Working out on vacation? It’s tough. For someone like me who has always been active, I feel so guilty when I don’t work out. I grew up playing soccer and when I hit my teens I would head over to the gym on my days off and either lift, run or go to yoga. In high school I was ALWAYS grounded and the gym was never a restricted place for me so I used to walk on over and get a sweat sesh in. Fast forward to today, at the ripe age of 24 I do find it hard sometimes to STAY MOTIVATED to hit the gym. I constantly find myself playing the game of cost-benefit analysis or psyching myself up, “Should I go today after work or just force myself to get up tomorrow AM before work” or “Ok…you have to hit the gym tonight…drink more water, don’t eat those donuts”. Now, add in these internal thoughts while being on vacation. Because I only went home to RI for the week it was a bit like a staycation. I got to see my family and my boyfriend EVERYDAY for almost ten days, it was glorious. I did workout but if I missed a day…SO WHAT. I told myself, “Don’t judge yourself if you didn’t work out today. It will all be ok. IT’S VACATION”. I think the key for me was to see how I felt that day. If I slept well, was not up late and my schedule allowed for a workout, then I went ahead and did it. Luckily I was at home and went to a gym that I used to teach spin at and knew the area but below I am going to give you a few of ideas and trips that help get me through working out while on vacation.
If you are vacationing on or near a beach…walk it baby
After some champs and a nice beach nap why not fit in a little in a little exercise?
The beach is a great piece of equipment. The sand ups the degree of difficulty quite a bit when trudging through it. The uneven surface is a great way to hit those abs as well. The non-vacationing version of myself would normally be like “Let’s run the beach” but when I’m on vacation I just want to walk it, ok? Walking is JUST as good. So, what I do is I tend to put my headphones in and clock it on my Nike Running App or Mapmyrun and get a sense for the distance. I try not to say things like, “AIIGHT WE DON’T STOP UNLESS ITS 3 MILES”. I just go until I have walked the whole beach, need water or chaffe. Usually I chaffe first and then realize I have like another 15 minutes of walking until I hit my beach chair and in that case I just endure the chaffing as a reminder to work on those damn wobbly inner thighs…this is your punishment and Balmex will be your bail.
Try something spontaneous
With this one I don’t mean like go out of your way to get to a local Barre class or Barry’s bootcamp *stomach churns* but I mean maybe that’s what you want to do and if it is KUDOS. When I’m in vacation mode, I tend to like not give a crap about what I look like or I feel a little adventurous so I may integrate in a move I know I haven’t done in a while, saw somewhere in Shape or just want a quick change of direction. For example, while walking on the beach one day, no one really was around so I started hitting some lunges and then sat in the sand to do a few lamely attempted V-sits. I normally do these things but their timing is a little more well thought out during a workout and not random. Another example is I wanted to work out before I had my three doctors’ appointments on my first day of vacation (had to do it and get it over with) so I did something in my den real quick and since it was brief, I ended with ten pushups. Pushups and I do not really get along. I can chatarunga all day, but good ol’ fashion pushups are a b*tch for me so I decided, screw it, I am just going for it, no one is watching me and I am in the mood. I think vacation brain can really help us take the thinking out of our regiment and into just doing it (corny Nike reference BUT TRUE).
Get on a track
Normally track workouts are not my thing but where I live there is a school about a quarter mile down the road with a little walking path around a field. I think it is a little more than a quarter mile around but it was a great resource for me. It’s free and you can do a lot with it. If you are vacationing somewhere and there are schools nearby maybe give it a whirl. I started off with running around twice and then would run one lap then do lunges, side lunges, or squat walks for maybe 100 meters or less and then run the rest. It’s a good way to pack some strength in while still getting some cardio. Time flies by with the alternating. Then I started jogging 100 meters and then doing 35 crunches at the end of every 100. Then for the second lap I held 20 second planks instead of the crunches. I ended with sprinting 100 meters and then walking 200. I did the sprints three times and then stretched for a bit. Tracks are mindless. You can forget what lap you are on so if you want to mix it up with walking/running/sprinting and then integrate in some strengthening moves with a fun playlist, you will be surprised that you can get in a total body work out.
Think about how you will feel afterwards
You have no plans until the evening and you are just relaxing but you feel that because you are on vacation you don’t want to work out…Well guess what, this is the day you should workout. When there is a lull in your vacation plans and you had a great lazy morning, it’s time to get moving. I think one of the best ways to go from slouch on the couch to up and at ‘em is to think about how good it is going to feel when its over. Endorphins are legit people so endure the first painful ten minutes and then after that its smooth sailing. You know that corny old song that goes, “HOOKED ON A FEELING”, ok yes just channel that chorus line to get you moving. If you genuinely feel worse after a workout, then you are probably sick but 99.9999% you feel like a boss afterwards so put the work in, be in the moment when you burning those cals and I guarantee you will be surprised at how long you went, how easy it was to keep going and how awesome it felt afterwards.
Link to that song here …share with a parent. They will love you even more because you know a song from their era.
Lastly, don’t put pressure on yourself to make it the best workout ever. If you want to just go through the motions and even just lace up for 15 minutes… you still are awesome and you whoop everyone else’s ass that decided to just not do it. And if this is the only form of exercise you’ll be doing…
at least tuck your belly button to your spine to activate those abs for a nice cannon ball.
I hope some of you find this interesting or helpful. Please share your own tricks… I am always looking to strengthen my vacation workout game!
Thank you for reading