Why is it that when we go on vacation, we often do very little to plan the relaxing, un-stressful break that we so very desperately need all year? A fitness routine is one of the best things we can do on a daily basis to keep from getting completely stressed out by life.
So why should the thing that arguably helps us the most stop when we go on vacation?
If you do it right, a trip away from home can even put new energy into your fitness efforts. You may have to try something new.
Here’s 8 tips to follow if you want to plan a truly restful get away.
1: Get Away
The so-called ‘staycations’ are not vacations at all. All you do is stuff around the house and repeat what you do when you’re at home anyway. Get away. It doesn’t have to be far, but getting into a new environment awakens your senses and ignites your workouts.
2: Rest and Recover
Crikey, take the first couple of days and do little or nothing. This allows your body to do everything it needs to rebuild itself and prepare for re-creation. Thus the word, ‘recreation.’ So, go and re-create yourself. A new you is always good.
It’s a vacation, so get in as much sleep as you can. Not enough sleep causes all kinds of weird issues for us, from crankiness to laziness, which does not help your fitness efforts. Plus, a lack of sleep negates a lot of the results you’re hoping for, so that’s almost wasted effort. Let the calmness of a vacation put you to bed early and get you up late.
4: Break the Routine
Find something different to do instead of the same old workouts. Climb, swim, kayak, kick some heavy bags in Vegas, etc. Breaking routine causes “muscle confusion”, which can lead to greater muscle development. Give yourself a break and break the routine.
5: Plan Ahead
If you know you’re going to be gone for an extended period, know where you can go ahead of time that meets your particular fitness needs. That way, you don’t get stuck settling for less than you want. Find places that have the gym or facilities you’re comfortable with. Plan for more or settle for less. Is that even a consideration?
6: Take Extra Stuff
To be prepared for what might not be available, take along a jump rope, a Thera-Band, and/or a resistance tube. You’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Besides, extra amounts of this type of “minor” fitness can really help your body respond better to regular fitness when you return home.
7: Food Plan
Vacations lessen our eating resistance, so decide ahead of time how much “cheat food” you will allow yourself (especially the late night stuff). Vacations are usually busy, so there’s little time to prepare your own meals. Be careful, or the vacation will still be with you after returning home, in the form of added weight.
8: Early Workouts
Chances are, if you’re on vacation, you’ll be busy doing a bunch of vacation stuff, which is the point. By training earlier, you won’t have to fit it in and break up the good time you’re having. And, you’ll feel a lot better knowing it’s already done, and you can dance the night away knowing you got your workout in.
A Week, No Less
If it doesn’t last a week, it’s not a vacation, it’s a distraction. It takes 2 or 3 days just to wind down, so plan on going for at least a week. Your relaxed body kicks into new energy levels, and your workouts can be epic and fulfilling. Don’t make it weak, make it a week.
George is the Fitness Director at Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group and spends his time helping teens, educators and seniors make fitness a lifestyle. He believes that fitness is the answer, and doesn’t care what the question is.