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    Vacation Fitness

    By Cinder Ernst–

    I know summer’s over, but in my experience, people vacation at all times of the year.

    Do you find yourself worried about losing your exercise momentum while you are on vacation? Many people do. On the other hand, some people look forward to the increased opportunity to be active on vacation since home/work schedules can be so busy. Some folks just take it as it comes.

    I have a client in Hawaii right now; her name is Paula. One of the opportunities Paula enjoys while vacationing is having the time and energy to walk in the pool. Although Paula exercises regularly at home (bike, stretching and strengthening), her demanding work schedule doesn’t allow her to get to the pool with any consistency. She sent me a text recently about how wonderful she was feeling. Paula has a variety of health and joint challenges, and I appreciate how she makes the best of every day.

    If you are not fitting fitness into your daily routine, maybe you can use vacation as an exercise opportunity. I suggest planning and enjoying some activities. Take a walk, a swim, a bike ride or look for a yoga or dance class to try. Keep it light. If you enjoy sleeping in, plan for something later in the day. Be flexible about it. Everything counts.

    You might splurge for a personal trainer on vacation. In 1986, I visited San Francisco for the first time. I was a beginning bodybuilder. As a treat for myself, I hired a personal trainer for two sessions while I was here. I decided to move to San Francisco after that trip. That same trainer became my mentor a few years later as I started my personal training business here. Back in those days, personal trainers were only found in body building gyms. As a matter of fact, I pioneered personal training at the Central YMCA all those years ago. Now there are personal trainers on cruise ships and in hotels. We’re everywhere!

    If you do hire a personal trainer on vacation, I suggest that you simply enjoy the opportunity to work out. Avoid making a lot of plans for the future or talking about goals or weight loss. Exercise with the guidance of an expert, make it feel like a treat, not punishment.

    Museums and walking tours are a great way to get more exercise. If you are going to be on your feet more than usual, be sure to do a bit of stretching before and after, and wear appropriate footwear. The last thing you want is to be sore on vacation. It’s so easy nowadays to Google your question; I just asked my phone for walking stretches and voila! Tons of options.

    How about if you are a regular exerciser and are afraid you will lose ground while on vacation? This is mostly a mindset issue. Find a way to soothe the worry. You might say to yourself something like, “I know that I worry, but really, I’m pretty good at this. All I need to do is to take it one day at a time.”

    Try to think in a general way such as, “I’m doing just fine and things are always working out for me.” Leave out specific details. The more specific you are, the more worry momentum you will create. Worry, after all, is using your imagination to create something you don’t want. Try to focus on, and be specific about, the fun and pleasure that you will have on vacation.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Her book, “Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser” ( ), is available in paperback and E-book. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at