Stay Motivated this Summer: tips for exercising on vacation!

Hey Ya’ll!

This post comes from a time when we are in the middle of our beautiful summer! If we are lucky, September will be nice and HOT and we won’t see fall colours and cool breezes until October is just around the corner!

Summer is so bittersweet when it comes to your fitness routine. Mine has been a little crazy – I had arthroscopic knee surgery in July (which luckily is a very quick recovery), and then I’ve had a few small vacations which tend to throw me out of routine. If you are only away for 3-6 days, but don’t exercise, and then compound that with extra eating and drinking, you will come back feeling lethargic, and perhaps carrying a few extra pounds as well!

Vacation is for resting, visiting family and friends, and recharging. By no means am I saying you can’t enjoy food and drink – because let’s face it – its fun, comforting and a part of our social lives. Balance in life is everything! I have some tips and tricks to keeping your vacation balanced, so that you don’t come back feeling like to you have to start all over, or struggle to get back to where you left off.

Tip #1: Plan to exercise while you are away

Leigh Chmilar BlitzFit Park Workout

This may seem like a no brainer, but you only need to do a little planning so you can pack appropriate clothing and find out where and when you’d like to do it. I was just in Vancouver, BC visiting my dad, and he lives right beside a great park with a track in the middle of it. I knew that, so I packed a few pairs of shorts, some tanks, socks and a pair of runners. Lucky for me, right beside the track was a body-weight exercise area where I could do a circuit and run the track! The photo to the left shows the workout I did, after a 3 km light jog warm up.

One of my bootcampers also took the initiative since she’d be missing 3 bootcamp classes while camping. She asked me to prepare a little 45 minute workout that her and her friends could do while they were away with no equipment. I happily gave her two because I was so excited that she was keen on staying fit while on vacation!

Tip #2: Make Exercise Social!

Make time for exercise! Take a long brisk walk to enjoy some scenery!

Make time for exercise! Take a long brisk walk to enjoy some scenery!

You are more likely to do something healthy while you are away if you have support from others that would like to do it as well! For instance, I was just on Salt Spring Island, BC for a wedding and had until the afternoon to get ready. We were staying at a cute little bed and breakfast cabin nestled in on a lake about 9 kms from the main town. Instead of exercising on my own in the early morning, I asked my friend if she’d like to join me for a run/walk (since I’m recovering from surgery I still can’t jog for long periods of time). She hadn’t brought any runners, but had shoes she could easily walk in, so we decided to walk into town for breakfast. What a workout that was! a 9 km brisk walk up and down a hilly road. Luckily there were fresh, wild blackberries growing on the side of the road to keep our sugar levels up!

Tip #3: Get Creative!

You don’t need a gym or even any equipment!  Even if you don’t have a park to go to, or a track, there are a lot of options for you. Look up a local Running Room store, as they always have group runs Sunday mornings for free! You can also google ahead of time a nice little route to go walking or running, and stop at every bench along the way for some lunges, dips and push-ups! I found this awesome little area in Surrey, BC (Bear Creek Park) which has a spot specifically for exercising! Here are some photos of the park and me doing some exercises from the above circuit!

Leigh Chmilar Outdoor Workout

Tip #4: Eat & Drink Sensibly!

You can still enjoy socializing and keep your weight and health in check! If you are headed to the pub or an oceanside bar, try walking there to get some exercise before you enjoy your afternoon beers!

Try to avoid over-eating, which can be tough when we aren’t working or on a regular schedule. Listen to your body, and if you aren’t feeling hungry, then you probably aren’t!

Summery cocktails are packed full of sugar – and they are so tantalizing! Try out some lower-cal options or be aware that each one may be equivalent to 3+ pieces of fruit (but it’s not as good for you as fruit!).

Tip #5: Drink Water!

Always carry a water bottle with you! It will help keep you hydrated if you are outside all day, it’ll help reduce mindless snacking by helping you feel more full, AND it’s good for you. Plus, you will be less likely to suffer dehydration from alcohol consumption and the exercise you did each morning!

Hopefully you can incorporate these tips into your vacation and stay on track!

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