As some of you may know, I have recently taken a vacation to both Budapest and Rome. I was traveling for 10 days, and it was an incredible experience. Between all the sightseeing, delicious food, and time away from work, it was a trip to remember. I have to admit, this was my first “adult,” trip. While I have traveled around Europe before or gone on trips out of town for the weekend, this was my first time abroad as a young adult. It was awesome. My girlfriend and I got to do whatever we wanted. And we paid for everything out of our own pocket. (Okay, that part was not awesome.) I realized as a personal trainer that has actually never been on a trip like this before. And with clients that go on these trips more than once a year, I realized was giving some extremely unrealistic advice. Some of you may remember my previous “Vacation Workout,” article. After experiencing a real vacation myself, I have some revised tips and tricks for your next vacation!
First, Enjoy the H-E-double Toothpicks Out of Your Vacation… Just Have a
Plan When You Come Back
During my trip, I enjoyed the extensive pastries that both Hungarian and Italian cuisines have to offer. We also may have sampled the various alcoholic beverages and extremely delicious food. I’d be lying if I said I stuck to a diet the whole trip. I also did not work out every day. Nor did I make an effort to find a gym to workout at. As I said, this was my first real vacation. And I made sure to enjoy as much of it as I possibly could. I will say that after 10 days being out of my routine, I was really itching to get back in the gym and eat vegetables again.
After 6 days into the trip, I knew that as soon as I got back to America I was going to go vegetarian for a week. Some people may be extremely against that. But I knew that I needed a high amount of fresh fruits and vegetables to help “reset,” my digestive system. And I wanted to get back on track as fast as possible. So rather than try to eat healthy on my remaining days which may have been a good idea overall, instead, I enjoyed every bit of gelato and fresh pasta I could. Believe it or not, I’m human too.
Try Getting High-Quality Workouts in Leading Up to the Trip
I knew before going overseas that I wasn’t going to bother trying to find a gym. (And honestly, the ones I saw were barely hotel gym level so definitely not worth the money.) To counteract that and to hold myself over for a couple of days, I made sure to be very consistent with my diet and workouts leading up to the trip. While I won’t recommend this next tip to everybody, I made sure the day before I left that I gave myself a difficult workout that involved barbells and heavyweights, (2 things I for sure wouldn’t have in Europe on my trip.)
I also made sure my workout had a lot of sets, reps, and weight to make myself so beat up that I would HAVE to take a couple of days off to recover. It definitely made the first couple “walking-intense,” days a little harder. But for my mental sanity of not hitting the gym every day, that helped me a lot. If getting a very difficult workout in before the trip seems unrealistic to you, try to eat as healthy as possible and make zero excuses for missing a workout at least 2 weeks leading up to your vacation. The longer you are consistent leading up to your vacation, the less “damage control,” you will have to do when you get back from it.
Click here for our class schedule to help with that consistency!
When You do a Vacation Workout, Make Them Short But Intense
The hardest workout that I did in the 10 days that I was there was a total of 100 burpees with my feet landing on a step on each burpee. I only did that once. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t work out every day on vacation. But depending on how long you are gone, getting at least one or two really intense workouts can work wonders for you. It’ll help you stay on track for when you get back into your routine and give you a sense of normalcy during your trip when everything seems to be off of your routine. Keep all of your workouts under 30 minutes if you have a busy day planned ahead of you, and an hour tops if you have a lighter day of activities. Again, the point of a vacation is to enjoy yourself, so don’t stress about working out too much. An easy workout can be to chose 1-2 exercises. Try to get as many reps of those exercises as you can in the allotted time.
After going on my first real vacation, I can honestly say that I understand how hard it can be to get exercise in while you are out of town enjoying yourself. I hope that this new perspective that I have experienced can help you feel a little better. And that it can help you enjoy your next vacation even more! Safe travels!