by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
You waited all year for this break from your usual routine. Don’t spend it recovering from the exhaustion it took to get you there …
Vacations are precious. Even during them, we often can’t avoid responsibilities and some form of work. Kids still need parenting. Bosses and staff still need answers. Clothing still needs to be laundered. It is essential to capitalize on any fleeting downtime. This takes energy, focus, and, yeah, maybe a little caffeine. Here’s how to manage:
- Keep Fitness Momentum. If necessary, reschedule your workout, but don’t remove it from your agenda. A quick exercise session increases stamina and preps muscles for a day of vigorous vacationing. Even if you’re lounging by the pool, a boost of energy can help you stay awake to enjoy it (at least for a chapter of your summer novel).
If traveling, ask a personal trainer for take-away exercises. Pack exercise bands, dumbbells, or wrist/ankle weights. Don’t be disappointed if they remain buried at the bottom of your suitcase. They have tough competition from Frisbees, boogie boards, and bicycles.
- Get Creative. Don’t limit yourself. Vacation is a great time to get creative. Water provides endless opportunities for workouts disguised as fun. Movement on the sand takes extra effort, which amps up a walk or run. Learn how to surf or scuba dive. Many locations offer beach/resort boot camps to get you pumped for your day. Ask a Center aquatic instructor for water workouts. You can tighten and firm on the sly while chilling in the hotel pool.
Acknowledge. Soak in the vacation. Let your senses literally experience the time to figuratively absorb it. Take in sights, sounds, and smells– whether in your backyard or a far-flung destination. Commit them to memory. Journal your ideas and thoughts. Clear your mind of everything but the moment. Spend time each day of vacation doing this. You will finish refreshed. You will return with vivid details of your respite.
Attempt sunrise or sunset yoga. Meditate by moonlight. Study the stars or the sea. Contemplate the enormity of it all. The clarity and perspective gained can energize vacation time, even if you had to rise early to acquire the tranquility necessary to experience this surge.
- Be the Do-er. Fetch the coffee, haul the suitcases, load and carry the gear, set up camp, prepare healthy snacks and meals. Be the one to create your vacation’s “home away from home.” You’ll also help the less fit conserve energy and avoid muscle strains. Every group needs one of these Type As to set the pace and, well, take charge.
Eat well. Vacation time is filled with splurges, and that includes food. Allow yourself the food joys of the season, just be sure they include fresh produce along with the ice cream treats and frozen frapps. Handfuls of candy and too many boardwalk meals can leave you feeling groggy and grouchy.
Research the best place for healthy meals. Many restaurants post menus online so you can budget for caloric and monetary impact. Pack some power snacks, including your favorite splurges. You want your favorites when there is an opportunity for treats.
Look at your vacation as a time of adventure. Most importantly, keep expectations realistic. Nothing wastes energy and enthusiasm like over-planning and its subsequent disappointment. Choose a few high-intensity activities and save the rest for a random day off. Vacation is about relaxing. Keep your fitness momentum going enough to help you accomplish some healthy R&R. You deserve it!
Beach biking: pixabay.com/en/beach-holidays-bike-summer-646595/
Sandy foot: pixabay.com/en/foot-beach-sand-white-alone-743953/