I’m back from a wonderful weekend getaway in Emerald Isle, North Carolina! My parents have a home there and so Andy and I planned a long weekend (along with my parents) to enjoy some much needed beach time.
The beach is probably my favorite place to be, especially in Emerald Isle. Emerald Isle, NC is a small town that my parents discovered about 7 or 8 years ago when they were looking to buy a beach property. I had never heard of it, but it took only one visit to fall in love with the wonderful town. It’s relaxing, calm, and has an amazing beach. It’s just simply a lovely place to be. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also filled with amazing seafood restaurants, like my two absolute favorites the Crab’s Claw and Kathryn’s Bistro and Martini Bar. Love!
We spent our long weekend relaxing on the beach, eating (I have to get as much seafood in me as possible considering my options in Ohio are a bit limited!), and then some more relaxing. I’m all about vacations where there are no plans but to simply relax and enjoy time with family. It was just what I needed to feel refreshed (although now I have a case of the ‘vacation blues’…hopefully they’ll pass soon!)
Exercising While on Vacation
Although my time was mainly filled with relaxing on the beach and eating the most delicious seafood, I did manage to fit in some exercise. I may be the exception, but I love to exercise on vacation, especially when I can explore new areas. I also find that exercising on vacation helps me to transition back into “normal” life if I’ve kept up some sort of a daily exercise schedule.
I got up early each morning (around 7am) and hit the beach to run on Saturday and Sunday. Running on the beach is probably my favorite form of exercise…ever! It’s amazing to run along the sand with the beautiful ocean right beside you. It’s heaven to me!
However, not everyone’s favorite thing to do on vacation is run (or let alone exercise) and that’s OK. Andy didn’t join me on my morning run because it’s not his thing (he read on the beach instead), but we did walk together when I was finished.
Here are my tips for squeezing in exercise while on vacation:
Walk: If you want to take the week off from strenuous exercise, that is quite all right. I do this from time to time to give my body some rest. But try to still move and get out and walk.
Walking may be the simplest form of exercise and something that most people can do. Get up and get your body moving early to avoid the hottest part of the day (or go in the evening). Take a scenic route with a friend or invite the whole family. Enjoy the new sites, smells, and sounds as you walk and don’t think of it as exercise. Have fun!
Bike Ride: I love riding my bike on vacation, it reminds me of being a kid! My parents have two bikes at their house and I often take one out and explore the town (I actually did this on Monday morning!). It doesn’t feel like exercise to me, but rather a fun part of the day. If you don’t have a bike, most vacation spots have a place to rent some.
At Home Circuit: Sometimes I get a little creative with my workouts while on vacation. One thing I’ve done in the past is make a quick total body circuit. I use anything I can find around the house since when I’m on vacation I don’t pack any weights in my suitcase! Instead I use water bottles or detergent bottles as my weight. If I don’t have anything to use as resistance, then I simply use my own body weight. I come up with a round of exercises to do, such as:
- High Knee Jog
- Push ups
- Shoulder Press (if I have weights)
- Plank holds
- Bicycle crunches
- Jumping Jacks
I’ll do each move for a minute (or however long I like) and repeat the circuit 1-3 times, depending on how long I want to commit to working out while on vacation. Typically 20-30 minutes is enough for me!
Pick the Best Time for You: I always prefer to exercise in the morning and vacation is no different. I love the mornings and find it to be the most peaceful time of the day. Clearly this is the time for me to get my exercise in! Pick a time that works best for you to get your workout in. It’s easier for me to do it first thing that way I am not thinking about it the rest of the day.
Take a Class: Once in a while when I’m on vacation I’ll go to a local gym for a class to try. I love going to other facilities to take classes. It’s nice not to be the teacher sometimes! Beach towns usually have a good variety of mind-body type classes, such as Yoga, which I find relaxing while on vacation. I think of going to a new class as a treat and as something fun to do and that to me seems more appealing than just ‘getting a workout in’.
Fit Exercise in Without Thinking: If you really don’t want to commit to putting exercise on your vacation day schedule, then don’t. You deserve to relax! However, I think moving is important even while on vacation…so sneak it in!
Walk wherever you can and often. For instance, my parents live a couple of blocks from the beach so I made it a point to walk to and from the beach a few times a day to sneak in some movement. I’d go back for lunch (or to fill our cooler up with more brews!) or to apply more sunscreen. Not packing it all in my beach bag forces me to get off my booty and move.
Other ways I’ve managed to be sneaky with exercise is to play in the ocean often (which is fun!) and to take strolls down the beach looking for sea shells. Those little things can add up and wouldn’t you know…you’ve actually exercised!
Do you like to exercise while on vacation?