How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Recently I was invited by Jennifer Whitehair (she promotes vacationing in Las Vegas and it sounds like there is tons to do there besides gambling and going to see shows on the strip) to blog about staying fit on vacation. It’s a part of #TravelFit2014. She contacted me right before I was headed to South Bethany Beach Delaware.

We have been going to Sunset Beach, NC (and loved it) for years. This year all of our young adult kids have jobs that don’t mesh too well with traveling 12 hours away so we decided to bring the party North.

This is a perfect time for me to explore what kinds of fun things I can do to stay in shape while I enjoy the shores of South Bethany for two weeks.

June 15 was our first full day here. I decided to try some Yoga on the beach. I have my P90X Yoga X pretty well memorized so I just walked down the beach access and gave it a shot. It was great gazing at the ocean while doing my sun salutations. I felt very relaxed after about an hour doing Yoga in the wind and salt air. Sure beats my basement home gym!

Today my sister and I took a two mile bike ride up highway 1 to Bethany Beach. There is a bike path that runs parallel to the road. We were able to park the bikes and walk around, check out the shops and restaurants, and walk the boardwalk a bit. It was a beautiful day for it! On the way back DelDot had a bike safety station and installed free lights on our bikes. Thanks ūüôā

When we got back to the beach house, I decided to use my 12 Minute Athlete app on my smartphone to get some resistance exercise. This app is great for traveling and it only costs about a dollar so the price is right. You just put in how long you want to work out (12 or 16 minutes) and what equipment you have and it creates a workout for you. If you don’t like it, you just shake it and it creates another one. Since it didn’t have resistance bands as an option for equipment, I had it create a bodyweight workout and substituted 2 band exercises for two bodyweight exercises. I just went under the beach house in the shade. Who needs to spend extra money to go to the gym?

Online Fitness Coaching: Dealing With Chronic Injuries

This is the fourth blog in this online fitness coaching series about common obstacles to regular exercise and healthy nutrition.

Obstacle #4 “I find myself in this negative spiral:¬† I get a minor injury and stop exercising to save myself for my physical job.¬† Then I get reinjured while working and coming back to workouts before I’m healed.¬† This leads to an even longer rehab, discouragement, depression and eating for comfort.¬† Weight gain is next followed by more discouragement, more eating and¬† more weight gain.¬† Yikes!”

Here are tips from myself and on dealing with overuse injuries so they don’t turn into the dreaded¬†“negative spiral”.

Before diving into these tips, I should give this¬†important advice. If you have not been exercising regularly, get evaluated by a doctor before starting, to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise.¬† Ok that’s covered!

To prevent injury in the first place….

  • Start out slowly!¬† Many chronic injuries¬†happen because¬†people new to exercise or¬†returning to exercise¬†try to do too much too soon.¬† Apply the¬†ten percent¬†rule.¬† Increase your¬†intensity by only 10% at a time.¬† So if you were running¬†two miles a day and wanted to increase the distance, you would only increase by 2/10 of a mile. Run this way for at least a week before you decide to increase distance again.¬† Increase time or weight using the same rule.
  • Listen to your body. If you are becoming fatigued to the point where you are not performing the¬†exercise with the correct form, it’s time to stop.¬† If you are experiencing unusual aches or pains during your workout you are probably overdoing it.
  • Know the proper technique.¬† Many chronic injuries are caused by poor technique.¬† Watch a “basics” video.¬† Observe yourself doing the exercise in a mirror.¬† Work with a coach, fitness coach¬†or a personal trainer to make sure you are doing¬†exercises with good form.
  • Vary your routine.¬† Don’t do the same exercise routine over and over every day.¬† This is an invitation to an overuse injury.¬† A good workout regemin should include strength training, cardio, interval training and flexibility.¬† You should also have one day of rest (you can¬†use a day of recreational fitness)¬†each week.
  • Wear the right type of athletic shoe.¬† There are sneakers for every sport imaginable these days that give the right kind of support for the activity you will be doing.¬† Have someone¬†trained to¬†fit your sneakers¬†help you. Replace¬†sneakers when they begin to break down.

If you get injured….

  • RICE¬†stands for¬†Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.¬† Ice should be applied 20 minutes each hour.
  • Don’t come back full strength¬†too soon.¬† You should be pain free, no swelling, have full range of motion (compared to your non-injured part), be able to bear weight without limping or throw with proper form.
  • Modify exercises until the injury feels strong enough to go back to the move done normally.¬† I have wrist issues when I do push-ups.¬† When they crop up, the first thing I try are push-up stands.¬† If that doesn’t do the trick, I modify the push-up by going to my knees instead of my toes.¬† When my wrist feels strong enough, I go back to toes.¬† Sometimes I need to modify the number I do on my toes until the wrist gets even stronger.
  • Change your workout.¬† For example, if you have a knee injury, you may need to bike or swim instead of run or walk.¬† You can also develop¬† circuit training¬† that won’t involve the injury.

If the injury continues to get worse or does not improve, you should get yourself to the doctor or an athletic trainer.

What chronic injuries¬†have you had to deal with?¬† How did you deal with the “negative spiral”?¬† Your comment may help someone else who is struggling.