As a personal trainer, I am always amused when clients decide to take a vacation to get away from it all, and instead of looking forward to some time off, some of them start to panic a bit. They should be thrilled, excited and ready to hit the beach.
Instead, they are concerned that since they won’t be getting any exercise during their trip that they will start losing what they have gained from all their hard work. The common question is, “What if I go back to the “familiar?”
Vacations can mean all-you-can-eat buffets, lots of beer and virtually no exercise. However, they shouldn’t be worrying about their workouts all that much.
First of all, no vacation—even the most self-indulgent one—is going to “blow” five months of work. Unless, of course, you are headed out on an epically long vacation and plan on eating doughnuts everyday! And vacations are supposed to be a fun, carefree slice of time—during which you don’t have to count every calorie or have a plan for every moment.
But there are ways to maintain the work you’ve done with your workouts, stay active, and have a good time doing it!
Vacation Exercise Tips
- Embrace something new! Vacations are a change of scenery, right? Why not embrace the idea of “newness” in your personal workouts as well? Do something novel while you take a break from home. If you’re a devoted 5 a.m. runner, try a 5 a.m. swim in the hotel pool or the ocean. If swimming laps is your bag, check out bike rentals at your vacation destination. If you live in the deserts of Nevada, grab the chance to do something active in the ocean. Free your mind and body. We often get stuck in exercise ruts. Our bodies can actually adapt to this kind of same-old, same-old. Change things up. Surprise your muscles with a new activity.
- Play! If you are going somewhere with a beach, organize a volleyball, paddleball, baseball or football game. Working out on the sand is a real physical challenge—almost twice the number of calories you burn doing the same workouts on a flat surface. Or perhaps you want to have a family picnic? A great calorie burner is breaking out the Frisbees. If you bring your pet with you, take a long walk and let your beloved furry companion get some healthy exercise too!
- Exercise in disguise! It doesn’t have to look like a workout to be one. Dress up to the nines and dance the night away. A 130 pound female who burns an average of 75 calories every 15 minutes she’s on the dance floor. That’s 300 calories in an hour!
- Golf the old-fashioned way! Skip the cart rental and lug your clubs around yourself. A 180-lb. man who plays an 18-hole round of golf while carrying (or pulling) his own clubs and walking the course burns about 1200 calories over three hours or so. Now that’s a workout!
It is possible to keep busy and stay fit even on vacation. To help facilitate staying active, plan ahead, do online research, talk to friends familiar with your destination or speak to a travel agent about close-by recreational opportunities.
And above all of this, enjoy your vacation no matter what! I give you permission to enjoy an adult beverage…or two!