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Staying Active on Vacation

Think vacation is an automatic pass on working out? Think again.

You may not have access to a gym, weights or fancy equipment but if you have a sports bra and a pair of sneakers you’ve got everything you need to stay active on vacation. I’m sure of it.

Stay Active on Vacation

The last few weeks I’ve been visiting friends and family in my old stomping grounds from the sticky hot north woods of northern Wisconsin to the chic city streets of Minneapolis. And while my calendar, control and eating rules bent, one thing didn’t. My workout.

Working out is the fuel that keeps me sane. Trust me, you don’t want to know me until I’ve had a good sweat. I’m nicer. Happier. Working out helps me become, every day, the person I most want to be and it’s free. Credit the adrenaline or all those feel-good endorphins but I’m all in, and this trip solidified my belief that you can stick to it, even while on vacation. Even without a gym. Even without another soul to keep you going. How?

Get up and go. Don’t stop till you sweat.

If that sounds too easy then I think it’s about right. Working out isn’t about a gym or fancy equipment. For three weeks I worked every muscle group the good old fashioned way: body weight. Using my own weight as resistance. With that sports bra and sneakers you can go for a long walk or a run. Need more? Do sprint intervals between telephone poles and go just another block farther today than you went yesterday. Want to build strength? Find a park bench or a set of bleacher stands and do circuit sets of jump squats, pushups and tricep dips. Not sweating hard enough? Run stairs. That should do it. Add a few sets of walking lunges, grapevine or burpees. Want more? Add a circuit of planks, skater lunges and abs. The options are virtually endless and in the Midwest heat, the sweat…well that’s sort of endless too.

Vacation isn’t a pass for lazy. It’s a challenge to stay active! Sometimes we fall off track when we’re away from home and guilt starts playing mind tricks. Guilt says you’ve already blown it so you may as well blow it big. Guilt is a trap and a terribly predictable liar. A healthy, active lifestyle isn’t about a slip up or a backslide, nor does it leave any room for guilt. After all, you are made to live free. Vacation is an invitation to mix up your routine and dig in to find your own strength. A strength that says I won’t give up on a healthy lifestyle just because I’m away from home or have overindulged. It’s a rooted strength that believes, despite extra ice cream or compulsory vacation indulgences: I am determined. I will reach my goal. I am committed to a healthy life.

Highly motivated people know that motivation isn’t about something you do or don’t have, it’s simply a choice. A choice to stay committed to your goals, your health, your body, and your sanity when you’re away from everyone and everything that normally motivates you to do just that. There is no reason you can’t stay active on vacation. Not a lack of a gym or equipment or a posse. Whatever your excuse, remember your reason. YOU are the reason and YOU are worth it.


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