Working Exercise into Vacations

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This past week my family was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Big Apple for Spring Break. Many people view vacation as an excuse to cut back on exercising, but vacation can also be an opportunity to experience unique and different ways to exercise and to see what different places and cities have to offer! The top of my list to try were a run through Central Park, taking a spin class at Soul Cycle, and taking an high intensity training class at the AKT Motion Studio. 

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Our Saturday morning run through Central Park is a must while visiting the city. Thankfully the weather was 60 degrees and sunny so Kelly and I headed out on an early morning sunrise jog. The jog is always new as we find little nooks of the park that we have never experienced before. This jog was on the trails through the park and under the most beautiful bridges.

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The tulips were in bloom this weekend giving us the chance to truly experience the beauty of spring in New York. Kelly and I talked about what a great blessing the serenity of the park is amidst the loud city, and how much we love taking in its beauty.

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On Sunday morning, my mom and I  decided to take a spin class at Soul Cycle. I had heard of Soul Cycle and about what an amazing spinning experience it was, so naturally I had to try it! The only open class over the weekend was Sunday at 7am, which I was excited for as I love to exercise in the mornings. The 61 bike studio was sold out for the remaining classes that day, so we were incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to go early. Mom and I walked to the studio to warm up our legs where we were greeted by some nice gentleman who set us up with our clip shoes and cycles. Then the lights when down in the studio as we watched our high energy instructor Tim glow in the candlelit stage area. The music pumped though our veins as we moved our legs and arms to its beat. We worked our cores, arms, quads, and glutes to the max in the 45 minute soul cycle class. The instructor continually reminded us to let our stresses leave our body with the sweat as it puddled on the floor. My heart was pounding and the combination of cardio and strength on the bike was intense and definitely the best spin class I have ever been to- so far! Mom especially enjoyed the stretching portion at end and we both found a little more soul by digging deep to finish that killer spin class!

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Last morning in NYC gave mom and I (seriously she is a trooper!) just enough time to visit the AKT in Motion studio on the upper west side. The 7am "happy hour" class was 60 minutes of high intensity hip-hop dance cardio, weights, and Pilates to tone, strengthen, and firm every inch. The studio was filled with everyone from NYC dancers to beginners all learning a seriously hip dance sequence! I left absolutely drenched with sweat and shaking but smiling the whole way back to the hotel! A true NYC experience that I will definitely be back for next time in the city!

So how can you keep your commitment to fitness alive on vacations? Here are the top 3 excuses I hear about not exercising on vacation and how to counter them!

  1.  I don't have time to workout. It takes some planning to make sure you can accommodate your exercise plans with your sightseeing plans, but it can definitely be done! I do most of my workouts in the morning while on vacation so that the afternoons and evenings can be free for seeing the city, spending time with family, and relaxing. 
  2. I don't want to spend time exercising when I could be experiencing the city. View exercising as a way to experience the city! Central Park is unique to NYC and it's already on most tourists' To Do Lists, so why not take a run through it! Or find a fitness class that interests you in the city and try it out! It's always fun to experience new fitness classes and learn from different instructors. Who knows --you may come home with a new passion! 
  3. I just want to relax on vacation. Exercise reduces the body's level of stress hormones and increases the production of endorphins, which act as a natural mood booster. In essence, exercise is helping you relax. Exercises like yoga may heighten the feeling of relaxation too, while still giving you a strong core workout!

Enjoy your next vacation to the fullest!  I would love to hear some of your favorite spots to exercise on vacation! Blessings, Caroline