In two days, my wife and I are leaving on a three week vacation to California. We are going to visit some of her relatives in the Sacramento area and then I’m going to show her Monterey, where I was stationed in the 60’s and again in the 80’s. Then we will visit more relatives in Arizona and return home to Texas. We have also started to get into rock hunting, so we may do a little of that as well.
As always, I want to keep my exercise program as up to date as possible, so I am taking my home gym equipment with me. Excuse me a moment while I put it in the trunk…
Ugh! Oomph! Arrrrgh!
Whew! I was worried it wouldn’t fit, weren’t you?
Oh. You can’t see it, can you? Let me describe it to you. It’s a 15 lb dumbbell.
Actually, I don’t even need the dumbbell to keep fit while I’m on vacation, but I have a reason for taking it. Each night when I unpack the car at a motel, it will silently remind me that I need to keep my exercise program going at some level. It will also remind me, by being one little lonesome dumbbell, that I am on vacation, so I might be forgiven if I don’t exercise at the same level I do while at home. Once it’s in the room, it will sit staring accusingly at me, until I pick it up. Sort of like my dog, Diamond, but I’m leaving her with our daughter.
Now, some of you may be saying, “What a wuss!” Only one 15 lb dumbbell? What the heck can he do with that?”
Well, first of all, I have been exercising regularly since 1970, so my body can go into light maintenance mode without much problem. Second, I am 62 years old. Ten years ago, it might have been a couple of 25 lb dumbbells, but we need to be able to adjust our exercise program to meet our ages and abilities. A few years ago, I could run 6+ miles without too much problem, either, but an old soccer injury has cut me down to walking speed.
Anyway, what is my plan, and what AM I going to do with all my exercise equipment?
There’s a key word up there. P-L-A-N
If you leave on vacation without a plan, it might turn into a pretty confusing and unrewarding event. Same thing with vacation exercise. If you don’t have a plan in place, you are going to arrive at each place, get caught up in whatever else is going on, and then sit in front of the TV at night…or at the bar. It’s the same at home, really. If you don’t have some sort of exercise plan to think about and work at…you probably won’t do anything except for those occasional times that you get this guilty feeling and go walk around the block.
So, here’s MY plan.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I will do Presses, Curls, Rowing, Bench Presses, Squats, and Toe Raises. Yes, you can do a modified bench press with just one dumbbell. I will do five to ten minutes of warm-up and stretching first, followed by three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of each of those exercises, followed by some abdominal crunches, and a cool-down, Every other day, I will turn my back on my sad little dumbbell, put on my walking shoes and go out for a 30 minute walk. I may miss a day here or there, but when I get back home after 3 weeks of traveling, I will feel just as good as I do now, and I will have had the energy and fitness required to “enjoy” a vacation with the relatives.
I also long ago learned yoga, which I do regularly as well, so I will make sure that some of those evenings in the motel are dedicated to a little yoga session. I have also made sure that all the motels we are staying at have a pool that I can use for a little swimming or water aerobics…or something that looks like it and hopefully won’t be mistaken for drowning.
Now, since I am already in excellent health and pretty decent physical condition, this is going to work for me. If you are hoping to start an exercise program, starting it while you are on vacation might not be advisable, but if you are already doing something and are going on vacation, plan ahead how you intend to tackle your exercise needs while on the road. If you are really up the food chain in the area of exercise, you may want to pack a bag with a little more than my itsy-bitsy 15 lb dumbbell.
What you choose to exercise WITH is not that important as making sure you don’t skimp the exercise or cut it out all together because you’re “on vacation”.
Hey, I’m going to be in California! I wonder if Arnold will let me use his gym?
What do you think?
Well, it’s time for me to go, but remember one thing…I’ll be back.