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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gerrish

Do You Workout On Vacation?

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

I just got back from my trip to Italy. As you probably know, Europe was having a heat wave, and it was over 100 degrees every day. Despite the heat, I tried to fit in a workout of some kind every morning.

I always try to stick with my workout routine daily, no matter where I am, and here was no exception. Despite jet lag, I got up fairly early and went for a run or did a strength training workout outside by the pool, before it got too hot.

Sticking with a routine, and being consistent with your workouts is important for several reasons:

Keeping your mental state positive: Working out daily gets my day started on the right mental and physical sphere. I feel good about myself when I finish my workout, and ready to tackle the rest of my day. I usually try to workout before anyone else is awake, so it doesn’t interfere with our plans for that day. I can keep it short when I’m on vacation, around 30-45 minutes, so it gets my blood flowing, keeps me moving in different ways and helps with the stiffness that can occur when you’re on vacation with all the walking and lugging suitcases through the airport.

I can be creative with my workouts in a new place: I brought some self-massage equipment (tennis balls and a small foam roller ball) and some bands with me to use for the workout, and then I used different things around the pool area. I did my bridges and some of my planks with my feet elevated on a brick wall around the pool for an extra challenge, and put my back foot up on the wall for a rear foot elevated split squat. I used a ping pong table for inverted rows, going under the table and pulling myself up on the edges of the table with my hands to work my back and shoulders, and alternated the rows with runs around the yard and running up and down some flights of stairs in the front of our villa. I used the resistance bands I brought to work my shoulders and glutes. With little to no equipment, you can still get a great workout if you are creative with the things you have around you. A couch or coffee table works well for bridges and planks, and steps or chairs can work for squats. Bodyweight workouts can work with no equipment at all; just using your body for balance exercises, squats, squat jumps, push ups, planks, bridges, and side planks. Because we had a pool at the villa, I would cool off after every workout with an additional workout of some laps in the pool. Being creative mixes things up and makes the workouts challenging.

You get to see new places and experience new things, and meet new people: I love running in new places; there is so much to see and everything is new. Running in Italy was absolutely beautiful; the scenery is so picturesque in Tuscany with the rolling hills and vineyards. I took pictures of the houses and vineyards and hillsides while I ran and thought nothing could be as beautiful as this. When I got home, I went for a (jet lagged) run early in the morning when I realized I was awake and wasn’t going back to sleep. There was a light breeze blowing, and the sun was coming up near the pond I live on, and it was so green and luscious and beautiful, and I realized that there is beauty everywhere, and how lucky I am to live where I do.

It’s also fun to take an exercise class when you’re on vacation. I love to try new classes, especially ones that are different from the ones around here, or different from the type of workouts I teach and do. I get to meet new people and try new things, and sometimes I glean new exercises or teaching styles from the classes I try. It’s fun and good for your body and mind to try something new that you wouldn’t be able to do at home, like snorkel, parasailing, or surfing.

Exercise on vacation keeps me on track with my goals: Staying pretty consistent with my eating and exercise helps me keep my focus. I did eat some pasta, bread, pizza, cheese and gelato in Italy, and drink some really fabulous wine, but I did so in moderation. I ate my fair share of healthy salads too, and drank tons of water.

Do you workout on vacation? Use vacations as an opportunity to grow as a person by trying something new with exercise in your vacation surroundings!

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