A healthy and strong body is the product of hard work. But sometimes in order to continue to push toward our goals, we need a break. Everyone needs a vacation.
There is a fair amount of uncertainty when embarking on a trip: where do I go? How much will it cost? How do I get there? What do I do when I get there?
In my talks with folks who are gunning for a fitness goal or in the midst of a training cycle, these issues seem to pale in comparison to the one major concern, “will my vacation derail my wellness efforts?”
Take a deep breath.
Here are a few pro-tips on keeping fit while on vacation:
1. Be active while away - Skip the rental car and get bikes. Visit a natural area and take a hike. Take a samba lesson. Surf. Ski. Just get moving and try something new!
2. Pack wisely - Choose versatile footwear and outerwear so you can remain active. Prioritize cardio over your strength workouts if push comes to shove. There are plenty of bodyweight options if you remain determined to tackle a workout.
3. Timing is everything - Pro athletes typically take a week or more off after a big event that is the culmination of serious training. Plan your vacation around the completion of an intense training cycle and then give your body the break it deserves.
4. Worry less - Easier said than done, right? Perhaps. But there's emerging evidence to suggest that a 2-3 week break between training sessions will yield similar gains to those folks that just keep on training. So that layoff might be exactly what your body needs.
5. Indulge moderately - If you're wracked with guilt at every indulgence, dial them back. Make a deal with yourself. Give yourself permission to indulge every other day while away. Work out a plan that you can live with.
6. Keep the faith - New fat comes off easier than old fat. Your muscles are great at remembering how to get in shape. Trust that if you've been in shape before, you can do it again.
Most of all, make sure that you enjoy your time away, and use it to recharge your body (and mind) and refocus your efforts.