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Exercise while on vacation, find a way to overcome mental obstacles

Exercise while on vacation, find a way to overcome mental obstacles

Vacation: A time to catch up on reading, snooze in the sun, connect with my family, enjoy a margarita with my Dad, ignore my daily calendar and check out the "Sharknado" movies with my kids and their cousins. Why? Why not?

After all, the purpose of vacation is to unwind, right? To relish free time? To learn how best to avoid sharks that are raining from the sky?

You won't be surprised to read that while on vacation I didn't miss any daily workouts.

It was me, my DVD player, the PiYo program, a yoga mat and a balcony overlooking the ocean. (And sometimes, an audience of family members who just happened to rise early and just couldn't resist sharing the balcony while I saluted the sun each morning.)

I can hear the comments now.
"Can't you even give yourself a break while on vacation?"
"How about relaxing for a change?"

No one actually verbalized these statements to me, but those thoughts did enter my mind. For even I battle regular mental roadblocks. Why should

I wake early when I could lie in bed all morning? Why embrace discipline during a trip of leisure? I deserve some time off.

Thankfully, I am not ruled by my mental excuses. I may battle them, but I also defeat them.

One of the most common reasons I hear why one does not commit to consistent exercise and sound nutrition is time.

I just had two weeks of blissful time. And if I couldn't find a way to exercise over vacation with the bounty of time I had been given, then I truly needed to fess up and admit that time is not the real issue. My will is the issue.

Exercise is not a burden to me. While challenging in the moment, it is now a discipline I enjoy. Waking and working out on a balcony overlooking the beach is incredibly relaxing, and left me with increased energy and a deep sense of pride for overcoming a mental obstacle.


Here are some tips for sticking to your plan while on vacation, as many of you have a week or so to go before school resumes, plus Labor Day mini-trips are right around the corner!

1. Plan: Schedule it. What will you being doing? When will you be doing it? Where? Is there any equipment needed? For me, a laptop and DVD are truly all that was needed. Look for a local fitness class. Walk on the beach. Rent bikes.

2. Buddy system: My husband rose to run every morning, and while we didn't work out together in the same space, we worked out together in spirit.

3. Nutrition: We stayed in a condo, enabling us to grocery shop, so we could eat wisely (and save money). This left room for the boardwalk fries smothered in vinegar, and one night of ice cream, rather than several days of unhealthy beach options.

4. Water: Have a water bottle with you at all times. Hydrating all day helps ward off false hunger pangs and flushes the system.

5. Accountability: Connect with those who will provide accountability. I checked in with my online group after every workout. It took me less than a minute to tell them I’d completed it.

Truly, my workouts took up a total of 45 minutes (if that) while on vacation, which left plenty of time to bask in the sun on the beach. My trip served as a good reminder that if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way.

By Joline Atkins For The Times