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MELINDA DUFFIE: Don’t let vacation derail your fitness routine

‘COME SEE US’ – The MBJ’s annual Meetings, Conventions and Tourism magazine (Spring 2014 edition)

Do you struggle with continuing your exercise program and eating healthy when you are going on vacation? You are not alone! Most people find it difficult to integrate change into their schedule on a daily basis let alone when they travel. The propensity is to just not exercise or watch what you eat … don’t do that. Even if you have just started your exercise regimen or maybe you have had one in place for a while, you can still stay on track.

Melinda Duffie

Melinda Duffie

There are several ways that you can exercise whether it be in a fitness facility, on outdoor trails, a pool, tennis courts or perhaps body weight or band exercises, just to name a few. Maybe you should consider trying something new. This can be a fun part of your vacation and make you feel good as well. It does require thinking outside the box, so to speak, and planning ahead. The easiest way to do this is starting with “where are you going on vacation?”

Are you going to the beach, a spa hotel, the casino or camping, for example? Depending on the time of year there can be a lot of activities to choose from. If you are traveling as a family there are a lot of activities that can be experienced together even for the first time. Always have a contingency plan in place so if the weather doesn’t permit activity there is something else to do.

Here are some helpful tips in planning your vacation:

1. Does your destination include a hotel, condo, RV park or house? Check out what activities and amenities there are available so planning is easier. Is there a fitness facility nearby, a pool or waterpark or trails? Special discounts may be available as businesses partner together to make your stay more appealing.

2. Be sure to check the local forecast for the time you are planning vacation. This is important so you can plan your activities and pack accordingly. Make a checklist of what you need to take.

3. Always check out reliable feedback on places to stay, restaurants and other businesses so you can make sure that your vacation is enjoyable. Friends and magazine reviews are usually very helpful. Be sure to make your reservations ahead of time.

Since you know where you are going and what you going to do on vacation, being prepared is the key to success here. Plan when and how you are going to work out. Remember if you can’t get out to the gym or outside activity use your contingent exercise plan just like the one I have outlined below. Take some foods with you that are healthy such as protein bars, fruit, nuts, and jerky. This makes it easy so you don’t go too long without food or having to grab unhealthy fast food. When you do eat out make healthier choices and if you do have heavy food just eat half of what you are served. You can ask for the lunch portion or just take your leftovers with you if you prefer. You can enjoy the food without being miserable and returning from vacation several pounds heavier.


Perform each exercise 1 set of 12 reps and repeat for a total of 3 sets resting only 15 seconds between each set:

» Squats — Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, place your arms out front, begin movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips, sinking into your heels, continue down to full depth, if you are able, like you are going to sit in a chair squeezing your butt. Quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position. As you squat, keep your head and chest up.

» Lunges — Arms by your sides, lunge forward with your right foot, keep your head up and back straight; this is your start position. Drop your left leg toward the floor by bending both knees, making sure your right knee doesn’t pass over the plane of your toes, sinking into the heel. Stop just short of your rear knee touching the ground as your front thigh comes parallel to the floor. Press back up forcing your bodyweight through the heel of your forward foot and complete reps on this side then switch to work the other.

» Pushups — Begin in push up position, on knees or toes, push up through your palms, abs in and back straight. Push back up and repeat.

» Superman — Lie on your stomach with arms and legs stretched out. Raise your arms and legs off the ground a few inches, hold a few seconds, and then lower. Alternate arms and legs as an option and repeat.

» Abdominal crunches — Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your fingertips to the side of your head just behind your ears. Push your lower back into the floor flattening the arch and hold. Curl up slowly so both your shoulders lift off the floor a few inches. Hold for a count of 2 and return to the start position.

Melinda Duffie can be reached at mvpfit@yahoo.com.




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