Summer is upon us and with warmer weather comes the allure of summer vacation and travel. Whether your summer vacation is a romantic getaway or a jaunt with the family to visit Grandma, you don’t need to give up your healthy habits you have worked so hard on creating. Think about all the time and effort you have put in to get here, not that taking a week off is going to negate all that, but it will be much easier to return to your regular routine when your vacation ends if you keep it up to some extent while away. Here are a five tips to keep you on the road to your best health and fitness life, vacation style:
1) Think about how you can incorporate fitness organically into your vacation in a fun manner. Planning to do some sight seeing? Skip the car, and find out if you can you do it on foot or via bicycle, kayak, paddle board, or other human power modality? Or maybe you can add some of these activities into something you already have planned. A day at the beach is great, but playing frisbee, or football with the kids makes it extra special. Or take some of the time on your towel and practice yoga or an After Burn at Home workout to earn that cool dip in the ocean.
2) Research fitness amenities before you go ensuring you have a plan ahead of time. If you are planning to stay in a hotel or resort , does it have a fitness facility and/or pool? If you are staying at a home, camping, or another type of lodging what is near by? Depending on the type of vacation you are on you may find great places to run, or hike. Playgrounds and parks are fantastic workout spots and you can keep the kids happy at the same time. Maybe there is a great fitness facility nearby that offers day or week passes. Know before you go, so you can make an informed decision about your lodging and have a plan for how you will get those workouts in so you are not giving yourself an easy out because you don’t have a place or space to exercise.
3) Bring lightweight and easily packable equipment along. Things like resistance bands, a yoga mat, or a TRX strap can be easy to travel with and can make for great motivation to get it done. You brought them along so you better use them, right!?! Put that mat right where you can see it everyday on your vacay as a subtle yet effective reminder to get it done!
4) Bring healthy food and snacks if possible. If you are traveling by car, bring a cooler and keep it well stocked with health snacks and prepared foods. My clients often ask me for ideas on what to bring while traveling and my answer in this scenario is an enthusiastic, “Anything!” If you have a cooler you can bring along all the faves and I highly recommend you do, because no matter how careful you are you cannot fully control foods you do not prepare. Hidden calories and unwanted macros in foods can add up. If you can, always bring your own. Activities like camping offer a fun challenge to cook healthy foods in a new environment, and nothing tastes as good as protein pancakes made on the camp stove before a day of hiking and exploring!
5) If preparing food is not an option scope out your food options ahead of time, know where the healthy picks are and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need when it comes to the way foods are prepared. I’ll often ask for sauces and dressings on the side to avoid over dressed food, and choose baked options over fried. Know your LadyBoss blocking method and look at menu options as blocks rather than complete meals and order accordingly. For example you see they offer salmon, broccoli, and quinoa in separate dishes or as sides. You know salmon is a protein, broccoli a green veggie full of fiber and quinoa a complex carbohydrate would make a well balanced plate, ask if they can be served together. Boom! Healthy food on the go.
The idea of vacation is to have fun and take a break from the norm. That doesn’t mean you have to throw all your gains out the window, it also doesn’t mean you don’t get to indulge a bit or have a great time. Coming back from vacation and returning to everyday routines can be daunting as it is, keeping up with your fitness and nutrition regimen while on the go will make the transition that much easier, this is a lifestyle after all! Remembering that food is fuel for adventure and activity, and moving your body will lend to experiencing a place in a richer more rewarding way is key. Don’t get caught on the sidelines of your vacation and let it run you, take the reigns, plan, move and enjoy!!!
Teaching Aqua fitness to a pool full of LadyBosses may just be the highlight of my year, but this whole trip was an epic exploration and I just want to share a few of my favorite moments.
Let's be real, I'm here for the exercise. Every morning we hosted a workout from Aqua, to dance and yoga, to After Burn At Home. Our talented coaching team led indoor, outdoor and all around workouts that were the best way to get our bodies and brains primed for each day.
As a coach, I got to have one on one time with clients that was precious and valuable. Getting to know my clients, really helps me to expand my capability to help them. Then getting to know and connect with other women in the program and build those relationships opened doors of communication that as a coaching team continued to unify are already cohesive team of coaches, and further enabling us to best serve our clients. In our coaching panel we got to open up and tell a bit about our individual stories which allowed us to further connect with our clients in an intimate setting.
Ok, I am NOT here for the food, but it was pretty darn great. I've never been to an all inclusive before but I didn't have a bad or greasy meal. They were very accommodating to requests and even remembered my no cheese breakfast burrito every morning from room service. My only complaint is the menu on the TV was irritating because I am an impatient Xennial who literally hates TV anything.
I don't know if I've simply been in Tahoe to long (I'm convinced we have the worst service on the planet) or what but the service at this resort was ABOVE and BEYOND. Every single person I encountered on their staff was excellent and attentive. I highly, highly recommend them for creating a stellar experience from top to bottom and thinking of literally everything. If you weren't sure if you wanted to come to the El Dorado Royale, you do.
The Dream Team
Incase you don't know I work with amazing, passionate and driven women. Gah! I'm so lucky and this isn't even all of them, but every day spent around these folks levels me up and re-ignites my passion for health and fitness.
The Beach y'all!
The LB Obstacle Course
So the workouts were cool, and the beach was cool...but put them together and I'm in heaven. On this trip I got to tap into my passion for OCR and work with the fabulous Coach Shanda to design and run obstacle course challenge. We had such a great time and the ladies really took to the challenge and teamwork, got outside their comfort zones and got dirty! I laughed, I cried tears of joy, I loved every second.
I am filled with gratitude, and smiles looking back on these photos all I have left to say is THANK YOU to Kealin and Brandon, the entire LadyBoss Company, and the Coaching team, especially my senior coach Piper and the director of coaching Jessica for giving me these opportunities to shine, share and experience.
If you are on the fence about going next year.... get off, and do it! It was an amazing one of a kind experience you will never forget! You will find it to be worth every penny and more, especially in the self love and care department, every women deserves and needs a retreat like this in her life!
Ps....Don't miss the highlight reel AND get on the waiting list for next year here:
Recently I had a humbling experience that apparently is not all too unusual for a land based trainer or athlete. I took an aqua HIIT class at the Truckee Community Pool. In this class I was clearly the rookie. I felt like I was really working hard, which mind you, is saying a lot. I train in and out of the gym at least 6 days a week, in addition to teaching group, personal and athletic clients. Somewhere in the back of my mind were these little whispers of facts on recovery, and how great being in the water can be for your body. I knew water felt good after workouts. I knew water workouts existed, but that was really the extent of my knowledge. Nevertheless I was intrigued, as an athlete and a trainer as to what water could bring to my personal training and recovery, as well as what incorporating it could bring to my clients. So when I was contacted by the Truckee Community Pool with the prospect of bringing some of my land based prowess to the water I jumped, literally and figuratively right in.
First I set out to see what other instructors were doing. Hence, my butt kicking Aqua HIIT experience. I was astounded by how satisfyingly worked aqua exercise made me feel, but without the next day soreness. I was acutely aware of my pounding heart and deep breathing during the workout. I also had fun, and was challenged by watching other class participants who were clearly more practiced and seemingly working way less hard than I. That’s when I knew there was more to this method than meets the eye. I subsequently attended a fitness professional conference with the intention of spending four days educating myself about aqua, what I learned there really got me excited to share this method of training, especially with those of you who are thinking things like; aqua exercises is easy, and imagining groups of leisurely movers in bathing caps. You’ve got it all wrong, and here is why.
The properties of water are astounding and make for a fantastic addition to your training protocol. Water offers a drag resistance that is 12 times that of air. That’s right, if you are a bodyweight trainer, like me, or if you train with weight or resistance, imagine the possibilities there. There are no eccentric muscle contractions in the water, and since it is generally thought that eccentric contractions are what cause muscle soreness that is likely why you won’t experience that unpleasant exercise side effect, which will lead to faster recovery time. If you have low body fat, aqua exercise will be especially hard since you lack the especially buoyant quality of the less lean. So potentially, the fitter you are, the harder the workout. Other benefits include; water increases exercise caloric output by up to 28%, the forgiveness of aqua training on the joints (while still being hard on muscles), it relives pressure on the spine, and results up to a 90% reduction of body weight, which is what makes it so great for our active agers, and injury recovering populations. The hydrostatic pressure of water surrounding your entire body improves circulation and breathing , quickens return of blood to the heart, and reduces swelling.
Think about how you can work water training into your current regiment for great benefits. Maybe you need an active recovery day, or maybe you want to find a unique way of improving your cardiovascular function, and performance thresholds that aren’t your typical dry land intervals. In my new class at the Truckee Aquatic Center, Aqua X, we will explore how water can regress or progress exercise. Imagine busting out your max of an exercise on land and then hitting the shallows for some water support and digging a little deeper, finding a few more reps. Or preforming a body weight exercise on deck, then moving to the water for an intense cardio interval, minus the pounding on your joints. Gone is the image of synchronized swimmers waving and kicking (although I have way more respect for how hard that probably is now) replaced with an athletic exerciser wearing training gear just like you would see in a gym, maybe even shoes, ready to for an intense, challenging and fun workout for all levels. Be ready to be humbled by aqua, and likely, fall in love with it too.
We all face injury and illness from time to time. Over coming the mental hurdles that come along with these conditions can be harder than the physical ones. Here are my tips for overcoming injury.
Allow yourself time to be sad about being injured. It sucks, but you have to deal with it. Don’t dwell too long, but it’s OK to be down a bit. Then as soon as you can get moving again with the understanding everything will be much harder and take so much longer, but you will be happy with your small victories, even if it’s just doing laundry or making yourself a snack.
Remember what you love to do besides train/exercise. Injury does not define who you are, nor does whatever sport you play or activity you do. You like/do other things, you just need to remember what they are. Reading, crafting, healthy cooking, you name it, dive in!
Accept help. In the beginning it will be hard to adapt, but you will. It is tremendously helpful to have someone who can help you until you figure it out. My mother-in law came out and was so helpful when I broke my leg. When she got there I felt helpless, by the time she left, I felt like a superwoman ready to take on almost anything with my one legged self.
Figure out what you can do and get good at it. My first obstacle was learning to use my crutches. By the end of six weeks I was crutching like a (lady)boss. I began to find another blessing within my injury: my upper body strength and training went to new levels. I learned to hop on one leg and crawl, pull myself up, and so many other movements got so much better. Now, post recovery, I work diligently to keep the new skills I learned while injured.
Do your Physical Therapy, and listen to your doctor. I, admittedly, only went to PT once. But when I did, I did so with the intention of picking my PT’s brain so I could go home and do it, for real. She showed me how to work on my deficits, got me over the mental barrier of high impact and back to running. She also showed me how to test my injury to make sure I was progressing in my workouts back to full strength and balance. If you don’t have a gym, like I do, and a strong knowledge the body and strength and conditioning, I would recommend going to all your sessions and doing everything they tell you to do diligently. I asked a lot of questions of my doctor, and I took well researched advice from professionals I know and respect about exercise and supplements to hasten my recovery. I pushed my limits safely and I always made sure it was OK with my doc. His answer was typically pleasing,”As long as you are not bearing weight on the broken bone….go for it.” Know the difference between pain, and hard…pain is never OK.
Practice gratitude. Be thankful for all that you are, have and can do. Life and mobility are a blessing. When you start to look around at all the things you can be grateful for when you are injured or down, when you recover the world looks just that much more fantastic. Get up everyday and think how amazing it is that you can walk, run, skate, jump, move, breathe. Never take those things for granted.
Stay Connected. So what, you can’t participate like you used to. Go anyway, cheer on your teammates or training-mates, stay connected with your coach. Volunteer for activities you can do, like keeping score, or sign folks in. Go to the gym at your regular time and stretch or do self care or low impact. Staying around the things and people you love will keep your spirits up, and you may even find something else you are good at.
Set a Goal and commit to it. If your injury is one you will fully recover from, set a goal to do something you always wanted to do or did before your injury. Having a goal like that can often really put things into perspective, and force you to forge ahead even on your most down days. Make is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Specific) and you will be on your way to being more awesome than before in no time.
Don’t give up. Injury is rarely a career ender. Especially if you are new to a sport, activity or exercising, don’t just throw in the towel. If you loved it, and you were challenging yourself, that is how you get better. Failure truly is the precursor to success, so as Dory says, “just keep swimming!”