Planning Ahead, Creativity and the Big Hill

imagesThis past weekend my community group from Watermark Church went on a retreat to Lake Palestine, Tx. We stayed at a resort to enjoy time away from the buzz of city life.

As I prepared and packed for this trip, I realized that every time I go somewhere I have to plan ahead so that I can meet my commitment. (For 100 days in a row, I am committed to exercising for 30-45 minutes a day.) For those of you who make a habit of exercising, you know how difficult it can be to maintain those habits when you are away from home.

Even though I was gone from home, I was successful in meeting my daily workout challenge. This trip taught me that being consistent in exercise while on vacation requires at least two things.

First, it is important to plan ahead. Before my wife and I left for our trip, I Googled our resort to find out what kind of recreational facilities they had. I knew that if they had a gym that I would probably use it. By planning ahead, immediately I was in the mindset that I would work out. There would be no wrestling against temptation to skip once I got there.

Second, being consistent with exercise routines when traveling requires a certain amount of creativity. While I knew the resort we stayed at had a gym, I never found it. I never really looked for it once I was there. Instead, I found a much larger and more beautiful gym called nature! In particular, there were a lot of steep hills on secluded roads that I found refreshing to exercise on.

On the first day I had simply walked up and down hills at a brisk speed for 45 minutes. As I talked with my wife during our time together, I was able to get enough intensity to build up lots of sweat for at least 35 minutes of our 45 minute workout. It was a good workout and nothing can beat being smelling the fresh summer air with a cool lake breeze!

The creativity really started when I saw a P90X infomercial. I was reminded of the necessity of muscle confusion as a way of overcoming plateau in exercise. So I tried this concept the second day I was at the lake. I went up and down the same hills, but this time I tip toed up and down hills, changed the length and depth of my stride, and walked backwards. I was always at a normal walking speed, but this time the results of my workout were much better! I sweat like a greased pig in July!

It is such a relief that I was able to keep my commitment. Now I know for the future to always plan ahead and to be willing to be creative. Keeping an active healthy lifestyle is possible no matter where I go!

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