How To Survive Summer Vacation
by Clark Hibbs
Your bags are all packed, you’ve set your vacation responder on email and told your boss not to bother you, and you’re excited to get to your destination! It’s time for that summer vacation you’ve been looking forward to for weeks and months!
One thing you might be nervous about… “Oh man, those first days back in the gym are going to hurt…” While this may have been your past experience, I’m hoping this little blog post can help you navigate and minimize your fitness damage on your trip so you can get back into the swing of things when you return home! It takes months of consistent work to see great changes, but we can unfortunately undo a lot of that hard work with some “rough” couple of weeks. Let’s get into this so you can continue to be successful and see progress!
The most difficult part about vacation, in my opinion, is controlling our food intake. It’s easy to want to go crazy and wild with every meal/drink, but it’s still important to do our best to minimize damage. I’m NOT saying to be strict on vacation (you need to enjoy it!), but I AM saying to keep your goals and progress in mind while traveling.
Choose The Lower Calorie Option When Possible
Lower calorie options are a great choice when traveling and still being able to eat something delicious. Get the grilled chicken salad rather than the pasta. Ask for a lunch sized portion rather than dinner sized. Ask for a half serving of fries. All of these things are easy to do! Enjoy the TASTE of the food, not the stuffed feeling.
Save It For Dinner
Most vacation days are capped off with a fancy dinner and drinks. If you know that your dinner is going to be full of delicious foods that are going to be too tough to turn down, save your calories for dinner! Eat a small breakfast, small lunch, and then a big dinner will be less dramatic on your nutrition. If you’re counting macros, save as much carbs and fats for the dinner and drinks. Here are some tips I like when I’m trying to save it for dinner:
- Caffeine is a hunger suppressant… so getcha some coffee when you get hungry!
- Carbonated beverages are another great option. There are plenty that will help you stave off hunger without adding calories (diet sodas, sparkling waters, etc).
- Water, water, water. Keep full on water! Bonus points: you’ll stay hydrated which is always a challenge on vacation.
- Remind yourself how delicious dinner is going to be and how being hungry for a while isn’t going to kill you! 🙂
If You Can, Cook Your Own Food
I know, I know. This sounds like the least fun option of them all. With so many of us staying in AirBnBs or VRBOs while we travel, we all usually have access to a full kitchen! Go to the store and get some great meal options that you can cook up easily (you’ll save money doing this as well!). This will definitely keep you on track! Some easy things to have in the kitchen for some quick meals:
- eggs or egg whites
- bread or tortillas (unless you’re saving carbs for dinner!)
- pre-sliced cheeses
- lunch meat/deli meat
- Anything you can cook in 10-15 minutes on a pan (ground turkey or chicken)
One thing we can very much control is a few minutes out of your day to workout and sweat. You’ve all got 5-15 minutes on vacation you can do a quick workout! Don’t believe me? Do an AMRAP 7 of burpees and let me know how you feel!
Bring Your Running Shoes
Yes, yes you CAN go running even when you’re on vacation! It doesn’t need to be much, but some is better than none. One of my personal favorite running options on vacation is to carve out a chunk of time to run, and not worry about the distance. For me, that is a way less daunting thought process than putting a distance marker on it. For example: “I’m going to run for 20 minutes” sounds easier to me than “I’m going to run 2 miles.” Depending on how I’m feeling, I could run more than 2 miles in 20 minutes, or I could run less! Go by feel, but get a run in.
Simple Bodyweight Workouts
I could create a whole blog post on simple bodyweight workouts you can do on the go… (oh! That’s a good idea!), but you can STILL come up with these without my help. Here’s a simple way to come up with a workout. Pick THREE bodyweight movements.
-sit up (or ANY other ab exercise)
There are a bunch of variations you could do here with any of these movements. You could change stance on the squats, hand width on push ups, height on push ups (do pushups on the side of your bed when you get tired), or substitute a zillion different abdominal movements. Depending on how you’re feeling, you could take the same approach that I use for running (set time) or you could set rep assignments for each! Example:
3 rounds of
20 push ups
30 air squats
40 sit ups
Pretty simple, but it’ll definitely get you a bit sweaty! Mix and match all of these workouts. Get creative and have some fun with them.
Find a Gym!
If you CrossFit, dropping into other gyms is AWESOME (but make sure you know how to be a good drop-in!). It’s a really awesome opportunity to meet some new faces in the community, experience some different coaching, and still get a killer workout. If there aren’t any CrossFit affiliates around, look for a gym in your hotel. Not in a hotel? There’s probably a 24-hour fitness around. See what your home gym is doing that day and scale appropriately for space/equipment. No gym? No problem. See the above section and you’ll be just fine.
Yes, I DO want you to enjoy your vacation! But I also don’t want your vacation to set you back! Do your best to maintain your progress so you can jump right back in when you’re home!
If you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!