Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Does Your Bod Need on Vacation?

I recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica. Oh. My. God. If heaven needed a model, the Tabacon Luxury Hotel and Grand Spa in La Fortuna de San Carlos would be it. And this is where I spent my trip. The beauty of this place, surrounded by the rain forest and located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, is indescribable. You have to see to believe, my friends. Not even this picture to the left does this place justice.

While in Costa Rica, I zip lined through the rain forest, took the most amazing yoga class in an open air bungalow (again, in the middle of the rain forest), and most importantly had the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. I felt lucky.

If you're like me and you workout 5 or more days per week, your body can take a beating if you don't rest it. It can also hit a plateau point where (if your goal is weight loss or muscle gain, not maintenance) it starts taking the path of least resistance and you're not seeing results (i.e. you aren't seeing changes in the mirror or in the fit of your clothing, and you no longer feel sore after your workouts). This is where taking a week off from your routine can actually be beneficial. You will give your muscles the opportunity to "forget" the workouts, chill out, and when you resume your routine, break down muscle fibers again and then build them back up once more. Just as much as your head might need a break from the daily grind by taking a vacation, so might your body. When I returned from my trip, I took a Total Body Conditioning class at my gym that usually doesn't make me feel too sore the next day. After taking a week off, I started to feel sore during the class!

Try to stay in tune with your body and listen to what it needs. Maybe a vacation is the perfect opportunity to workout every day if you don't have the time to fit in as much exercise as you'd like in daily life. In that case, before booking a hotel, make sure there is a gym on site. Perhaps there are even fitness classes or personal trainers available to you. These days, you can book healthy retreats that focus solely on fitness throughout your stay. Click here for some examples. Stay tuned for my next blog about keeping healthy and fit while traveling. For now, Be Well!

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