Why Workout on Vacation?

Hi everyone!


Just doing the last minute running around I need to do before vacation, getting pretty crazy hectic! I’m both nervous and excited to leave, nervous because of all the things I need to remember to do before we leave (and because I’m not the most relaxed flyer), but still excited to go! When I get to the airport the excitement will definitely kick into high gear but until then I’m a little more nervous than excited. Luckily my husband is really good at remembering to do the things I didn’t, and thinking of stuff that I wouldn’t even have thought to do. He’s a keeper!


So as I mentioned in my post last week, we are going on a month long vacation to Europe! Since it’s a really long one, I will have to do some kind of workout while I’m away. Normally when I’m on a shorter vacation of a week or less I do no official “working out”. I’m also not a person who likes to just lounge around doing nothing on vacation so I keep very active instead, walking, hiking, paddling etc. But with this one being so long, working out is a must.


Why do you need to work out on a long vacation? Well there are quite a few reasons that might not be the same ones you have to exercise at home.


1. Keep your body limber, strong and ready for adventure!


When you’re on vacation sometimes you have a list of must do activities, like hiking the rainforest in Costa Rica, or the desert in Nevada, or paddling Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. And sometimes things come up last minute while you’re away you didn’t even think to do. Apparently ziplining is huge in Costa Rica. And mountain biking in the desert is a must! So you want to make sure your body is capable of doing all the things you want to do while you’re away or you’ll be pretty bummed you couldn’t participate, or worse yet, end up injured.


2. Stretch out from all the cramped seats when traveling


Anyone who’s traveled knows how tiny seats are on planes and trains. And try sleeping on either of those! Neck cramps and back pain are very common when traveling, and airplanes have the added bonus of causing potential blood clots in your legs from sitting in one position so long! One of the main ways to prevent and treat the symptoms is stretching and yoga. I move around and stretch on the plane at least once every hour or so, and I’ve even been known to do yoga on my campsite while on a canoe trip. It can even be as simple as doing a few quick stretches in bed in the morning to get the kinks out after sleeping on an unfamiliar mattress. Believe me, regular stretching makes a huge difference.


3. Keep your core strong to prevent back pain


Another way to prevent back pain is to work on your core muscles. The muscles of your rectus and transverse abdominis, obliques, quadratus lumborum, and erector spinae, along with the muscles in your glutes, all help to keep your spine healthy, strong and in aliment. And they are designed to work all day everyday, so don’t be afraid to train them that way. Do abdominal bracing in bed before you go to sleep, hold your core tight when walking around seeing the sites. Squeeze and release your glute muscles 20 times when your sitting on the plane. On the days you don’t have time to workout, these little exercises will do a great deal to keep your back feeling good all trip long!


4. Keep your weight down


This one may be the very reason you workout now, but as I mentioned when discussing why I’m eating healthy while I’m away, going away for such a long time means a lot more chances to overindulge! And we all know that exercise helps to burn those extra calories we consumed. My main form of cardio on vacation is going to be walking and hiking, but I do intend on doing some kayaking and if I’m short on time I will be doing some High Intensity Interval training to burn lots of calories quickly! I will be incorporating lots of body weight exercises too, many from the monthly challenges I’ve been posting the last few months. And in June I will be posting the total body challenge which I will be doing while I’m away!


5. Keep your stress levels down


I know most people think, “ Stress? On vacation? That’s why I go on vacation, to escape my stress!”. But sometimes things happen that are out of your control, flights get delayed or canceled, hotels lose reservations, buses don’t show up on time or sometimes at all. And if you want to roll with the punches and not let it ruin your vacation, exercise! It truly is the best stress reliever there is!


So I have you convinced that maybe you should workout on vacation, but what to do? I know some people stick to their regular workouts while their away, and that’s totally fine, but your body does need a rest at some point during the year and if you haven’t already taken a week or two off from strenuous exercise at some point during the past 12 months, then vacation time is the perfect time to do it. But if you’ve already had a break from working out or your vacation is a long one (like ours) then what should you do on vacation for a workout?


My recommendation is low intensity steady state exercise (or LISS). The reasons for this are many, but here’s a few of the important points; the workouts are effective, fun, you can do them anywhere with no equipment and they have a low risk of injury. If you want to read my full article on the Benefits of Yoga, Pilates and LISS workouts, I’ll be posting it next week.


So what are the exercises I’ll be doing while I’m away? Yoga Sun Salutations and 4 Pilates based core exercises will be a staple and I’ll be trying to do these everyday if possible. Then when I can squeeze them in, I’ll be doing 8 Full Body toning exercises, done in a tabata style (I find using my Tabata timer app easiest for working out on the go).


So here’s the full workout:


Sun Salutations

Pilates Core Workout

1. Plank with Hip Dip

2. Bicycle Crunches Straight Legs

3. Roll Up with Lower Ab Lift

4. Bird Dog Helicopter

Full Body Pilates/Yoga Workout

1. Superman to Plank

2. Side Lying Tricep Pushups

3. Side Lunge with Side Leg Lift

4. Plie Jacks

5. Bonsai Booty

6. Single Leg Deadlifts

7. Side Plank Lift

8. Lying Windshield Wiper

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