Home Health & Fitness Exercise

Workout on Vacation? Give it a Try.

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By Dr. Cliff McCain |

How many of you look forward to your vacation? We all love that bit of time that we get away with our families and relax. So, how many of you exercise on vacation? The word “relaxation” and “exercise” may not go together in some people’s vocabulary, but I have found that some exercise on vacation can be rewarding. You just have to find the right places! I have been blessed to be able to travel in the last few years and have found exercising in the right location can have both physical and psychological rewards for you.

Dr. Cliff McCain takes a selfie during a vacation run.

I am a novice runner but I take my health and mental wellbeing seriously. Vacations have given me an extra opportunity to grow as a runner and enjoy the experience at the same time. Some of the places I have been able to run include: On the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, on the beach at Bandon, Oregon, and on campus on a beautiful morning at the University of Notre Dame. Everyone has places they visit that are special to them. These were special memories for me and benefitted me in many ways.  I hope you may find these reasons to exercise are also true for you.

KEEP YOUR STAMINA GOING

First and foremost, I was able to run some and not lose all my stamina on my vacation.  It is so easy to get out of shape, physically and mentally, and this kept me going.

INCREASED MOTIVATION

Secondly, it gave me some extra motivation. The change of scenery boosted my morale and I was even more eager to push myself when I return home.  I was proud of myself for doing it and used that feeling to keep getting better.

BREAK THE MONOTONY

Do you ever get bored or stale with your exercise routine?  Of course, you do.  We have all been there. Sometimes you just do not want to get up when that alarm goes off early or put on your exercise clothes after working all day. We all have to mix up some of our routines to keep them fresh. What better way to mix it up than running somewhere you have never been?  When you return home, your normal route will seem fresher.

CREATE SOME MEMORIES

Finally, it made some special memories for me.  Take a selfie and remember doing something you are proud of in a place you love being. When I look back at a selfie of me on the same beach in St Andrews where the race scene from Chariots of Fire was filmed, I smile every time. (And also hum the theme song!)

I am certainly not suggesting you do not take a break.  You do not have to do your normal workout.  Just do something.  Run a quick mile or run more at a slower pace that you won’t normally let yourself do.  Just go out and enjoy the experience and take in the surroundings. Packing that extra t-shirt and pair of shorts may be well worth the effort!

Cliff McCain works as Assistant Director of Academic Enrichment in the athletic department at the University of Mississippi. He spent two decades working as a coach and administrator at the secondary education level. McCain holds a doctor of education degree in higher education and master’s degrees in history and educational administration

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