What a Personal Trainer Does for Exercise on Vacation

What a Personal Trainer Does for Exercise on Vacation

by | Aug 18, 2017 | Personal Training Blog

I’ve been working as a personal trainer since 2003, when I launched my in-home personal training business. But I’ve been devoted to my exercise regimen through my entire adult life, straight through raising three kids and keeping up with a work schedule that often has me out the door from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. So, getting in a fast workout on vacation while everybody else sleeps in is par for the course. Home or away, if you don’t make the time, no one’s going to do it for you.

Likewise, you need to make the best of what’s around. If you find yourself this summer in a hotel with a tricked-out gym or a 50-meter lap pool, consider yourself fortunate. And let that be the inspiration when all else fails you. But don’t consider yourself unfortunate—or excused—if nothing like that’s around. In an ideal world, we’d all have a private gym, insulated from distraction, and a personal trainer (ahem) greeting us at the start of each workout. Fitness, though, is as much a mindset as a physical condition. If you’re determined enough to make it happen, you will.

And anyway, most of our summer vacations land us somewhere picturesque, like the beach, lakeside, a state park. Within each one of those settings, you’ll find everything you need to get your heart rate up, break a good sweat, and challenge yourself in a way you otherwise wouldn’t have. We can get too settled in our routines. Exercise is, after all, a habit. I’m as guilty as anyone else. With my in-home personal training clients, I’m constantly plotting shifts in direction to keep them off-balance and their progression consistent. But with my own workouts, I can get fixated on trying to resolve a weakness or improve a personal best.

That’s why I approach the workouts that I do on vacation, completely out of the context of my normal life, as an opportunity to do something entirely different, to remind me just how valuable adversity can be in improving my fitness. When we’re at the Jersey Shore, a regular destination for years now, I’ll hit the beach for some sprints and burpees, because everything’s harder in the sand. Or I’ll wade into the ocean and go for a long swim, because I rarely have access to a pool back home, never mind a stiff current.

When life picks up speed, we compartmentalize: eat, sleep, work, exercise. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. It’s how we ensure there’s a time for each and that we’re present (relatively present) when it comes. But away from that grind, and out of our comfort zone, it’s easier to see that exercise isn’t just another task on our to-do lists. It fuels a greater wellbeing that influences every aspect of our lives.

The Travel-friendly Workout

All you need, really, is 15 minutes and just enough room to jump and turn—the patch of carpet between the bed and the desk in a hotel room, the in-laws’ laundry room. Do three rounds of the following circuit. Try to rest as little as possible. There will be plenty of time for that afterward.

15 pushups

15 plank jump-ins

15 jumping lunges

15 ground jacks*

:60 plank

(*Position yourself as you would for a pushup, only slide your hands and feet together. Simultaneously—and quickly—move them out to your sides, about a shoulder-width apart, and then snap them back to the starting position. That’s one rep. If you have difficulty with the movement, just move either your hands or your feet.)

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