I’m just back from a week-long vacation with my family on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Like any decent human being, I spent the week eating all of the food and indulging in afternoon cocktails pretty much every day, because vacation.
Maybe I should feel guilty about the bowls upon bowls of ice cream, but I just don’t have it in me. What’s aided my lack of guilt is that in addition to being a glutton, I was super active.
Almost every morning I got up before most of the boardwalk was awake and went for a run with my sister. Getting up early on vacation is not really my style, but niece (2) and nephew (5), are basically sticky, loud, adorable human alarm clocks that go off around 6am. The hills surrounding our rental house were huge, and with each climb I mentally added another pancake to the plate I was going to destroy once back.
I skipped a hike up Mount Washington in favor of a tubing trip, but made up for it with an 18-mile super hilly bike ride. As you can tell from the picture, it was really ugly.
To complete my vacation triathlon, a few of my morning runs were followed up by lap swimming in the lake with my sisters. It was the first time I’d ever tried to lap swim in something other than a pool and I loved it. Of course, swimming was immediately followed by another massive stack of pancakes. Must refuel.
To be clear, I know there is no way my activities cancelled out the extra calories I ate (and drank). Not even close. But continuing to be active on vacation at least put a dent in my consumption, and if nothing else made me feel less like a slob. It’s hard to keep up fitness when you’re on vacation. But for me, it’s worth it to make time for a morning run, swim, or bike. It helps balance the bottomless pit that is my vacation stomach.
Now I’m back to the daily grind, and that means not eating everything in sight and waking up to an alarm clock instead of a 5-year-old who “really really has to go to the bathroom!” Getting back into regular life routine is always kind of miserable. But it’s these breaks from calorie counting, eating “right” and mixing up my routine that help me stay on track the rest of the time.
How do you stay active on vacation? Do you take a break from exercise or incorporate it in your trips? Do you eat everything in sight when you’re vacationing like me?