Finding a balance for workouts and vacations

How much should you workout on vacation?

For many people, summer is the great destroyer of routines.  The kids are out of school and many people take vacation – all of which makes it hard to stay focused on fitness.

August is the busiest month for vacation, making this a time when personal trainers hear one question more often than ever from clients: do I have to work out on my vacation?

Like most fitness issues, there is not a single correct answer to this question. Instead, the answer depends on each individual.

Here are three questions that I use to help my clients answer this question:

  1. Was looking good on vacation one of the primary reasons you have been working out? If this is the case, then take some time to enjoy your hard work and don’t push yourself to stay on your regimen. Use the time spent on vacation as a resting period for your body so you can return to the gym recharged.
  2. What are your fitness goals and how does your vacation fit into that timeline? For example, if you are training for a marathon that takes place a few weeks after you return from vacation, it is probably not the best idea to forego working out entirely while you are away. However, if you have been trying to simply improve your strength and endurance overall, taking a week off will not be a major impediment toward your cumulative progress.
  3. Does exercise benefit you in other ways? For me, exercise is something that helps me relax. A long run eliminates the stress of my day in a way that nothing else does. If you enjoy working out or find that it helps you with anxiety or stress, then working out on vacation makes sense.