This post comes from the gorgeous island of the gods, Bali.
I have always defined myself as a traveller, not a tourist. The moment I reach a new country, I am off exploring. By the time I leave, the very essence of the local culture is absorbed into my soul. The sights and smells saturate my senses, but this vacation was going to be different.
I had decided to try vacationing the Sybarite way – sitting by the pool, sipping on my mocktails as I read a Perry Mason novel. For my outings, I decided to do half-day tours and nothing too strenuous. The plan lasted all of 2 hours.
My first morning here, I was looking for a nice spot for meditation. Instead, I stumbled across the gym and obviously, I walked-in. There on the counter was detox water and I wanted a sip, but of course, you have got to earn it, right!? So there I was, running on the treadmill, mentally planning all the exercises I was going to do. I did my whole hour, forgot about the detox water and instead went for a few laps around the pool.
At that point, my day completely turned around! I was pumped-up and my energy level had shot-up. In the morning, despite the 7 hour sleep, I had woken-up tired and groggy and it wasn’t jet-lag. Bali is only 2.5 hours ahead of India.
The morning exercise changed all that. After the exercise and a nice breakfast, I went for a fun day-out and came back to the hotel still running high.
A few more days of this routine and I realised that if I had done this before, my vacations could have been even better. Honestly, I may have explored more and that’s saying something!
So, I wanted to share this insight with all of you.
I scrapped my per-written post, sat down in the hotel lobby and I wrote this article.
Exercise pumps us full of happy chemicals. Endorphins leave us feeling like we are brand new and our body is pumped full of happy drugs while, Serotonin infuses us with a sense of happiness. All of this makes for the perfect vacation mood.
Exercise can also help with the anxiety you may feel about the work piling-up in your absence.
Let’s face it, stressing-out won’t help. So, sweat a little to keep the anxiety at bay. If you choose to exercise at night, you’ll have a great sleep. Unfamiliar bed and differently sized mattresses don’t always make for a restful sleep but if you’re too exhausted to notice, you just might wake-up energized and ready to go.
The sense of wellbeing has not waned at all. If anything, it’s stronger than ever, and it made me want to do more to protect animals.The next logical step was obviously to adopt a cruelty-free approach to skin and hair care. As I was considering this, I had no idea how challenging it would be for me to clean my home of all animal-tested products.
I eat to live!
I am not a big eater but, I have always enjoyed breakfast buffets. Perhaps, it’s because of the tiny portions, simple food, and a ton of options. Whatever, I always really enjoy pigging out on breakfast buffets, but there’s always the fear of the extra (unhealthy) pounds I’ll have to knock-off. Not to mention, the guilt that comes with breaking every health rule.
The unhealthy pounds and the guilt can all be avoided if you manage a solid workout in the morning. I don’t know about you but knowing that I am keeping myself healthy even on vacation will help me enjoy more.
The moment I step out of my post-workout shower, I feel the difference in my body. My energy level is up, the mood is already chipper, and I know I’ll manage my day without my body giving up on me.
The same can be said for your holidays. If you are the kind that enjoys exploring all the local attractions, finding new eating joints, and hunting for quite corners where you can meditate and breathe then, you must also be familiar with the swollen feet and aching legs one wakes up with on the second day of the holiday.
Exercising in the morning stretches out all those muscles. It releases the tension and stiffness, and having put in an hour pounding on the treadmill and sweating on the mat keeps us active for far longer than usual. So far as I am concerned, the possibility of extra adventures is incentive enough.
Running on the sidewalk of a completely new city! Just imagine all the coffee shops or libraries you find! You may stumble across a whole bunch of hidden jewels that are not given on any tourist website or discussion forums!
Walking on the beach with the sound of the crashing waves enlivening your senses.
Best of all, joining a group of locals in their yoga session and learning their favourite way of staying fit. Oh, hell yeah!
We all do the famous, local attractions, and the random suggestion on the web. I try to get lost in the lanes and it usually ends with me finding quaint bookshops and cafes.
The experience could be taken to a whole new level by investing a couple hours in the morning exercising as you interact with this new city you’re in. This way, it doesn’t take time away from your exploration and you are doing something healthy as well. As you walk back to your hotel, perhaps you can grab a health smoothie! I think it’s a pretty good plan.
‘I need a vacation from my vacation’
– A fairly common complaint!
On Instagram, I have seen several posts where people complain about how exhausted they are from their vacation. I find this so extremely ridiculous but at the same time, while I may not dedicate time to recuperating from a vacation, I always do have a migraine or cold as soon as I get back from my holiday.
In my case, I think it’s the change in how I treat my body in the first couple hours of the morning. On a regular day, my day starts with a nice walk, exercise, healthy drinks, meditation, and journaling, but on vacation, I shower as soon as I get up and then, I spend a good 30 minutes savouring my breakfast. I don’t think I even stretch in the morning.
Exercising in the morning, swimming, and meditating will allow me to maintain a schedule fairly similar to the one I have at home. This will make it easier for me to slip back into my routine without my body suffering any holiday hangover and I’ll be productive as soon as I get back.
Seriously, do not stop exercising just because you’re on vacation. Keep your vacations healthy. They are meant to give you a change of pace, and help you go back to work inspired and with a new appreciation for your life.
What’s your take on the subject. Do share in the comments below.
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