Some folks try harder than others, but I'm sure we can all agree that sticking with your fitness routine while on vacation can be a real struggle. The difficulty is only magnified when you realize that your hotel's fitness facility only offers a couple of cardio machines, a few dumbbells, and a single straight bar.
Plus, aside from finding a good training facility, you also need to set aside the time and muster enough motivation to transition from relax mode into beast mode.
Still, doing so is essential, regardless of what obstacles you face. So, without further ado, let's go over five solid reasons why you should keep working out while on vacation or a holiday break. Let's explore…
1. Your Muscles will shrink
Shrink is not necessarily the right word, but your muscles will certainly get smaller if you stop training them for a while. Sadly, building muscle takes a long time and plenty of effort, but losing you r progress occurs much more quickly.
Each muscle in the body needs time to recover. Larger muscles, such as the quadriceps, need more time, whereas smaller ones, such as the deltoids, recover quicker. But, if your breaks occur for too long, your body starts to catabolize muscle for energy. The reason for the effect is that your body begins to see muscle as unnecessary and costly tissue. So, if we do not train it, we lose it (as we do not need them).
How quickly you will regain lost muscle will depend on numerous factors, including your nutrition, training effort, and consistency. But, I'm sure we can all agree that losing your progress and regaining it later can be disheartening.
2. You will feel worse
We all carry this intuitive belief that we should enter relaxation mode as soon as our vacation starts and stay that way until we are back at work. Sure, that idea carries a lot of truth, and we will not stand here and tell you that relaxing is a waste of time or something of that effect. But, the truth is, we do need time to relax and unwind.
Also, too much time spent relaxing can have the opposite effect. Instead of feeling better and more rested, we start feeling worse. Plus, we might even start feeling guilty for not doing anything, which only serves to ruin our vacation time.
Think back to a time when you missed a few training sessions. Maybe you felt under the weather or had too much work and could not make it to the gym. Whatever the case might be, how did you feel about it? Sure, working out is exhausting, and it might leave you feeling some from time to time. But you likely missed it and wanted nothing more than a good workout.
So, save yourself these unpleasant feelings and satisfy your need to do something by having your regular workouts. Chances are, your sessions will make you feel great because those will be your only tasks on the to-do list.
3. You might turn into a grumpy Person
Let's be honest for a moment. Nobody likes grumpy people. There is nothing more annoying than someone spoiling your holidays with their bad mood. Here is the thing, though:
You can turn into that grumpy person if you skip workouts while on vacation. First, you might feel guilty about skipping workouts, leading to low mood and irritability. Second, research shows that exercise plays a vital role in our mood and mental health. Missing workouts might prevent you from reaping these benefits.
Avoid turning into poor company to your friends and family by planning time for your workouts. You'll feel much better, and your fellow travelers will thank you.
4. You will lose the Momentum
Imagine that your fitness journey is you pushing a large rock. It starts incredibly slow because you are trying to figure out how to push the rock up without letting it slip and tumble back to the bottom. Then, despite your effort, you find yourself slipping because the rock feels heavy.
At some point, you make it to the top of the hill. From there, things move more smoothly because it no longer takes you as much effort to keep the rock moving forward. The terrain is now mostly horizontal, with the occasional rise or fall.
The same goes for fitness. It takes a lot of effort to start because you have to develop habits and get into a "rhythm." But, at some point, you build up enough momentum that carries you and makes the entire process seamless. The problem with momentum is that it does not last forever, and skipping workouts increases the risk of losing it. Skipping a few workouts might not seem that bad, but stopping your routine while on vacation could put you in an easygoing and carefree mindset that persists even when you are back home. It might then take you a long time to get back into your consistent and hard training rhythm.
5. You might accumulate some "Padding"
Gaining some fat is by no means the worst thing that could happen to you, but it can be disheartening, especially if you consider yourself fit and active. An issue with skipping workouts while on vacation is that you might put yourself at a higher risk of accumulating some extra padding. The effect is possible because of two reasons:
- You are more likely to indulge in ice cream, tasty food, a few extra beers, wine, and such. Check out this post for some actionable tips on healthy eating while on vacation.
- You are moving less, which means you are burning fewer calories.
The former is by no means terrible. You should be able to enjoy a few treats while on vacation. After all, that is the time to relax a bit and give yourself a break from the rigid schedule. But, nothing is to say that you can not have your workouts, burn extra calories, and reduce the risk of gaining fat.
Remaining active while on vacation starts by knowing your options. Ask your hotel about their pool facility and available gym, or consider running on the beach or in a local park. You can also look around for decent gyms around your hotel. Sometimes, hotels deal with local facilities, giving guests special rights for use and discounts. You might even get a free day's pass.