How To Balance Your Vacation + Health & Fitness
***Sunrise as seen from Hilton Head Island during a beach run!***
Summer is the time most people take vacations.
Vacations are great for the mind and body. Everyone needs to turn off work, reduce stress, relax, unwind, and enjoy some fun in the sun.
But what about your health & fitness goals? Will your one or two week vacation have a big impact on those goals?
Here is my general recommendation to make the most of BOTH:
First, use the 80/20 rule for nutrition. Food and drinks can absolutely be enjoyed, as they should, but if you "go off the rails" and eat garbage for breakfast, lunch, dinner, all the snacks, and all the fruity beach cocktails, you are going to feel terrible, during vacation, and when you get home.
Instead, stick to the 80/20 rule. Have a nice healthy breakfast, a quality lunch, then get a treat dinner. Enjoy your cocktails, but opt for a lower sugar variety. Be sure to drink a ton of water, as the combination of sun and alcohol can really dehydrate you!
Life is all about balance, and enjoying that balance.
For fitness, I use vacations as a time to deload.
Remember, your body technically gets weaker from working out, and stronger from recovering. Reducing your workout load is a good thing every now and then.
But ... that does not mean do zero workouts.
When we went on vacation this summer for a week, I did two beach runs for my fitness. This is while I typically do four runs and two RF wods per week at home.
So this is a significant reduction in working out, but I'm still moving and getting my heart rate up.
This is good for a few reasons, but mostly to keep you in the habit of working out, and making it easier to return to fitness when you get home.
If you take the entire week off, it will be significantly harder to return to your previous fitness routine.
Another popular option if you aren't a runner is to "drop-in" to a local CrossFit box. As an experienced CrossFitter, most boxes allow you to pay $20 and take a class. Just be sure to email them ahead of time, explain how long you've been working out, and when you'd like to take a class. Before COVID, many that travelled for work loved to drop-in during their travels. You'll see a lot of cool, impressive gyms, and also some ... not impressive ones you'd rather not visit again. But it's all in the name of fitness, enjoying life, and making memories in the process. When I do wod on vacation, I take it casual. Like my runs, I'm just there to move and sweat, not to PR or go all out. Set the intention before going, and just enjoy working out at a vacation spot!
Finally, if you don't want to drop-in, or run, just opt for a super simple EMOM like the following (you can customize it to almost anything). Some movement is always better than no movement!
1 - 5 Burpees
2 - 10 Situps
3 - 30 Jumping Jacks
(or sub in any bodyweight movement)
Remember the key is to just move your body, get a little sweat, maintain the habit of working out, and keep your body loose.
So keep these tips in mind next time you go on vacation. Enjoy the trip, enjoy the food and drinks, and enjoy the fitness! What a life!