I love watching clients head off on a vacation. Most tell me that they plan on exercising when they are away because they will have lots of time for doing just that. I would say 8 out of 10 of them return without fulfilling their self-imposed commitment. Let’s face it, a chair on beautiful beach is way more appealing than a workout, especially when we’re feeling tired. Vacations are about having a change in routine to recharge the batteries that keep us going for the rest of the year.
I’m not suggesting that vacations should be fitness free. I am suggesting that our expectations are adjusted well before the first pair of shorts make their way to the suitcase. When we totally throw out all of the discipline we have worked so hard to master we return feeling worse than before we left for paradise. We’ve all heard and/or said the statement: I need a vacation from my vacation.
It’s time to give yourself permission to take a break. It’s totally okay to slow down and rest. Sometimes when we hold on to the intention of being “good” we end on the other side of the spectrum by overindulging. That leaves us feeling lousy both physically and emotionally. We end up coming home with more baggage than we went with.
Here are some healthy strategies to try out on your next vacation:
- Move: Try to do some type of movement every day that you’re away. Walk, run, swim, dance or anything that gets you moving. Attend a fitness class if there’s one available to you. Try a shorter version of the activity that you do when you’re in your normal routine. Make a deal with your travel partner that you’ll go for a walk to start and end the day. One trick is to make the commitment to something at the beginning of each day. Vacations are about taking a break from our regularly schedule programming. Be spontaneous. Movement is movement!
- Food: If you need to take a break from counting calories do just that, but be reasonable. Overeating never feels good. Stick with the choices that you know will benefit your body. Just because it’s all you can eat, doesn’t mean eat all that you can.
- Drink: Same strategies apply here as with food. For every alcoholic beverage you enjoy have at least an equal amount of water. Regardless of your other drink choices, drink lots of water. It will keep you hydrated and it’s calorie free.
- Rest: Let your weary body and soul rest. If you’re tired get some extra sleep. Sleep really is the only way to recharge.
The next time that you’re about to head off to your chosen piece of paradise take some time to plan for what would really make you feel great in the long run. Our time is so valuable. Once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back. A little forethought will help you have that wonderful vacation you’ve been working so hard to get to.
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