Tagged: Holiday

Fitness on Vacation

As we hit the midway mark of the summer I, like many of you, am readying to take a long vacation with my family. I am likewise concerned, as you may be, about how to get my workouts done while on vacation. While I am always full of well-intentioned commitments to exercise while on holiday, it may surprise you to know that I too experience a significant drop in my motivation to exercise while enjoying my time off.

vacation-beach-900x1440

So what can we do to maintain our fitness goals while on vacation? My first suggestion is to be okay with not working out. That’s right, I said it’s okay to skip a week. In fact I frame my workouts (my own and for my clients) in 6-week intervals with a mandatory week off before a new routine starts. This allows for complete recovery and rest and readies the muscles for new abuses. I thus, try to time my vacations with that week off, or shift things around to allow for it.

boss take a vacation

However, it is worth noting that a large percentage of people find they do not gain more body fat while on vacation as they are moving more than they do during a usual work week. Between swimming, walking, hiking, or even dodging through crowds at theme parks, you will likely burn more calories than you do during your average sedentary job. Now of course there’s the extra high-caloric intake that also comes along with vacations – more cocktails, sweets, and fried or exotic foods are common – but again if you’re moving more than usual, you might at least break even.

Group-hiking-in-the-mountains-on-a-classic-hike-in-the-Smokies

Depending upon your destination, try to schedule at least one thing per week that is physically different than your norm: i.e., a snorkel trip, a day-long hike or river raft trip, a walking exploration of pyramids or volcanos, or just a family game of beach volleyball.  One “excursion” like this can utilize muscles in a way your body isn’t accustomed too, and the caloric burn of that will benefit you greatly.

Fort-lauderdale-Snorkeling-Tour-Snorkel-South-Florida-Pompano-Beach

Another suggestion is for you to reserve 30-minutes every day for focused movement or exercise. If you’re walking/hiking more than usual, take a half hour before bed to stretch your muscles (improvise some yoga or pull up something on YouTube). If your vacation days are more sedentary (just sitting by the pool), then commit to a 30-minute visit to a gym or a class (offered at many resorts or on cruise ships), follow along with a YouTube exercise video on your phone, tablet or laptop, or bring your own resistance bands and attack your muscles in the comfort of your hotel room.

hotelworkout

yoga_-_fitness_and_activities_1

My last piece of advice I can share with my fellow vacationers is this: RELAX. Life for most of us is hectic and stressful and relaxation is a huge component in your body’s ability to stop holding onto excess body fat as well as maintaining a good immune system. So let your brain unwind, don’t eat complete crap, and if possible throw in a few workouts and your vacation will be successful and your fitness goals don’t have to suffer any setbacks.

8584926_orig

Now go enjoy that holiday/vacation!

Skip The New Year’s Resolutions.

afd

Every year thousands of us make New Year’s resolutions that 99% of us break or don’t complete. Most prevalent are goals to lose weight and get in shape.  But just like the chronic cigarette smoker who knows that smoking is bad but can’t stop because they’re addicted, losing weight and getting into shape needs more motivation than just your brain saying (along with everyone around you) that you need to do this to be healthy.

adfs

When you’re in the thick of it (no pun intended) the last thing you want to do is stop doing something that seemingly makes you feel better (i.e., smoking, eating that pint of ice cream, drinking that bottle of wine).  Even though you know that these choices are not in your body’s best interest, your brain is used to these comforts to deal with life’s stresses.  This is why we fail at new years resolutions.  They’re made because it’s traditional to make them not because we have complete conviction behind the need to change. So, while the concept of a resolution is good – setting goals and starting them on a pivotal date – there is clearly not enough motivation placed on these goals to sustain our focus, and motivation is key!

So how then do you get and sustain true motivation?  That, my motivationfriends, comes from within, when you are truly ready to acknowledge how unhappy you feel in the physical condition you’re in.  It’s not about needing to get healthier for someone else; it’s not about wanting to feel sexier or more attractive; it’s not about wearing a different clothing size.  It’s about YOU wanting to be different.  YOU wanting to end the depression that follows you around because you feel unattractive or don’t have the energy to keep up with your kids or friends.

 

If whatever is to be gained by you changing is important enough to you, nothing will stop you.

Once you want the change for reasons so strong that nothing can deter you, then it instantly becomes a goal you can achieve.  You don’t need a date on the calendar to get you started.  You don’t need an extreme diet.  You don’t even need a personal trainer (did I just say that?!).  All you need to keep your desire for change always in the forefront of your brain.  What do you stand to gain by this change? How badly do you want it?

how-to-achieve-success

Don’t focus on what you’ll lose, it’s too easy to say “well I don’t have that now anyway.”  Focus instead on what you’ll gain.  Gaining something is actually a stronger motivator than losing something. Take gambling for instance, we bet on what will win, not what will lose.  Focus on what you’ll win, and then remind yourself that any progress towards this goal leaves you in a better place than if you’d done nothing.  This wonderful quote by Winston Churchill sums it all up:

SUCCESS IS NOT FINAL.  FAILURE IS NOT FATAL.  IT’S THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE THAT COUNTS

So enjoy the holidays and your New Year’s celebration, but skip the resolutions.  Instead contemplate what you want to gain and how badly you want it, then go get it! (And of course, if you DO want a trainer, or a tailor-made workout routine created by a professional trainer, give me shout. I’m here to cheer you on and help you stay focused!)

images3JLT83ZW