Your CA Lifestyle is Travel-Friendly
At long last, it’s here. Summer, in all its glory, has finally arrived. And with it come all those amazing things you’ve been looking forward to all year: evenings by the lake, leisurely afternoon naps on your days off, and barbecues with family and friends you haven’t seen for too long.
Summer is a time to recharge your batteries and rest up for the year ahead. And, ironically enough, one of the best ways to do that is to get up and get moving! According to the medical doctors at Harvard Health Publishing, exercise boosts your energy levels, oxygen production, and even makes it easier to sleep!
So, in between those boating excursions and outdoor steak lunches, make some time for the occasional wellness break. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’ll make your downtime (especially those naps!) even more relaxing.
A World of Summer Vacation Wellbeing Opportunities
There are opportunities for fitness and wellness hidden around every corner on summer vacation. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Recharge with movement
Getting up and being active is an exciting and healthy way to make the most of your day.
Whatever you happen to like doing, remember to get moving!
Schedule active adventures that get you off that lawn chair and into the world. Hiking, fishing trips, a pick-up basketball game with the kids, or even a simple walk around the block with your favorite person can be a recipe for better health.
And you don’t have to take all day to do your activities either! Just a few minutes of active movement can be the difference between wellness and fatigue. Those short bursts of activity really add up over time.
Get creative with your environment
Look around the spaces near you for opportunities to move. Do you live near a track? Go for a quick jog? Out in nature? Schedule a hike. Found your bike in the garage? Go for a ride! And keep your fitness equipment and accessories out where they’re easy to grab at a moment’s notice. It’s a lot easier to motivate yourself to go for a jog if your running shoes are easily accessible, than if they’re hidden away in a box in the closet.
It’s so much easier to be active when you’ve planned your activities out beforehand. When you know where you’re going to be for the next few days, try to make a mental (or written) schedule for what you’re going to do to stay motivated and active.
Take Columbia Association with you to help
Don’t forget about us! We’re here to help.
- Use the Columbia Association’s virtual training services to stay on top of your game during the summer months. You may think that the only way to take advantage of our team’s expertise is in-person and on the gym floor, but you’d be amazed at how well our instructors can guide you through a session online.
- A hidden gem that CA offers to members and non-members alike is our CA At Home YouTube Playlist, and we’ve added two new workouts for you to try designed around travel and vacation.
- For CA 1Fit and Fit&Play members, we have great fitness content all year through our Group Fitness At Home Facebook Group – if you’re an eligible member, visit the group page and request to join to get access.
Eat for fuel and wellness
What you eat has a tremendous impact on how you feel. This year, look for healthier food to fuel your vacation.
Plan for healthier snacks
To reduce the temptation to indulge in processed sugars and junk food, plan ahead and bring some healthy snacks with you when you go out. And remember to stay full. Avoiding “bad foods” is all about appetite control. If you let yourself get too hungry, you’re just one candy bar sighting away from devouring a sugar bomb and regretting it later.
Choose healthier fluids
For some, there’s nothing better than a cold beer or soda in the evening as the sun goes down over the lake. But even while you’re taking a break, don’t overdo it. Choosing sparkling water or lighter mocktails is one of the easiest ways to improve your wellness over your vacation, and you’ll feel better for it during your precious days off.
Enjoy local and seasonal produce
Local, in-season produce packs a huge flavor punch and tons of nutrients. Check out nearby farmer’s markets for the best selection. Experiencing local produce especially when traveling is a really healthy adventure.
Restore and recover
Take advantage of the summertime to kick back a bit and take it easy. A calm mind is a happy mind, after all, and summer is full of opportunities to reinvigorate your mental state.
Meditate and relax
Mindfulness meditation and relaxation exercises are a great way to slow down and enjoy the present moment.
Along with food, sleep is one of the most important factors to consider when you’re trying to boost your health. Everyone needs a different amount, so listen to your body and get as much as you can over the summer.
Connect with others
Your brain needs quality socialization to recharge, too. Connect with your family and friends this time of year.
Relaxation isn’t all about shutting down. Just like a quick jog can make it easier to relax, reading, puzzles, and other mental challenges can boost your brainpower and improve your focus. Keep those brain cells active!
Plan for Wellness
As we already mentioned, staying fit and well is way easier when you’re planning for healthy activities and habits. Here are a few tips to make your wellness planning straightforward, fast, and effective.
Research your destination
When you’re about to head out on vacation, research the place you’re going to. Does it have any outdoor or indoor fitness facilities, like basketball or tennis courts, gyms, tracks, or other places to get active? Does it have hiking trails, bodies of water suitable for a quick and safe swim, or places to walk and run?
If you’re staying in a hotel, find out if they have an on-site gym or pool you can use during your stay. Do the same thing if you’re staying at a vacation rental, like an Airbnb or VRBO. A lot of these types of places will have pools, exercise equipment, or even fully equipped workout rooms. (Just be sure you follow good pool and gym etiquette!)
Knowing what you’re getting into will help you get ready to stay active. It also gives you the opportunity to bring any necessary gear. After all, what good is a basketball court without a basketball? And you can’t really play tennis or pickleball without a racket and a ball, can you?
Even if the place you’re going to doesn’t have a lot of – or any – fitness opportunities, you can always bring your own workout gear, like resistance bands and jump ropes. That way, you can keep your heart rate up on your own and maintain your active lifestyle, even as you enjoy your vacation.
Speaking of workout gear, there are a few options that are always great choices when you’re packing your suitcase for your next big vacation. Here are a few ideas that never go out of style:
- Resistance bands: These small, lightweight, and easy-to-pack bands can be used for a full-body workout. They fit easily into small bags and suitcases.
- Jump ropes: Jump ropes offer an extraordinary cardio workout when used correctly and take up almost no space in your luggage.
- Yoga mats: These lightweight, foldable mats fit nicely into almost any sized suitcase. They make doing yoga and other floor exercises infinitely easier on your feet, your knees, and the rest of your body.
- Running shoes: A pair of comfortable, functional running shoes are a must-have whether you’re running, walking, hiking, or doing any other activity that takes place on your feet. A good pair of shoes can be the difference between feeling great and feeling sore at the end of a busy day.
- Swim goggles: A pair of well-fitting goggles makes it so much easier to swim. They protect your eyes and enhance your swimming experience. Be extra sure to bring these if you’re headed to the ocean, where the salt water can really pack a sting.
- Fitness tracker: These handy electronic watches, rings, and medallions help you keep track of your physical activity – including your steps – while you’re on vacation. They’ll keep you motivated and help you recognize your fitness achievements as you go through your day.
As you can see from our list, staying healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Easy, compact, and inexpensive gear can pay for itself in spades. But it won’t do much good sitting in your closet at home! Make sure to pack it the next time you head out to the cottage.
Keep your motivation up
Motivation is key to maintaining a consistent and effective wellness routine. Even the best of us sometimes wish we were lounging by the dock instead of knocking out another lap at the track. But these tips and tricks will make it much easier for you to keep at your healthy routine one more day, ensuring you feel better and happier for the rest of the summer (and beyond).
Set realistic goals
It’s easy to get frustrated and give up entirely when you’re not achieving your health goals. That’s why it’s so important to set realistic objectives when you first start out. That way, you’re not setting yourself up for failure and discouragement from the outset.
Realistic goals are behaviors within your control you know your schedule and willpower will allow for. So, instead of saying you’re going to “lose 5 pounds in a week,” (which is a challenging result that’s not entirely within your control), say that you’re going to take 20-minute walks on Monday and Wednesday and go for 15-minute swims on Tuesday and Thursday. Then, reward yourself with a day off on Friday!
That’s just an example, but the point is to tailor your goals to your own capabilities and health needs. Watching yourself achieve healthy, practical, and challenging objectives over time is one of the best ways to prepare yourself to achieve even greater things in the future. And before you know it, you’ll have gone farther than you ever thought possible!
Use workout apps and programs
Workout apps and programs can be a great way to stay consistent and motivated over time. There is a whole universe of apps out there, so feel free to pick the one you like best (as long as it offers safe and effective guidance). There are even a bunch of free apps and apps that offer free trials, so you don’t need to spend a fortune to get pro-level training delivered right to your phone, tablet, or laptop.
Workout apps provide a regimented schedule and frequently track your performance over time, offering you an opportunity to see your improvements first-hand. This can be a great motivator as you see your strength, aerobic potential, and other indicators improve.
Involve friends and family
While some people like the alone time, others find that working out all by themselves can be a dull experience. So why not invite friends and family along for the ride (or walk, run, or hike)? Involving other people can turn what seems like a slog into a fun and social event, letting you spend time with people you care about while taking care of your health.
Better yet why not get someone close to you involved in your fitness planning as well? Committing to holding each other accountable and sharing fitness goals and achievements may make it more likely for you to accomplish your wellness objectives.
Getting family in the mix brings even more benefits. There’s nothing like quality time with the partner and kids that involves fun adventures and activities. It sure beats sitting around and watching Netflix! And you can bet that the kids will remember that exciting fishing trip or cool hike long after they’ve forgotten about the last episode of Bluey.
Summer is a time to rest, relax, recharge, and refuel for the year ahead. And the best way to do that is to spend a little bit of time each day getting on your feet, getting that heart rate up, and moving around.
You don’t have to commit to several hours per day of grueling exercise or spend a bunch of money on an elaborate gym routine. A few simple habits and activities performed a few times per week can be what you need to create a newer, fitter, happier, and healthier you.
So, this summer, remember to put you and your loved ones first and make time for the activities that will enrich your life and make you feel better!