3 Easy Ways to Stay Active on Vacation

Summer, summer, summertime. Tis the time for family vacations and fun in the sun. For many people, vacation is a time to get away from the hustle and bustle and everyday life so they can decompress. And, while you’re on vacation, it’s important to make sure you mentally separate yourself from your normal day-to-day routine so that you can recharge properly. However, when it comes to your health and fitness, keeping a routine while you’re at the beach is important.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should strive to get the same, intense workouts you’re getting while you’re at the gym. Vacation is vacation, after all. The trick is in keeping exercise in your routine so it doesn’t make it hard to get back into it when you get back home. Before, we take a look at 3 easy ways to keep your fitness on track while you’re out and about, let’s see why you should stay on track while you’re on vacation.

How the Pause Effect Kills Your Mojo

Let’s be honest…exercise is hard. If it were easy, everybody would be doing. We all have days where we just want to go home and relax after a long day of work (or sleep in, if you workout in the morning). However, if you’ve devoted yourself to living a healthy lifestyle, you go anyway.

Where this dedicated routine tends to go all gally Wumpus is when it’s time to go on vacation. During vacation time, we tend to go into what I like to call Spring Break mode. During Spring Break mode, we do what we want, when we want, how we want. It’s a no-holds-barred, eat everything, drink everything celebration. And this typically includes leaving your exercise behind for laying around on the beach and drinking beers.

Now, Spring Break mode can cause a number of issues for those of you who have made progress on your fitness journey:

#1) It kills your health and fitness progress

Without thinking about it, eating and drinking everything in sight, while also not working out, sets you back. And it typically sets you back much worse than you think. First, your body starts to decondition itself naturally after only 72 hours. If you add on top of that eating tons of processed calories and drinking alcohol, you’re looking at quite the deterioration.

#2) You put the Pause Effect in play

The second, and more lasting, implication of Spring Break mode, is the Pause Effect. This primarily has to do with exercise. The Pause Effect is a simple idea. Essentially, when you stop exercising for a period of time, it makes it much harder to get it back into your schedule. If you’ve ever stopped working out before, trying to convince yourself you’ll go back after a week, you know what I’m talking about.

The Pause Effect has a long-term effect because, when you get from vacation, you have a hard time “motivating” yourself to get back on track. This can last for weeks, months, or, sometimes, even years. Plus, as we all know too well when exercise is not in your schedule on a regular basis, it’s tough to make it a staple in your routine.

3 Easy Ways to Stay Active on Vacation

With that being said, as I mentioned before, you don’t necessarily need to keep yourself on a strict exercise regimen while you’re on vacation. There are, however, a few fun, simple ways you can keep your fitness on track so it’s not harder to get back into it once you’re back home:

#1) Do some exercise classes that are completely different than what you usually do

Part of the fun of vacation is doing things that you don’t do on a regular basis. If you go to the beach, you might rent some jet skis or go deep-sea fishing. If you’re in the mountains, you might go for a long hike or go for an intense bike ride.

When it comes to your exercise, a good way to stay on track on vacation is to try some classes that are completely different than anything you do on a regular basis. For instance, if you usually do Yoga, try hitting up a kettlebell class. If you do a spinning, try kickboxing instead. Not only will this be good for your body, you may also find another type of exercise to throw into your normal routine.

#2) Schedule in some purposeful, intense activities

Most of us think of exercise as going to the gym and working out. However, you certainly don’t need a gym, or weight for that matter, to increase your fitness level. A great way to keep your health on track while you’re on vacation is to schedule in some intense activities. This is going to vary depending on where you are.

As I write this, I’m sitting on the back deck of a rental home in Lake Tahoe. Yesterday, as one of our intense activities, we did a 3.5-mile hike up the side of a mountain (I believe we hiked about 1,300 feet up). It took us about 4 hours and, rest assured, I was sufficiently tired when it was over. This is one example, but it gives you an idea of what you might be able to do while you’re out and about.

#3) When all else fails, do a Tabata workout

If you’re part of The Pack you know about Tabata all too well. Tabata is simply a form of HIIT training. It takes 4 minutes and will give you a better workout than 60 minutes on the treadmill. It goes like this:

20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat 8 times.

Simple enough, right? Now, what types of exercises can you implement to get the most bang for your Tabata buck? Well, here are a couple of my favorite groupings that only require body weight:

Alternate between bear crawls and squat jumps

Alternate between body squats and pushups

Alternate between lateral bounding and lying cross crawls

Alternate between split squat jumps and mountain climbers

Alternate between burpees…well, how about just burpees.

BAM! 5 quick Tabata workouts that you can do first thing in the morning while you’re on vacation. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

So, there you have it. Be sure to keep your exercise in your routine while you’re on vacation. It will make your life much easier once you get back to grind!

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