Thursday, January 21, 2010

Working out on vacation

Typically, when I think of vacations I think of indulging.  Vacations are a time for good food, time in the sun, and relaxing - not diets and the gym, right?  In the last few years, though, as I've begun to live a healthier lifestyle I have also started to think of vacations as times to be more active.  Most of us - myself included - don't get enough time during the work week to really be active in ways that are fun.  Lately, when I go home for holidays or get a chance to go somewhere else for vacation, I've made sure to spend some time being more active and doing things I don't have time for normally.

On Saturday, I'm headed out for a week vacation at Walt Disney World.  I haven't been there since I was 16, and I'm super excited!  My boyfriend's never even been there, so I'm all the more psyched about the trip since I get to show him all of my favorite things to do and see.  Plus, it's my first "real" vacation (not counting weekends away or trips home) since college, and I couldn't be more happy to take some time off and just think about nothing.


Of course, we'll be hitting up the usual - all of the Disney parks, most of them multiple days, and Universal Studios for a day or two.  We'll be walking a LOT, so we should definitely be getting in some activity that way, even if we are balancing it out with eating lots of greasy delicious food.  But I plan to add in a bit more, too - with my training for the half marathon, and maybe for Broad Street even earlier, I need to get a few runs in, and I'd like to do a couple fun things too.

Here's where the hotel comes in.  We will be staying at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, and I think it was a great choice:


The hotel has a pretty big layout, with multiple buildings spread out over a complex around a lagoon.  This makes for the perfect workout situation - the path around the lagoon is 1.4 miles total, and with a bridge right through the middle of the lagoon, I can do right around 2 miles (the distance on both of my training days while I'm there) with no problem.  They also have several pools, which means I can do laps in one of the more secluded pools or burn off calories playing in the big pool.  And with volleyball and watersports like peddle boats, sail boats, and jet skis in the lagoon area, I should have no problem finding something fun AND athletic to do.

The biggest problem for the whole plan is going to be finding time.  The boyfriend doesn't love the pool like I do, so talking him into swimming may be a bit difficult.  Running should be the easiest - I just need to wake up early a few days and head out for a quick run before he wakes up, and I'll have the run under my belt before we even start the day together.  Since the runs are the most important things I need to do exercise-wise, I think I'll be ok!

Of course, the plan only makes sense if I try to keep some control over what I eat, too.  I have no intention of being so restrictive that I don't enjoy myself - but if I can buy a few healthy snacks at the grocery store to bring along instead of buying french fries every time I'm hungry,  I'll be headed in the right direction.  We have a few big dinners planned, and there are several places I really want to eat at while we're there, but beyond that I'll be sticking to healthier options and bringing things along to snack on.

My favorite tips for keeping active on vacation are:

- Schedule it in.  Whenever you make plans for vacation, consider your goals for exercise and activity.  For example, I know I want to go on two training runs while I'm there, so I scheduled my runs into the morning for two of the days.  That way I know ahead of time that I need to wake up early and get my run in, so there's less time for excuses and deciding I'm too tired.

- Make it fun.  There'll be time for the treadmill, or the weight machines, when you return from vacation - make it all about enjoying the resources you have at your disposal.  Go on a walk or run to see some nice scenery or enjoy the weather, and do anything unique that you can't do at home (like watersports, skiing, whatever).  Unless you're staying at a hotel with a spectacular gym or the weather or schedule don't permit you to go outside, skip the broken-down '70s treadmill in the dark hotel basement.

- Consider the rest of the vacation your "reward."  If you have trouble finding the motivation to work out, consider that you're spending the rest of your time relaxing, doing fun things, and eating yummy food.  If you would usually let yourself have a cookie after the gym when you aren't feeling like workout out, put on your workout clothes and think of the rest of the day as your reward for working out hard.

Hopefully I can remember these tips when I'm in Orlando!  Can't wait for vacation :)

No comments:

Post a Comment