How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Everyone deserves downtime, but sometimes it can be really tough to know how to stay fit on vacation.  You want to take off time and relax, but you realize that too much downtime can lead you away from your fitness goals.  Understanding how to juggle the tow is so important for your overall health success.  With vacation season upon us, it is time to really consider ways that you can motivate yourself and plan to be able to stay fit on vacation.

Stay in hotels with fitness centers.  When booking your hotel or resort stay, make sure there is a fitness center available.  Setting your alarm for 30 minutes early a few times a week can keep you on track without taking too much time from your vacation.  While it may not have everything your gym at home does, all hotel fitness centers will have at least a treadmill or bike for cardio.  A few simple weights in house can be used to maintain your strength building routine.  While not ideal, it is a functional way to stay fit on vacation when you plan ahead.

Park farther away and walk as much as possible.  Much of vacation is about exploring.  Whether it is walking to and from the restaurant a few blocks from your hotel, or parking on the back lot when you head to the amusement park you can get extra steps in all over the place.  This can apply to nearly everything you do while on vacation.  Park your car and walk as much as possible between activities.  While it may not be the blood pumping workout you normally do at home, it will be a great way to burn some extra calories and get a few extra steps in while you are away from your gym at home.

Pack your yoga mat and resistance bands.  Depending on how you travel and if you check luggage, you can easily pack simple things like your yoga mat and resistance bands.  These are easy to pull out in a hotel room and use frequently while you are on vacation.  Not only can you do some basic floor exercise and yoga positions, you can use the resistance bands for strength training without hefty weights in your luggage. Here’s a great travel-friendly fitness pack.

Splurge on food you can’t get at home, but maintain good eating habits the bulk of the time.  While not necessarily fitness related, this is something that goes hand in hand with your workout routine.  What you put into your body while on vacation can definitely change how you feel when you get back home.  Vacation is a time to let lose and have fun, but that doesn’t mean you should load up on every deep fried, cheese and gravy laden food you come across.  There is an 80%/20% rule that most dietitians as well as trainers will tell you is a good idea.  80% of the time you should eat healthy and on track with your plan.  20% of the time you should give yourself a break and allow a bit of splurge in your diet.  While on vacation, don’t splurge on a burger from a restaurant you have back home.  Instead, save those splurges for the things you can’t get at home.  The taco shop with authentic handmade rolled tacos in downtown L.A. is worth the splurge.  The fast food place? Not so much.

Planning ahead for your travel is the best way to stay fit on vacation.  From making sure you have gym access, to choosing to walk instead of drive you can impact your health positively throughout your time away from home.  Vacation doesn’t have to mean a 10 pound weight gain.  It can mean proving your strength and maintaining your weight as well as your level of fitness when you plan ahead.

I Ran a 5K and I Survived

This past weekend in Salt Lake City, I grabbed my hubby and some friends, and we headed over to the State Fairgrounds to run the Color Me Rad 5k. Given that I’m the absolute least fit person in our entire social circle, I was sort of dreading the experience. I can’t run very far or very fast, and I am totally out of breath within a minute. I knew it was going to be difficult for me. Add on to this the fact that we’ve had mega rain lately, and I was nursing two pretty bad injuries to my feet (my heels were cracked and bleeding and in a LOT of pain), and you can probably figure out that this wasn’t going to be an amazing race.

BUT. And here is the big big but (big butt?), I did it anyway. I showed up, I kept a smile on my face, and I RAN. Well, I ran a little. In truth, I walked for nearly all of it.

I had my most awesome husband with me, supporting me all the way. He is my greatest cheerleader in all things, and even though he is super fit and totally could have run the whole thing in a quarter of the time, he stayed with me and went at my pace. I mean, in truth is IS a “fun run.” It is meant to be enjoyed. If you’re not familiar, Color Me Rad is basically a 5k where you get craploads of colored chalk thrown on you. You’re supposed to wear white so all the colors show up and look awesome, but I own nothing white. So we went for black. It worked!

The weather being so gloomy was a big problem. Most of the course was mud and puddles, so nearly everyone was walking or doing a slow jog so they wouldn’t slip and fall. Plus, they hadn’t organized very well, and areas of the course were VERY narrow, and many folks were walking in groups, so they were hard for runners to get by.

Every time I got my breath back and wanted to run, it seemed there was a puddle, mud or people in my way! But I did my best. By the end of the course I was in a LOT of pain, since my feet were in such a bad state, so I was limping quite slowly. But it wasn’t like I was trying to beat my time or anything. In fact, I have no idea how long it took us to run the race. I don’t think they even kept track of anyone.

I did manage to run through the finish line, though, just in time to meet up with all of our friends, who had finished LONG before we did. I didn’t care. I was proud of myself for making it.

I did it. I ran a 5k, and it didn’t kill me. I got up early on a Saturday morning, when I’d much rather have been sleeping, and I worked through wind and rain and crowds of people (all my least favorite things!) and did exercise. My hubby said I did better than he thought I would have. To be truthful, I did much better than I thought I would have.

I’ve signed up for another 5k in July. It’s the “Fro Yo 5k” which is another “fun run,” and it’s just down the street at my local park. I get frozen yogurt for doing it. How bad can that be?!

Seeing myself in the photos and feeling how my body ached and how winded I got from the whole race was hard. I am heavier than I’ve been in years, and I am more out of shape than I’ve EVER been. Even when I weighed 260 lbs, I was never this lazy.

This weekend was the start of a new era. I have vowed to go all out to get my weight back down, my fitness levels up, and my energy through the roof.  I am hopeful that next year when I sign up for Color Me Rad, I will see a HUGE improvement in my own attitude, my looks and my abilities. Look out world! Nothing can stop me now!

How to Get in 10,000 Steps, Even With a Desk Job

Whether you’re a stay at home mom or working a desk job that doesn’t give you much time to walk, getting your 10,000 steps in IS possible – even though it may be difficult. Let’s talk about ways to get extra steps so you can reach your goal!

The thing about getting 10,000 steps in while working at a desk is you’re going to have to be more intentional about walking. It’s easy to sit for hours at a time and not even think about walking. Or maybe you’ll think about walking, but don’t get up and do it. It’s time to change your mindset, and change your life!

Pssst… Bring your walking shoes if you aren’t able to wear them to work!

As soon as you wake up in the morning, start by walking in place while brushing your teeth. If you have more than one bathroom in the house, walk to the one that is a longer distance away to go to the bathroom. Ready for breakfast? Take a few laps around the table before sitting down!

These might seem like silly things, but every little step does add up – and you need that when you’re trying to squeeze 10,000 steps in!

When you get to work, park as far away as you possibly can – even if that means it will take ten minutes to walk in. Plan ahead for that ten minute walk!

Don’t take the elevator! If you’re fortunate enough to have a few flights of steps available to you, use them. Those steps add up quickly.

*HINT* A Fitbit Charge can track your steps AND stairs.

Before sitting down at your desk, walk down the hall to get some water … find the bathroom that’s farthest from your desk to use. When it’s time for you to go to the bathroom, take the long way – or walk around the entire department before heading to the restroom. If you have a bathroom on the next floor, use that flight of steps!

Instead of calling a coworker that is across the office, walk to them if at all possible. This gives you the steps there, the steps back.

Heading to make copies? Walk in place while waiting for the copier to finish its business!

While on the phone, stand up and do side steps instead of just sitting. Any time you’re doing a task that you can stand up and complete, do steps of some sort. March in place, just move around a little. You might look silly, but you’re melting those pounds!

During your breaks and lunch, find a way to walk around – whether it’s walking outside and around the parking lot, or just walking around your department a few times instead of sitting down. Don’t sit down in the break room to eat – pack a sandwich or finger foods like carrots and other veggies so you can eat and walk!

If you have a flexible work place, you can set your alarm for every hour so you remember to get up and move around. Even if you’re just walking for a few minutes each hour, it gets your heart pumping and gets you in the habit of reaching your daily steps goal.

Start a team at work! Everyone buys their own Fit Bit, or Pedometer, or they can even use an app on their phone. Create a challenge, and put two bucks in each day. Anyone who reaches their 10,000 steps gets their $1 back. The person with the most steps gets the remaining dollars! $2 is half the price of a cup of coffee, so pretty much everyone can participate.

If you don’t want to start a team, at least find a buddy. I’m positive there is someone else around your office that needs to get up and walk. Find them and become their friend! Who knows, when they see you side stepping at your desk, they just might ask what you’re up to.

Once you get home in the evening, walk in place in front of your television. Even if you only walk during one half hour show, you’re adding to your step total by quite a bit!

Keep in mind that going from 2,000 steps a day to 10,000 steps a day most likely isn’t going to happen over night. The goal here is to increase your steps each day until you reach (and maintain) 10,000 (or more) steps each day. At the end of the day, if you find that you are 200 from the next 1,000 steps, get up and walk around! 200 steps is so easy to squeeze in. Make your goal a priority and it will happen!