Summer is right around the corner, and for many an opportunity to vacation. While work and your regular activities may be put on hold on vacation, be mindful not to stop your exercise routine entirely. Instead, alter your take on exercise to ensure you are able to remain consistent in getting a certain level of activity even while taking a break from life.
Set Realistic Expectations
When vacationing, traveling for work, or operating outside of your normal daily routine, set realistic expectations for how frequently you will be able to exercise. After all, the intent of vacation is to take a break from the day to day chaos and enjoy your time. Set realistic expectations, and remember that any exercise is better than no exercise.
Investigate and Plan
Prior to traveling, consider doing a little homework. Maybe the hotel where you are staying has a fitness facility on site. Call ahead and find out what pieces of equipment are offered. Are you a member of the Y? If so, your membership likely allows reciprocity with other Y’s in the US. Find the nearest Y to where you will be staying and call ahead to ensure they’ll accept your membership. Once you’ve located where you will be able to exercise, check your itinerary and plan when you will be able to exercise. With a little planning, you can ensure you are able to remain consistent with some level of activity while on vacation.
Add in Activity
Unable to make it to a fitness center or do intentional exercise while traveling? Increase your overall physical activity to replace your normal exercise. Be intentional about finding ways to take some extra steps, choosing to walk rather than drive whenever possible. Take stairs, carry your suitcase rather than roll it, and perform body weight exercises like pushups when you wake up in the morning as a way to keep your overall activity level high.
Get creative with your activity. Instead of worrying about following your normal exercise routine, plan a bike ride, rent some kayaks, or go for a hike. Go for an adventure that you have been unable to do at home, but have the time or opportunity to do while on vacation. You may be surprised by the use of different muscles than what you are used to!
Most importantly, do not stress about fitting in your normal exercise habits while on vacation. Be flexible and make modifications where needed to still enjoy your time off. One week of vacation and limited exercise will not set you back from your goals so long as you feel motivated to pick back up with consistency upon your return home. Reenergize during your vacation so you can start back up with greater motivation than where you left off.
Ryan Grey is Assistant Director of Fitness at the Greater Burlington YMCA. He holds a BS in Exercise Science from the University of Vermont and is a certified personal trainer. To learn more about fitness, including personal training, at the YMCA, contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-652-8183.