for vacation with workouts
ads are everywhere -- lose weight, work
out, do what it takes to look good in a
swimsuit for your summer vacation. This
might be a good plan if you expect to languish
on the beach or hang out at the tiki bar
for two weeks.
But most of us expect to pack our precious
vacation time with touring, hiking, biking
and on-the-go activities. That means tailoring
fitness workouts to be in top shape for
a fun and healthy adventure.
you are touring the historic sites of Washington,
D.C. or Savannah, Ga., the nature that surrounds
Anchorage, Alaska or the Grand Canyon, the
requirements are the same. It is best to
do by foot power -- many hours of foot power.
Savannah, the Midnight in the Garden of
Good and Evil Tour (based on locations in
the 1994 best-selling novel written by John
Berendt) takes two hours and the Historic
Tour can take all day. Touring the historic
homes in Washingtons Dupont Circle
area will take four or five hours. Travel
guides recommend taking two and half days
to tour the sites of Charleston, S.C. You
wont get the flavor of Anchorage or
appreciate this beautiful city without strolling
the miles of coastal trails, doing some
nearby mountain hiking and exploring by
bike on miles of bike paths.
organized tours can require a lot of walking,
and summer heat plus humidity will add to
the endurance requirements. Bike tours are
becoming more popular, but that mode of
transportation requires just as much fitness
conditioning as walking. So unless you are
resigned to seeing the sites via Lolley
the Trolley, start planning to get in shape
get a better understanding of your fitness
demands, do the following: Once you choose
your vacation, go over your itinerary and
figure out about how much walking, standing
and bike riding you will be doing each day.
It usually takes about two hours to tour
a museum or historic home, which translates
into two hours of walking and standing on
your feet. Come up with an average number
of hours (or miles) you expect to walk or
ride each day. You may be surprised at how
active your jaunt will be. But it will be
a breeze if you prepare beforehand with
the right workout program. First, start
by extending your regular stints on the
treadmill, stationary bike, walking or biking.
The more time spent on these activities
the more you will increase your overall
endurance. Recently a man planning a cross-country
bike ride was able to prepare for the trip
by riding a stationary bike 30 minutes a
day for ten weeks.
you dont walk or bike on a regular
basis, you need to start a daily program
as soon as possible. There is nothing worse
than suffering with a backache, sore feet
and legs on your first day. Many who think
they get enough exercise in their normal
daily routine are often surprised at how
much stamina they need. Not being prepared
for the rigors of vacation can turn the
time of your life into a nightmare.
there is much more to consider. According
to Certified Fitness Trainer Maia Appleby,
core strengthening (abs/back work as a muscle
group) and lower body exercises are crucial.
She adds that flexibility training is essential
to improving posture.
people do a lot of standing and vacation
walking, they are demanding a lot from their
backs and legs. These two things are totally
related. When your back hurts, you start
walking funny and then your legs, knees
or hips start aching - and vice versa, so
if one is neglected, it affects the other.
People with good posture fare much
better with a lot of standing and walking,
says Appleby. Back and hamstring stretches
are the most effective, but a good all-over
stretching program does wonders for the
and people who stand straight
and tall look better in swimsuits, too!
get a clearer picture, check Applebys
article on walking at http://www.inch-aweigh.com/walking.htm
others you are vacationing with to prepare
as well. If you are traveling with kids,
start taking neighborhood walks or hike
in nearby parks. Children seem like endless
bundles of energy, but hot weather and touring
can wear them out, too.
crucial bit of planning is to choose your
clothes and shoes wisely. You dont
have to wear gym shoes to tour a Southern
mansion, but a good pair of walking shoes
is important. For hot weather walking, you
may want to wear sandals, but make sure
they are built for comfort. As a rule, it
is best to have as much rubber between your
feet and the pavement as possible. Even
though the fitness gurus dont advise
wearing street shoes for workouts, it may
be a good idea to tread wearing the shoes
you plan to take on vacation, just to make
sure they stay comfortable after a couple
same goes for clothing. Wear loose fitting
clothes of natural fibers. Worry more about
comfort and less about wrinkles.
despair and dont fall back on the
tiki bar plan. Then you can get yourself
in shape, do all the activities you planned
and look back on the experience with fond
memories. Have a great trip!
Nancy Conway may be contacted at http://www.shapeupshop.com
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Nancy Conway uses her many years of journalism
experience to write for a family of four websites
concerned with sports, health, wellness and
fitness. Her favorite activities are bicycling,
baking, crafting and anything to do with her