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Summer Setbacks and Getting the Workout Done

Posted Jul 10 2012 6:19pm
Does your fitness schedule go out the window when summer arrives? 

The kids are home from school, or maybe your spouse is on a 'staycation' from work... you have relatives land on your doorstep for a week's stay... or perhaps you are going on a vacation of your own... or even travelling for business.

How do you manage to stay on the fitness track when your routine is derailed.  Or do you?  Maybe you just put it all on hold and resolve to get back to it when your life gets back to normal.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and I have done both... sometimes I have really good intentions of keeping up my runnning mileage or my strength workouts and manage to do that, and other times end up coming home with a FAIL in my suitcase.  For me it depends on where I am going and who I will be with.

When I travelled solo on business, I did very well at keeping up with my fitness goals. I made sure to stay at a hotel where there was a decent gym that I knew I would use.  And I made sure to pick one in a neighborhood that was safe to run in ... and often close to the office I would be working at so that I could walk to and from my daily appointments.  (And honestly, these days with the internet and phone apps there is no excuse not to be able to find out anything you need to know about the area you are choosing and can even map out routes and contact local clubs if you like, before you go.  I confess to getting lost once when out for a run while staying in a hotel and it was really scary.  Dumb.  Don't do that.)

But when I attended business conferences, I was lucky to get in walk every day or two.  The evenings were full of social commitments well into the late evening and the breakfast meetings started very early.  Doing situps and pushups in my hotel room before my morning shower would be almost as much as I could fit in on those trips.  Often there was no break during the day other than a chance for a 10 or 15 minute walk at noon before the meetings started again.  I would come home exhausted, but eager to just move.

When The Captain and I travel, we usually select a resort where we can play tennis, use the gym, run on the beach, swim, sail, waterski, kayak, attend aerobics classes and walk and hike to our hearts' content.   Or when we go on a winter holiday, we choose snow skiiing and also enjoy skating and snow shoeing where it is available.

Even when we take the sailboat out for a cruise that lasts several days or even weeks, we can walk or hike on shore, and row the dinghy for exercise and enjoyment.

If we are visiting friends or family we like to go walking and hiking and will often sneak away on our own for a run here and there.   Sometimes it has been hard to break away and go off and do that, but if you say you are training for something in particular, the exercise seems to become more important and palatable to those who would otherwise resent your doing it.

And sometimes visiting someone else is a wonderful opportunity to try out something new... play softball, go wall or rockclimbing, go horseback riding or cross-country skiiing.  I attended a NIA class with a girlfriend I was visiting a couple of years ago and it was so fun... I would never have thougth to try it on my own.

It is also good to get your hosts to take you their favorite park or beach or hiking trail.  You can do some very special bonding and make some great memories getting sweaty and having a good workout together, too.

Up until a couple of years ago, our visits with my older sister and her husband were pretty sedintary... but now she has lost 165 pounds and we can hardly keep up with her.  She is always the first one up in the morning, dressed, made up, and wondering what we would like to do for the day.  It's wonderful.
Sometimes it just comes down to how important it is to you to keep up your workouts.  Decide before you go what your fitness goals are for that time period and decide how you are going to meet them.

If you are having company at your house, I think it is much easier to keep to your regular routine, for the most part.  Yes, you may have to get up a bit earlier to fit in a run... but you can take your cousin Margie along to your yoga class or get the whole group together to take the dogs out after dinner for a walk.  We usually take our guests out for a sail, or at least a walk on the beach.

So, do try to think about the situation you will be faced with and think about ways to keep moving, even if it isn't your normal workout...
  • Will you go for a walk at the airport instead of having that margarita before you board your flight?

  • Will you take your running shoes in your suitcase or just some flip flops?

  • Do you have a repertoire of body-weight exercises in your arsenal in case the resort gym is too small and stuffy and hot to use?

  • Can you safely go for a walk after dinner near your hotel or do you need to get some exercise in during the day?

  • If the kids are home from school all summer, do you need to go running before your husband leaves for work in the morning so you will be home to supervise them during the day?

  • If your husband has a stay at home vacation time planned this summer, will you still be able to go to your yoga class or will he expect you to spend your time with him?  Or will he want to go with you?

Give it some thought BEFORE the situation arises...  Think about what is going to be different, and decide on some options as to how you will handle it.

And do have a great summer... who knows... if you keep your eyes and ears and MINDS open, you might discover a new fitness love!

How are you coping with summer fitness routine setbacks?
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