Never Forget Your Goals
Planning a vacation? You can still enjoy yourself while sticking with your goals.
With such a demanding schedule, finding ways to recharge and unwind is essential; without downtime you risk serious burnout. Faced with a busy schedule myself, I’m frequently asked whether I ever take a vacation, and if so, does my training routine and nutrition plan change drastically?
Yes and no. Whether I’m traveling for work or pleasure, I always check out the amenities: Outdoor pools, cabanas, restaurants, and nightlife, vowing to make the week as relaxing and fun-filled as possible. But I also check to make sure there is a fitness center nearby. Some would call me obsessive, but having the peace of mind that it’s at least available to me is crucial. I have had people tell me that they don’t even pack their sneakers, or say, “What kind of vacation would it be if I worked out every day?” The truth is, you can still enjoy yourself while sticking with your goals.
We all know that recuperation is important for your muscles and your mind. And if you’re training hard and eating right, a little splurge is more than deserved. If you’re going on vacation, take that week and unwind, but don’t sabotage all the hard work you’ve done. At home our goals are to make muscular gains, lose body fat, and increase performance. On the road, your goal should be to maintain your fitness level, not necessarily improve it. Still, every meal can’t be a cheat meal! And even of you are traveling for work, it’s easy to lapse into habits when you’re away from your usual routine. It’s very unhealthy to go from 1800–2200 calories a day to 4,000! Have protein powder, fruit, and nuts as your non-dining meals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people complain that they ate so much and were so inactive on vacation that it was very difficult to get going again once they returned home. Here are some tips that work for me when I travel, helping me strike the right balance between fitness and fun:
- Preview hotel fitness centers online and find out hours and fees
- Buy a pair of super-lightweight sneakers that are easy to pack
- Work out approximately half of the days you’re there
- Work out first thing in the morning so you have the whole day to yourself
- If you can’t do a.m. sessions, work out two hours before a big meal
- Pack protein powder in a plastic baggie as a healthy, inexpensive, quick meal
- Use amenities to your healthy advantage. Swim in pools, hike and explore, run on the beach, and use the fitness center
- Make your larger meal breakfast or lunch instead of late-night calories
- Drink red wine and light beer instead of frozen, sugar-packed drinks
- Try to keep your same sleeping habits so your body clock isn’t extremely altered
Have fun, relax, enjoy, and celebrate your health. You will return invigorated and recharged without having to play catch-up after all that fun.
Yours in fitness,