Active Rest While On Vacation

The season of vacationing and weekend getaways is quickly upon us and with that comes more lifestyle choices.  While there was a day when I would look for a gym so I could workout while on vacation, I now realize that I was a little nutzo at that point in my life, and now take a more realistic approach of enjoying “active rest” while taking a break from the daily grind.

I firmly believe that vacations should be enjoyed, and thus you can take a break from the exercise and dietary routine and enjoy life a little bit. The term “active rest” sounds like an oxymoron, but it is not, and actually has merit. Active rest is taking a break from the usual exercise program and doing an activity that is not strenuous, but keeps you active.  Walking, snorkeling, casual hiking or biking, and canoeing are all excellent examples.

I have tried to clear up the difference between exercise and activity in past articles, but there are still those living the sedentary life that will view walking, casual biking, or many other “active rest” activities as exercise.  A quick review:  exercise involves exertion, so if you are not physically fatigued when finished, you were engaging in an activity.  Both exercise and activity are an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and I would like your healthy choices to carry over into your vacations.

Vacations and weekend getaways are excellent opportunities to engage is relaxing activities that will keep you moving, yet still give your physical body a rest.  With a search of the Internet, most destinations of choice will have hiking, canoeing, nature walks, snorkeling, and biking trails or tours.  If you choose to more adventurous paintball, rock climbing, skeet shooting, skiing, scuba, caving, and river rafting are great choices.

I guarantee the memories will last a lifetime.  Do you ever hear people talking about the golf game from 5 years ago when it was beautiful and sunny?  No, you hear about the golf game that was in the blasting rain and everyone came back to the clubhouse soaked!  Doing something out of the ordinary is what will be remembered, I promise.  I took my then 6-year old son to Hershey’s Chocolate World and Amusement Park for a vacation, but his lasting memory is canoeing down a river where we saw a ton of crawfish.  Go figure.

Am I asking you to forego the beach and fruity drinks and go hiking?  Hell no!  In fact, drink one (after another) in my honor.  But you can easily fit some active rest into the daily schedule and still enjoy the sand between the toes.  Then you will come back from vacation only gaining 5 pounds instead of 12, which is totally acceptable if you are living a healthy lifestyle, as you will drop the 5 pounds in less than 5 weeks!


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