The Best Vacation Workout
The Best Vacation Workout…Might Be No Workout At All
Yup. That’s it. That’s how I feel about vacation workouts. For me, the best vacation workout is NO workout.
Aw. I’m sorry if you were hoping for an instructional video or some super-secret code on how I maintain my voluptuous figure on holiday (I eat. That’s my secret).
If you are upset with me and really desperate to exercise on your vacation, just do a Google search for vacation workouts. You’ll get thousands of articles and ideas. Or, if you want a great workout for any time, you can view my most recent training article.
But seriously, I bust my ass in the gym at home five to six days a week. That’s why I give myself a physical and mental break from working out when I’m on vacation. (And if you don’t work out regularly at home…vacation isn’t the time or place to start.)
Just because I choose not to work out doesn’t mean I’m a total pool ornament. I love being active. I actually have a tough time sitting still. So, I make it a point to engage in fun physical activities – that also happen to count as exercise. My favorite vacation “workouts” include walking and hiking, beach combing, snorkeling, and kayaking.
I also use vacations to try new things that I wouldn’t normally have time for at home. I learned how to stand-up paddle board and took a private beach yoga lesson when I vacationed in Hawaii. I took a pool scuba lesson in Florida. I played tennis (very poorly) in South Carolina. I hired a fishing guide when I visited Alaska.
Increase your health on vacation…without the workout
Spend time with your family. People with strong relationships are healthier and happier. The hurried and stressful nature of every day life can cause us to forget how important these connections are. Instead of worrying about finding the nearest gym to work on your abs, why not invite your family for a walk on the beach? Spend your vacation making memories and doing things that you couldn’t normally do at home.
Get lots of sleep. Sleep disorders are near-epidemic in the western world and our health and waistlines are paying the price. Allow yourself to sleep, and ideally wake at the most natural time for you when on vacation. Getting extra sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and recharged.
RELAX! You face enough stress at home trying to cram everything into a packed schedule. The average adult American has to get up early, get kids ready for school, go to work, come home, help kids with homework, drive kids to social activities, clean up the house, and fit dinner somewhere in there. A vacation is the opportune time to allow yourself to relax and let go of regimented schedules.
Stay active without an agenda. Vacations offer natural opportunities to have fun while being active. Swim in the pool with your kids, find a local park and take a walk, search for shells on the beach, rent a bicycle and take a ride.
Work out if you love working out. Some people really do enjoy working out so much that they want to do it on vacation. But I would wager a guess that at least half of the people who say they love to work out are actually doing it out of fear. If you are skipping out on family activities to exercise, or if your reasons for working out on vacation include fear of losing muscle, fear of gaining fat, or if you have an irrational fear of eating when you don’t work out, you probably don’t really love working out…it has just become a compulsion. Be very aware of the feelings that come up when you think about taking time off from your workouts and remember that taking a week off will not ruin your progress or set you back…and you are allowed to eat and indulge sans the 90-minute sweat session. Seriously…give it a rest. You can get back on track when you get home.
Enjoy your vacation!
Vacations should be fun and relaxing, and are a great time to try out a new sport, activity, or just spend time with your family. Above all you should enjoy yourself without stressing over exercise. A week or two away won’t hurt you, and may even help you recover if you’ve been training hard. The gym will still be there when you get home!
I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading!
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Blog Author: Kelly Bailey, IIN certified holistic nutrition coach, and NPTI certified personal trainer
Learn more about the author here.