Let’s be realistic; you won’t have time to fit in your normal daily workouts, but that is okay! No matter what your intentions are, it’s not feasible to keep up with your routine due to not having access to a gym, fatigue and stress placed on the body from traveling, and just the busy nature of travel in general.
For fitness fanatics like me, it can be mentally difficult to skip the gym. I completely get it. I used to (and sometimes still do) stress about it. For me it isn’t not because I think I’m going to gain a bunch of fat and lose progress, it’s because I need it for my mental health in order to feel good. I’m a work in progress, just like you!
First of all, you need to realize that a few days or even a few weeks of time away from the gym will not make all of your progress disappear. It’s just like a couple good weeks at the gym won’t get you to your dream body. You won’t gain 10 pounds of fat by eating whatever you want for a week much like how you won’t lose 10 pounds of fat if you eat super clean for a week.
Second off, you need to decide what will make you happiest in the moment as well as a year down the road. Are you going to be happiest to look back at your vacation to know that you stayed on track and prioritized fitness? Or will it make you happier to know that you made memories by exploring new places and indulging in what your destination has to offer? What will you remember most? There is no right or wrong answer here, but I challenge you to look back on your last vacation. What do you remember? What were your favorite parts? I’m willing to bet they don’t involve finding a gym.
Remember that exercise is exercise, no matter if you’re doing it specifically to get a workout or you’re just walking miles upon miles around a new city or hiking through that national park. Staying active is key. Unless your vacation is lounging beachside drinking margaritas, you’re likely going to be doing a ton of walking. Don’t discount that!
I am currently in New York City and my vacation goal is to indulge and let myself enjoy everything the city has to offer, while making healthy decisions in moderation. Here is how I am doing that:
Walking everywhere. Not only is walking great exercise, but it’s the best way to see the city and discover hidden gems that you wouldn’t find by taking the subway.
Staying Hydrated. I want to ensure not to confuse thirst with hunger.
Jogging around Central Park. This has been on my bucket list for years.
Not drinking my calories.
Still eating nutritionally-balanced meals. I always have my protein, carb, and veggies.
Avoiding alcohol. I’m not a big drinker anyway, but when I drink like most people I end up eating a lot of greasy food, too, so I’m avoiding it. Alcohol also makes me sleepy, disturbs my sleeping pattern, and makes me bloat like crazy. So all in all it never makes me feel good.
Am I on the search for the best bagel in NYC? You bet, but you better believe I’m walking to get there.
Don’t forget that the gym will be there as soon as you get home. Your first few workouts back might be tough and you might feel a bit weaker, but your muscle memory will ensure that you’re back to your normal routine in a week or two. Vacation only happens a time or two a year so I encourage you to truly spend your time doing what makes you happiest!