Deciding What to Do

It’s summer time and many of us head off on vacation–much needed. How do we stay active while getting away?

Of course one way to stay active is to take a wellness vacation. This can be as intense as a bike tour or a whitewater rafting expedition, as tranquil as a yoga retreat, or as cosmopolitan as a dance club marathon.

What is your vacation about?

Don’t panic if your answer is “It’s about getting some rest!”  I recently had such a trip and ended up really active regardless. I’ll fill in some of my trip, just for ideas, and invite you to comment and let us know what has worked for you too.

What will you be doing for movement?

Walking is probably a given.  Will you also be going out to clubs (dance shoes); shopping a lot (backpack); taking classes (extra changes of workout gear and socks)?

Don’t forget sunscreen if you plan on moving around outdoors (make sure it is waterproof) and sunglasses.

There is no need to pack lots of extra gear, just the appropriate gear. It helps to think about it to pack smart.

You need comfortable clothing for moving. Yoga pants or shorts, for example, easily double as regular day wear. Light weight equipment options are therabands (those colorful elastic bands for use in resistance training), which fit in a pocket and don’t weigh anything, a jumprope, and a yoga mat (guess what—they fold up).

What I Did: A Relaxation Vacation

I recently traveled to Costa Rica for a relaxation vacation. I planned on doing not much of anything, to be honest. Lots of lounging at the beach, maybe some wandering along the shore, some light hiking. I was journeying to areas sparsely populated. My only thought about food and beverage was a hope that there would be fresh coconuts.

I packed minimally. That said, there were a few basics in my pack: a swimsuit and my sneakers. I’d heard that there was a great yoga center at my second vacation spot in country. I did fold up a yoga mat and place it in my pack where it served as insulation. I admit that it was never unpacked. I wore my sneakers here and there–to get from here to there if pebbles were involved.

Did I feel guilty for that? Absolutely not.

Once my vacation was in full swing, the last thing I wanted to do was to set an alarm so I could make it to an early class or to sneak in a run before the sun was too high in the sky. I visited the lovely yoga center and hiked their beautiful paths, searching the trees for monkeys and coati. In my own time I climbed and scrambled up and down rocks taking advantage of the outgoing tide to spy on urchins, crabs, and fish. When poolside with a coconut in hand I rested. Once the coconut was empty I swam short leisurely laps that felt deceptively like lounging, but to be sure were exercise.

What about all that walking? My last hike at Arenal (a continuously erupting volcano) ended up being somewhere around eight+ kilometers. Not bad for a nature walk and light climb up old lava flow.

Did I rest too? You bet. In fact all of it felt restful. Sleep was glorious. Without trying I had managed more activity than I normally engage in at home. True, my exercise was much less intense, but the duration of the activities was both a testament to the effectiveness of endurance training and enjoyable maintenance.

Don’t think I didn’t lounge in hot springs doing nothing. I most certainly did! Why not? It is vacation after all–much needed!

Visit our blog in the coming weeks for Vacation Food: Making Good and Better Choices