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Staying in Shape on Vacation

Posted May 19, 2014

 Here is the situation, you have been working out hard for a few months but you have a vacation coming up and you're worried about losing some of what you have worked so hard for in the gym. So what should you do on vacation? Let's talk about some workout tips so you can stay in shape on vacation.

     First of all, you have to ask yourself, is this going to be your only vacation for a while or is it summer time and you're going to be gone for most of the summer? If you answered, "It will be my only vacation for a while," then you might enjoy what I am going to say. Sometimes you need a week where you do a lot less than normal. Your body can accumulate fatigue over time if you have been working out hard for a few months. So, if it has been several months since you have had a light week, then what better place to have one than on vacation! You might still do some light cardio while you're gone, but do less somewhere around half of what you normally do. This is a time for your body to recover. Now, if you said, "I am going to be gone almost all summer," then obviously taking off each time your gone will set you back quite a bit and you must have a strategy of how you are going to keep up your fitness even though your routine and gym setting or lack thereof is different. So, what are some strategies you can use to stay in shape on vacation?

  1.     Plan ahead of time. This means getting online and checking a few things.

Does my hotel have a gym?

What kind of equipment does the gym have? If the gym is no existent or lacking in equipment is there a gym close by that sells cheap day passes? 

Is there a good place to run near the hotel?

What kind of healthy options to eat will there be where I am going to stay?

Also, what time of day would be best to do my workout so it doesn't conflict with my schedule?

You are going to have to answer these questions and find the solutions for them. Not all situations are going to be optimum but do as much as you can with what you're given. Remember, anything will be better than nothing.

  2.     If all else fails at least maintain.

One of the things I am learning about training in the context of lifelong fitness gains and not competing in a sport, is this; sometimes life gets in the way and I am too tired or busy to strictly adhere to my normal workout program. In the past if my workout program didn't go the way I wanted I would just give up. Kind of an all or nothing mentality. Or, I would overwork myself in order to get my workout in, although I was probably was too tired to do so. What I try to do now is when life gets in the way and it is too hard to complete everything that my program dictates I fall back to maintenance mode. To give you an example of this would be that my main goal is strength. To be strong you have to have enough muscle mass and an efficient neurological system. So, if I don't have enough time to complete my full workout that week I don't want to just abandon the whole week but do enough to retain muscle mass and strength so I can pick up more or less where I left off when my schedule slows down. Yes, this is not optimal for really fast gains I know, but, also for most of us we don't get paid to go to competitions so we can only do as much as we can. Obviously, if you do this every time you are a little bit tired or a little busy you won't ever make substantial gains. I think with this you have to know yourself. Are you the type of person that at the slightest excuse you tend to want to opt out of your training that day. Or, are you the type of person that tries to fit in your workout no matter what because you're afraid you're just making excuses. Neither extreme is good, so you have to know yourself. And if you just can't fit in your normal workouts, then at least do enough to maintain what you already have until your schedule slows down. 

I hope this helps you stay in shape on vacation! If this helped you please post a comment here telling your story. And feel free to share this article via the social media links below.

Mark Scott
Personal Trainer Mcloud, OK
NSCA certified
BS in Exercise Science

ptbymark.com

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