Stay Fit on Your Vacation

Hello, Warriors!

Leaving town for an end-of-summer get-away? If you’re not careful your trip will quickly turn into a fat trap.

I know this from personal experience in the last few days – ask me about our “dinner” at Fenton’s Ice Cream Tuesday night on the way home from kayaking at Tahoe! Major regression.

Worse yet, I’m running the Ragnar Trail Relay at Tahoe next week (starts Friday morning, runs all day and night until Saturday evening) and I was hoping that working out at Tahoe would help for the race – and I came home weighing more than when I left. Some training session, that! Talk about fat traps – your sometimes-humble correspondent outright dove into one! Voluntary set-backs abounded.

So, speaking from my own recent downfall, I don’t want your fitness results to disappear before you return home. Keep reading for my 2 simple steps and a nice Bodyweight Routine to avoid the dreaded vacation fat trap. Who knows, maybe you can encourage me to follow my own advice next time. Please?

There are plenty of strategies and techniques out there for staying fit on vacation, but most are fairly complicated. I’m not going to give you a list of 27 things to remember in order to avoid those vacation pounds – you are getting away to relax, after all! I’ll keep this simple and effective.

The following 2 steps are all that you need to take with you on your vacation to ensure that you come back looking and feeling amazing. Like I said, maybe you can even shame me into keeping my own Rules!

Step #1: The 1/3 Rule

Most vacation pounds are gained as a result of constant indulgence. Each meal becomes an opportunity to eat your heart out to the tune of “I’m on vacation!”

Look, I get that you’re on vacation and want to enjoy the richer tastes of life, but doing so at every meal is going to do a lot of damage to your waistline.

Rather than indulging constantly, I want you to adopt the 1/3 Rule. This means that only 1/3 of your meals ought to be eaten with the mindset of “I’m on vacation.” At this one meal each day you are allowed to eat things that are normally off-limits. Enjoy your favorites and do so with no guilt.

At your other 2 meals each day you’ll keep things lean and green. Fill up on lots of greens, veggies, and lean proteins. Pass on the breads, grains, potatoes and anything with sugar. Drink water, and avoid beverages that contain calories.

I would have been fine with this rule since we only took nuts and raisins on the kayak. However, before that we had waffles and all the toppings at the cabin, so there went the rule. Ah, hypocrisy!

Step #2: The Exercise Rule

This step is just as important as the first one, so don’t drop the ball on this one: Each and every day you must do some form of exercise.

Notice I said some form of exercise. I didn’t say that you had to go to a weight room to do a traditional workout. While on vacation, exercise should be diverse and exciting.

Your vacation activities can become your workout. Take a hike, go exploring on foot, swim in the ocean or bike through a foreign town. If you aren’t able to fit a vigorous activity into your day then start by doing this body weight routine:


  • 20 push ups
  • 30 seconds of jump squats
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 30 seconds of plank hold
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • Repeat from the top 3 times

Enjoy your vacation! And watch out for hypocrites!

Be Excellent

By the way, here’s why I don’t mind telling you about our visit to Fenton’s ice Cream joint and my 3 million calorie sundae (ah, the memory lingers in my mind – and my waist, too come the think upon it).The most important aspect in becoming and staying fit is to be persistent. Even with the Ragnar Race next week, I knew my upcoming training schedule would make up for the Fenton’s Diversion. You can exercise every day for a week, but if you follow that week with a month of no exercise then you’ve lost all ground. On the contrary, if you are consistently and intelligently working out, then you can build into your program times and days and meals and Fenton’s wherein you can treat yourself.

Call it a treat – not a reward, which is a horse of a different wheelbase – and enjoy the extravagance and enjoy yourself (meaning glory in who you are) and enjoy your life. If you wait until you attain your goal(s) to enjoy yourself you will discover that you are not a very nice person – and others will discover that as well. Remember, the way you treat your own heart is the way you will treat others – so work hard at reaching your goals but enjoy yourself on the journey.

The key, then, is to find an exercise program that you are able to consistently do and then stick with it.

Aristotle said, perhaps after a nice stormy workout, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Enjoy your excellence!

About Tom Schweickert

Tom Schweickert, EA, CPC, CPT brings a unique combination as a Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Money Coach to help folks negotiate these interesting times.
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