while traveling or visiting Disney, but it doesn’t feel good to completely lose sight of your health and fitness goals. I ask Mike how people can balance their health and fitness journey while on vacation. Consistency is important to him. Every morning, Mike gets up early and gets his workout in first thing. While you should enjoy and give yourself a break on vacation, you should still stay somewhat on track with your exercise. Maybe you choose a hotel with a gym, or get up and run a couple miles in the morning. If you schedule it ahead of time, it takes some of the decision fatigue out of choosing whether or not to workout on your trip.


Mike shares some additional tips for staying on track with fitness during your Disney vacation. The average person walks a fair amount while enjoying the Disney parks. Walking is movement that benefits your body. Those steps count! Mike advises that people consider that when deciding their level of fitness discipline on their trip. You may not need to do the same intensity of workout that you would do at home. You can supplement your workouts with your walking.  


When it comes to nutrition when visiting Disney, Mike doesn’t worry too much about his diet. He is active enough in his daily life that he enjoys the food he wants to eat, but he doesn’t go crazy. Previously, Mike lost 70 pounds in an unhealthy way. So now he focuses on moderation and portion control. It comes down to having the right mindset and making overall healthy decisions. 


Mike is obsessed with monitoring his running on his Apple watch. But over the past year he has realized he can invite a little more ease into his workout routine. He doesn’t have to impose extreme fitness requirements on himself. It’s about making your habits your lifestyle, it doesn’t end when you cross the finish line. It is important to just keep moving every day. 


His number one tip is to plan early. Even if it seems like nobody is traveling right now, in reality lots of people are traveling. His second tip is to be flexible while you’re in the parks … be up to date with what’s going on. You have to know the system to know how to navigate it. Have fun and don’t be afraid to enjoy the minor attractions too. Enjoy the moment and take it all in. 

As you listen, please tag me on Instagram and let me know what pieces you are tucking into your own toolbox that help you elevate to your best self. I love hearing from you! 


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Thank you so much for listening to this episode!

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