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  • Writer's pictureTrainer Sarah

Fit Travels

As the cooler weather sets in, we know winter is right around the corner and you figure you'll want to plan a little get-away this winter. As you start to mull over your plans, consider an active vacation!

We all know vacations are the perfect way to unwind, disconnect, get away from work and life commitments, and recharge your proverbial battery, but did you also know that they are a fantastic way to actually reset your fitness mindset?

We typically associate vacations with vegging next to the pool with a cool drink in hand (hey, I am ALL about that life! - see below), but vacations can also help us to recharge our fitness batteries and serve as a great way to get in some purposeful movement in a new and exciting locale.

Vegging in Vegas!

Some fit vacations are chosen to be as such - you might visit a destination for hiking a particularly famous spot, golfing a famous course, running a destination race, kayaking through a scenic area, or doing a yoga retreat. This was the case for clients Holly and Jack, who recently visited Japan with the goal of summiting Mt. Fuji - and they succeeded.

Additionally, I recently visited Mackinac Island in part to run the Mackinac Island Eight Mile - it was a wonderful trip and also extremely relaxing. We had so much fun doing a "destination run" plus lots of bicycling (and of course some Grand Hotel porch sitting and sipping!) that we decided to do a long weekend in Las Vegas for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon this November.

Sometimes trips lend themselves well to staying active, even if not booked for that specific purpose. For example, ask anyone who's visited a theme park like Disney World or gone to an exciting city how many steps they get - chances are, it's far more than they normally get! Whenever I visit a new city, I find there's no better way to explore and really experience it than to walk it - I've logged tens of thousands of steps in a single day in places like Mackinac, Vegas, and Rome. Additionally, you might find that the local scenery is so enticing that you can't help but get out and take part. That's what happened when another client, Diane, visited northern Michigan this summer and discovered a beautiful hiking trail along Lake Michigan - the Little Traverse Wheelway.

Finally, some trips are more functional than scenic or relaxing - for example, traveling for work or a child's sports tournament. You may find that your time is largely accounted for and there really isn't any time to get out and explore. In these situations, here are a few tips to make this kind of trip more active:

1. If you can, try to stay at a hotel with what seems to be a decent gym. Get up early and get your workout in to energize what could otherwise be a sitting-heavy day.

2. If you won't have access to a hotel gym, nothing beats a basic hotel workout - walking the halls, doing a series of flights of stairs (if this is accessible to you), and using a basic band set like this one to turn your own room into an inexpensive hotel gym.

3. Take as many standing breaks as possible and get moving between speakers, meetings, or calls to get your blood moving.

The benefits of doing "fit travel" are innumerable - you will likely experience the city or location in a deeper, more immersive way, you will continue the great fitness habits that you have been working on at home to help ease the transition back to reality, and you will of course help to offset some higher calorie meals that we inevitably have while away from home. Most importantly, incorporating fitness into your next trip will help to reinforce your mindset as someone who values living a healthy, mindful life.

So as you may start to think about where you will be headed on your next vacation, consider adding a layer of fitness into your next trip to help make it your best yet!

In good health,

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