I just returned from a week at the beach. When I am on vacation, it is really hard for me to stay on an exercise program. I stay up late, I eat and drink too much, and I am feeling carefree and lazy. I always promise I will rise with the sun and go for a run, or that I will swim in the hotel indoor pool, or do some other cardio activity. But when the sun comes up, I am sitting on the hotel balcony drinking coffee and watching the waves roll in. Seriously, I’m on vacation – who stays healthy on vacation?
Then in retrospect, I realize that I did exercise, and I exercised a lot more than I gave myself credit for. Every morning, after coffee, we went for a walk on the beach. (You can tell its early morning because the beach is virtually empty.) Just walking in the sand is an excellent way to tone your legs, especially the calves. And we walked several miles without even feeling it. We bent over often to pick up shells, getting some ab work in. (We also picked up trash along the way – amazing how much trash goes into the ocean everyday!) In the afternoon, when we went into the water to cool off, the resistance from fighting / jumping the waves is an excellent workout for the legs and the core. Just lugging the umbrella, towels, cooler, chairs, suntan lotion, etc. from the hotel to the beach is a workout. So is hopping around to get out of the hot sand quickly. Then another walk in the evening along the boardwalk to find a place for dinner. All in all, it is possible to do a lot of exercise and enjoy it without even realizing you are exercising. So have a carefree vacation. Don’t beat yourself up for not exercising – you may be doing more than you know!