One of the things that I look forward to the most during summer vacation is the ability to pick up and leave the scorching heat of Arizona to the warm, breezy weather of the Midwest. Where daylight literally rolls into nighttime around 9:30 p.m. and splendid fireflies pepper the dark skies. For a few weeks, my kids and I get treated to, no – actually spoiled with, delicious nostalgic meals at my parents’ home, located just outside of Chicago. As much as I try to demonstrate self-control, before I know it, I find myself gorging on my mom’s famous Buttery Jeera Biscuits (savory cumin biscuits) and Chevdo (spicy snack mix with fried lentils, rice flakes and peanuts).
For me personally, it is unreasonable to make it to the local gym near my parents’ house every single day and work out nearly as hard as I do at my gym back home. Here are 3 simple tricks I use to maintain at least some level of physical activity and stay in shape on vacation. After all, sometimes, not going backwards is progress enough.
- Set Realistic Expectations
Let’s face it. After staying up until 2 a.m. the night before catching up on old movies, I do not have the energy to wake up before the kids to get in a solid hour’s worth of uninterrupted workout. However, when I do wake up in the morning, whatever time it may be, I tell myself to get my running shoes on and at least run around the block. The last few times, simply getting myself to run around the block has led to 4- and 5-mile runs around my old neighborhood, my legs leading the way and my mind following, engrossed in familiar landmarks as well as the subtle changes I notice around me.
- Do Something…..Anything
On days when even a run is not going to happen, I take advantage of 5 minutes here and there throughout the day. In between card games, I can squeeze in some wall sits and lunges. While at the park, I throw in some sun salutations. I even involve the kids by converting the jungle gym at the park into an American Ninja Warrior-esque obstacle course. While fumbling my way across the monkey bars, I feel strong as my heart races to beat my kids’ time.
- Bets Are Worth A Thousand Squats
Since summer vacations typically involve many kid-related activities throughout the day, I love to take advantage of the bets I lose while we’re swimming, mini-golfing or playing cards. Even though my ego gets bruised, I suppose it is a blessing in disguise when I have to pay up with push-ups and squats when I end up losing on the mini-golf course or in the swimming pool.
What are your tips to stay in shape on vacation? Share below!
Born in India and raised in Chicago, Gita Kshatriya now calls Arizona home. In her previous life, she was a mechanical engineer, mainly focusing on the design of nuclear power plants. After moving to Arizona, her role transitioned to Jack of All Trades. She can be found helping her husband run his small business, working on proposals for her father-in-law’s civil engineering firm and often helping her mother-in-law cook for up to 100 senior citizens. But most of all, she enjoys the craziness that comes along with raising her three very busy children (ages 15, 12 and 10). Through her blog, Warrior In The Kitchen, she is on a mission to make sure her Indian roots, family traditions, recipes and stories live on in her children. You can follow her on WarriorInTheKitchen, Facebook and Instagram.