Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer across the country, and our team couldn’t be more excited. Being based in Indianapolis, this weekend is truly special. All eyes turn to our town for the Indy 500 – but our eyes turn just outside of the city to the various lakes across the state. Check out any Instagram feed this weekend and you’re bound to see quite a few people soaking up the sun somewhere warm for this long weekend. That doesn’t mean we forget about the importance of living healthy, though! These vacation workout routines work well whether you’re on the road for a long weekend like this one, or hitting up a beach for a week of complete relaxation.
Vacation Workout Routines | Swim & Cardio
One of the best things about having a couple vacation workout routines in your pocket is the chance to mix up your normal go-to workouts. Even if you truly love to do CrossFit, boxing, HIIT, or cycling, forcing your body to work in a new way is always beneficial.
One of the best outdoor activities you can do is swim. Swimming is not only low-impact (important for anyone with knee, ankle, or hip injuries) but also actually builds muscle while making your heart rate spike. The same cannot be said for running.
A nice way to mix swimming into one of your vacation workout routines is to take a little note from CrossFit, and create what they call a “Task Priority” workout. This means you’ll do a set number of rounds of movements, as fast as you possibly can. Take the following workout as an example:
5 Rounds –
- Swim to neighboring dock and back
- 15 Push Ups
- 30 Air Squats
- 45 Sit Ups
Notice it just says “neighboring dock” – not 25 meters, etc. etc. Pick a repeatable distance and if you’re not a particularly experienced swimmer, make sure it isn’t too far away! Another option to incorporate swimming into the mix is by breaking out a stand up paddle board.
I know, it seems like that would imply NOT getting into the water…but the truth is you’re probably going to fall off quite a few times. Especially if the water is rough where you’re staying, you’ll spend at least some of your time swimming back to your board, hoisting yourself out of the water, and getting back to your feet. Plus, stand up paddle boarding is a great way to incorporate active recovery into your routine and to improve your balance and coordination.
What about strength?
Strength work is always more challenging to incorporate while on the road. Let’s face it. You can only do so many push ups and air squats before you get really, really bored. What’s the solution?
A few heavy books (or anything else in the 5-10 pound range), and a strong backpack.
Lately rucking has been all the trend, and for good reason. It builds your core muscles, as well as your hip strength, and it is extremely low skill so anyone can do it. All you have to do is load up a backpack with 15-45 pounds of weight and walk for 30 minutes. If you’re on a beach, starting your day off with a 30 minute ruck across the sand is a great way to combine a strength and cardio workout into one simple movement.
Additionally, you can use your backpack to do all sorts of odd object movements. Things like bear hug squats, backpack cleans, and overhead presses are all made much more difficult by the shifting weight in your backpack. Incorporate a few sets of 10 of these movements into your routine, and you’ll feel that familiar muscle burn in no time.
can these replace my gym?
Technically, sure. They can. You could do rucking, odd object movements, and swimming with bodyweight and stay healthy and fit. However, you’d miss out on the coaching, attention to well-rounded fitness, and community a gym provides. So, for us, we’ll stick to our gym when we’re home, and we’ll use these vacation workout routines when we’re on the road. Besides, keeping them for vacation use only makes them feel special and much more fun.
For more tips on how to have a healthy Memorial Day Weekend, check out Monday’s blog here: https://redleafnutrition.com/blogs/healthy-memorial-day-weekend/.