Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fitness on Vacation

Image from Canadian Living's article on How to Stay Fit on Vacation.

I jumped on a plane and followed my husband down to Utah for a week; he was in class all week and I was taking my time off to hang out. Over-planning is a weakness of mine which became crystal clear as I headed onto the open road towards the little town my husband was in. Following the I-??, I stuck to the map I had printed out from Google, and had backed up with a Utah map I had bought at the airport. Keeping my head on my map instead of my surroundings led me into the middle of nowhere where a sigh welcomed me to Wyoming and notified me there were no services for 100 miles. I was 2 hours east of where I should have been. I couldn't conceive how I ended up in the wrong state! I had planned this!

So I threw that damn map out and stopped by the first haphazard log cabin-type convenience store? (I use the term 'store' loosely but it was convinient). The women at the counter smiled a toothy grin from a shining face framed by stringy blond hair- her first (ever!) Pepsi machine had just arrived. I talked to her about where I was going and she gave me general directions- so I headed out again and felt my way south, through a beautiful national park to my original destination safely. Her happiness and kindness went with me.

That lesson on awareness set the standard for how my week on vacation went. Not only did I not use maps at all, choosing instead to follow my surroundings' cues to get me to my mountain trailheads every day, but I abandoned all the research I had done and planned events I had envisioned before I got there. I turned my awareness inward to what my body wanted from this week away and felt my way there. I talked to people everywhere and got their recommendations for hikes to do, shops to visit and restaurants to try.

So I encourage you to throw out your workout plan while on vacation, and instead commit to activity each day, but in a loose form. Commit to being fit, healthy and active and the opportunity will arise. Whether it's a swim in the fab pool at your hotel, or a brisk run on the city pathways you can explore- just get out there.

Feel your way to health, and you will get there (with less mileage on the rental car!)

As it turned out I got to experience a great new form of yoga with a reknowned teacher, and hiked the best of Utah everyday while I was away. I couldn't have planned that any better.

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