This is actually another good point as to why free weight exercise is better than machines. When you travel it makes keeping your fitness regime at least on a maintenance plan.
This is for all of you who are planning a vacation sometime in the next year. I do not expect you to maintain a vigorous exercise regime over the course of your vacation. Actually, I usually recommend that you do not commit to a formal exercise program while on vacation. What? Did you hear that right?
Yes you did. For those of you who exercise regularly (those who don’t, well this one won’t much apply to you quite as much!) it is important to remember that your body actually needs time off. Yes, rest is just as important as exercise. Without rest you are going to do more harm than good to yourself in the long term.
I see exercise on vacation as important for one (or all) of three reasons:
- To maintain your current fitness level. You do not need to work as hard as you do regularly to simply maintain your fitness level. Especially if your vacation is 3 weeks or less. The goal of exercise here is simply to keep up your conditioning.
- A basic mix of lunges, squats, pushups, and planks performed with a couple of stair runs or jump rope and performed for 20 minutes 2 or 4x per week of vacation is all you need.
- This keeps it nice and basic and simple ensuring that you can ft it in with no equipment, limited space, and limited time.
- This also ensures that your body will get adequate rest. This simpler program is a great active recovery program for those already participating in regular exercise.
- To ward off unwanted calories. Yes, you will probably eat more calories on vacation. Either by choice or simply by circumstance. Keeping active during the vacation is necessary to keep your metabolism up and to burn off a few of those extra calories so you do not come back out of shape and out of clothes to wear.
- To get away from your travel mates. Good reason, but you may want to reconsider participating in this vacation if you are reasoning exercise like that!
Here is the main point though. Do not stress about changing your fitness program. Take your vacation as an opportunity to let your body rest and to experience new things. Instead of doing your workouts on vacation see what kind of active options are available on your travels. Hikes, swimming, horseback riding, climbing, scuba, racquet spots, and a variety of other activities could be available to you. Make us of them and recognize that 3 hours of snorkelling a Caribbean reef in ocean waves is actually a pretty good workout!
Your body will love the changes as will your mind from the regime you normally follow at home.
What I do not advocate is eating as much food as you can stuff in your face while using mechanized transport to get you from one eatery to another. Don’t be a disgusting lazy slob. Be smart. Enjoy the time, keep moving and active, try something you never have before, and get back on track when you return.
Simple and fun!