Fear Not! Vacation is calling and you will not fail…
For many of us, a vacation is used as an excuse to let go and throw away good habits while trying to live up the good life without the stresses of daily obligations. Think about this: Restaurant dining, lounging and lazing about, late night snacks, alcohol, and disrupted sleeping habits can all contribute to a vacation that leaves you more exhausted than before you left. For a vacation to be truly relaxing and rejuvenating, it is important to try to maintain a little bit of normalcy even while you are traveling. Incorporating an exercise routine during your travel plans is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still relaxing. This may sound a bit ironic... but, because the body often responds negatively to drastic changes, the best way to rejuvenate and relax during a vacation is to continue with a similar regimen during your travels.
Here are a few ways to plan for a positive, relaxing and stress free vacation without failing on your health and fitness:
Remember to Hydrate!! Proper water intake can resolve an abundance of health concerns … but that’s a whole new post for another day. Anyways, while at home, staying hydrated is most likely (hopefully) part of your daily routine. Having a normal routine creates triggers for us to remember to consume enough water. While on vacation, however, that routine goes out the window (as it should!). Be conscious about continuing to hydrate throughout the day. Pack your water bottle, set alerts on your phone throughout the day, or order a glass of water alongside your beverage of choice during meal times.
Mix it Up. No Gym? No Problem!! Pack those workout clothes anyway. There are plenty of active things you can do on vacation without actually entering a gym. Walk the town, hike a trail, avoid or limit the uber drivers during daytime explorations (it wouldn’t be 2018 if I said cabs). Have some fun with it! If you want a little more intensity- bring a jump rope. Those things pack a cardio punch! You can also grab a chair as a prop and use your bodyweight with a little creativity. Design yourself a short and sweet workout. You are on vacation, after all, no need to over do it :) Push-ups, Supermans, All forms of Squats and Lunges, Step ups, Chair Dips, Planks OH MY!! These are just a FEW of the body weight strength movements you can do anywhere. Always know your body, be mindful of each movement and maybe hold off on any new exercises until you’re back home. Be creative with your workouts to keep them fun and achievable.
Plan Ahead. If you’re body is used to waking up early for a walk, run or workout- then keep this pattern going! Talk to your spouse or travel pals, get a basic itinerary if that's how you vacation and then fit in that YOU time. Check out your hotel’s fitness center or research the area and explore a new town. Start your day off with a rejuvenating wake up workout while exploring this new area. It’s a win-win and a great way to reflect on the fact that you are, in fact, on vacation.
Snack Smart, and Try some local cuisines. You can taste some new foods without overindulging (ok, well, we can all make a solid attempt!). If you have a hard time with portion control, order things to share and drink up that water. This will help you feel a little more full without inhaling a meal before your body recognizes satiety. Packing snacks to have throughout the day like nuts, jerky, dried fruit, etc might also help keep you from starving and putting down the ALL YOU CAN EAT option. Overindulging on some really good food is in our nature (some of ours at least)! Especially if it’s something you don’t have back home. Don’t think for one second that i’m not typing these words to myself as you read them. We can do it! There’s power in accountability!
Give Yourself a Break. Listen, don’t be afraid to allow yourself some freedom from your normal exercise and nutrition routine. The last thing we are trying to create on vacation is stress. I like to give myself the ole 7 min rule. Upon waking up (because if I wait til later, it SURELY isn’t going to get done on my own will power), I give myself 7 min to begin some form of exercise. If after 7 minutes I’m feeling awesome- then I keep going and finish what I started! If I’m just not feeling it that day AFTER those 7 min, then I cut myself some slack. 7 min isn’t enough to ruin your hair or give you B.O, but it’s enough to test your motivation for that particular day! Try it. You may surprise yourself with at least a solid 15-20 min walk, run or circuit. If not, then don’t beat yourself up over it. Your routine awaits your return from this obvious, much needed break. This is you listening to your body and focusing on your well-being.
Happy Traveling! Stay tuned for the next blog… [Suspenseful title TBD] :) Cheers to good fuel for our mind, body and soul! Until next time, Jennifer Hooke NSCA- CPT, CSCS INNERSTRENGTH SPORT AND WELLNESS, LLC www.innerstrengthorlando.com