Be Active To Help Stay Fit On Vacation
During a recent long-weekend trip to Maine, I began to question “How can I remain fit and healthy while on vacation?”
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the fitness guru who provides the fitness industry’s recommended levels of duration and intensity for exercise, tells us that we want to be:
- Cardiovascular Exercise
Rhythmic exercise, using large muscle groups to increase heart rate), three to five times per week, for 20 to 60 minutes, with moderate to vigorous activity.
- Strength Training
Using an outside force to induce muscular contraction which will improve muscular strength and endurance) 2 to 3 times per week, with 8 to 20 repetitions of 2 to 4 sets.
With those requirements in mind, I decided that a sedentary vacation, just lying on the beach, might not be my best move to maintain a respectable fitness level. Instead, I chose to enjoy a more active vacation.
What Fitness Looked Like On My Vacation
My day started out with a brief 10-minute walk down to the beach to watch the sunrise. Watching the waves roll onto the shore, listening to their rhythmic crashes, and smelling the salty-fishy air just erases my stress. A couple of deep breaths, connecting with gratitude, and a few minutes of meditation, I was ready to start my day.
Playing Ping Ping and Kayaking
After breakfast I played a competitive game of ping-pong (and lost two out of three), and then took a kayak ride out in the ocean. My focus was on appreciating the ever-shifting sky and cloud shapes, watching seagulls pass overhead, and observing the path of the white sailboat in the distance. Using the strength of my arms and core to paddle, I decided this could be considered my strength training for the day.
Window Shopping and A Sunset Walk
The rest of the day encompassed strolling through stores, and even though I’m sure I was not jogging into one store to the next, it was pretty easy to walk for a few hours while window shopping. I have to say, I wish I was wearing a pedometer – I would have loved to know how far I had actually gone. My perfect day ended with another trek to the shore to watch the sunset.
The next day, I had the fortune of going on a 4-mile hike. But instead of a mountainous view at the top, it opened up to a secluded beach. I soaked my feet in the chilly ocean water, basked in the sun, watched a fisherman take in his catch of the day, and headed back down the path.
On my final day, I woke up early to have enough time to sneak in a 10-mile bike ride before checking out and driving the 3 hours back home. If you do decide that bike riding sounds fun, remember the rules of the road: Ride With Traffic / Walk Against Traffic. Of course, don’t forget your helmet and water bottle.
TIP: On another note, I find that staying at a location with a kitchenette helps me keep fresh veggies, fruits, and yogurts accessible and available.
Benefits Of Staying Fit On Vacation
I have to say, that at the end of this vacation, I feel pretty good. With the exercise I did, I slept well, and although I certainly indulged in lobster rolls and homemade ice cream, I can return back to “life as usual” refreshed, re-energized, and content.