Harnessing that post-vacation high
According to research from 2017, nearly half of Canadians travel over March Break. Each year, we come back to work with more energy, having slept better and taken a break from stress. Warmth and sunlight in vacation destinations give us a dose of vitamin D and boost our energy.
Research published in the Journal of Occupational Health found short vacations have a positive effect on health and well-being even after you return home. It also found these positive effects diminish fairly quickly (2-4 weeks). But how can you extend that post-vacation high? Kelly Musovic, personal training divisional manager with GoodLife Fitness suggests taking advantage of the 'honeymoon period' after a vacation to hit the gym with renewed focus and additional energy. Physical activity produces 'feel good' hormones so we can feel optimistic and cheerful even after we go back to the grind. Exercise also promotes deeper sleep, helping reduce stress and function better during the day.
Musovic suggests the following tips:
Watch out for holiday creep: It's tempting to on a few extra days after your vacation to do nothing. Days can easily turn into weeks, so it’s important to get back to your exercise routine as soon as you can when you return.
Drink lots of water: Drinking eight glasses of water a day will help reduce post-vacation bloat, improve circulation and make you more alert.
Stock up, prepare healthy meals: Soon after your land. Be sure to get to the store and stock up on healthy foods. Prepare some nutritious options so you’ll have healthy meals during your first days back in action. Now’s a good time to incorporate some new foods that you tried on holiday.
Create a fitness plan: Plan your exercise routine and book it into your calendar now before the demands of work and family take over. Planning is half the battle when it comes to establishing a routine that sticks.
Start something new: Now is a great time to try a new fitness class or take up a new sport. Channel your inner dancer with a barre or ZUMBA class. Or maybe try out martial arts like kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or BODYCOMBAT. Mixing it up is good for your body and your motivation.
Ease back into your routine: Don’t compensate for the downtime with two hard-core hours of cardio. Lower the intensity and weights for your first few workouts, then build back up gradually.
Full body exercises: Look for exercises that target the bigger muscles. Try doing basic moves like push-ups, body weight squats, reverse lunges and dumbbell presses. Build up your reps over time and try to stop just before exhaustion.
Get your heart rate up: If you’re looking to burn fat and calories, cardio and high-intensity interval training are great choices. Try a spin class or a quick moving group fitness class like BODYATTACK. Remember to build up the intensity over the first few weeks.
Musovic and fitness experts in your area are available to talk more about harnessing the positive effects of vacation to launch a fitness routine. We can also connect you with gym members who have been away on vacation and are kicking off their spring exercise programs.