31 Days of Movement: on Vacation

I’m heading out of town (just up to Santa Fe) for an overnight trip with my husband. Ya-freaking-hoo. If you’ve ever been to 10000 Waves, you know the bliss that awaits us. 

I hope we’ll be able to hike a bit, that the snow won’t be too deep. It’s possible that we won’t end up hiking, though, and since it’s December and I’m working out every day in December (you too, right?), I’m going to start the day with a workout so that I don’t have to think about it the rest of the day and can let whatever happens, happen. A good vacation includes flow, moving from one activity to another without a lot of planning, and working out early means I get in my workout, which is crucial on vacation because I want to be sure my mood stays good. So right after I post this, I’m heading to the gym. My husband likes to sleep in, so by the time I’m back and showered, he’ll just be getting up. 

When we go on trips, that’s usually how I get in my workout, by going out before anyone else wants to get up. I especially love to run in a new city. I love exploring by running. It’s part of what gets me excited about a trip, that I get to run in that new place.

I also check out ahead of time where and when there might be a Nia class. That’s not always as easy to fit in when I’m on a trip with my family because in that case, family comes first. 

Many of you may be planning trips around the holidays. Or you’ll have people visiting you. Instead of this being a reason to not exercise, let it be the inspiration to enjoy some special workouts. 

Make sure to pack some clothes that will work for going for a walk and some that work for a workout or yoga class. Be ready for whatever.

Explore! I adore taking a long walk in a neighborhood I haven’t seen before. 

Get a one week pass to a gym or studio. You may find places where you can try the first class for free. If whomever you’re visiting has a favorite place, go with them. Or encourage them to come try some place with you.

If people are visiting you, you may feel as if you can’t leave them. Actually, they probably would appreciate some down time and some quiet. They might be delighted to have you leave for an hour or two. You also can offer to have them join you for your walk or class or whatever. It’s fun to share what you love with friends and family.

Remember, early in the day is good. If you move first thing in the day, it for sure happens. If you have a big day planned, or you want to keep the day open, do some movement or exercise first thing. There are a ton of videos available online that you can access from your phone, and you can do them in your room in your jammies (or your tighty whities). Many of these are 20 minutes or less and some interval-based workouts are under ten minutes.  Go to Youtube.com and search for “ten minute workout hotel room.” Don’t worry if it’s good or if you can do everything. Just play around. It’s just one morning of exercise. No big deal. Pick something and go for it. 

Before you head out on your trip -- or use the time you’ve got traveling in the car or plane -- set a short-term goal. Write it down. Make a plan for the week. Each day, check the plan and figure out how you may need to alter it to make it work. 

Here’s why you want a plan, even though you’re on vacation and you want to go with the flow. One thing that helps us this through this time of year is a sense of control and empowerment. We want to feel as if we’re making good choices and not being pressured or pulled or pushed around. By making a plan and setting your intent, you set up a situation in which it’s easier for you to get that sense of control. That makes anything else difficult during the week just a bit less upsetting. Whether you’re navigating difficult relationships, handling competing feelings of loss and love, or simply dealing with the stress of vacation, winter, cold, and dark, you’re just one workout away from feeling calmer, stronger, and stress-resilient.

Besides, working out is fun, and vacation is a great time to have fun. I am on break from my teaching term at CNM, and that’s why I fit in a double workout on Monday. I did it because it’s fun and this is my vacation and I get to do some fun things. 

If what you really want is to take a week off, take a week off. Maybe you want no plans and no pressures. Maybe you’ve been working out hard and your body and spirit want nothing more than to rest and relax. Do it. 

But if you know you’d feel better moving, move. Don’t neglect exercise because it seems easier not to do it. All you need is 20 minutes and the desire to feel great.