To Exercise or not to Exercise: Vacation as a Fitness Enigma

So, you’re going on vacation. 
Do you bring training gear?

Well, if you’re participating in Wellness Tourism, of course you are!
But if you’re going to drink wine, sit on a patio, sail around the coast, lounge at the beach and eat all the delicious things you can find… do you bring your gear?

One of the conceits that I’m doing my best to break down on this blog is the idea that there is a type of lifestyle perfection that you ought to be pursuing. There isn’t one.

So, when you go on vacation, even if you’re a regular exerciser at home, it is totally up to you to decide how much you want to work out. You don’t have to go for runs in the streets of Paris or hike to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu… even though I think both of these things rock.

Meeting general activity level requirements on vacation is rarely an issue. There are so many things to walk around and see, so many seas to swim in, so many monuments with an absurd amount of stairs… your general activity level on vacation is probably much higher than your activity levels at home!

However, high intensity work outs, just like at home, are a decision that you need to make yourself.
For me, this is a decision I make before vacation starts.

Unless you’re an elite athlete, there is very little reason for you to hesitate putting your running shoes down for the duration of your vacation. Put them down! Packing your runners, “just in case” you get around to getting a workout in is the worst. Guilt is not something that should be hauled along on vacation with you.

However, if you’re a regular exerciser back home and you feel that vacation is the perfect time to explore new places and new workout opportunities… pack that gear! Two years ago, my partner and I stayed in Cannes La Bocca, a 6km run from Cannes proper. Nearly every morning we packed a light bag and ran down to the beaches of Cannes for fun, sun, espresso and breakfast. It was awesome.

So, ask yourself!
Before you pack that horrible “maybe” gear, are you going to do high intensity workouts on vacation?


Pickashoe; I choose you!

Something I find really interesting is that, when ever I go shoe shopping, the salesperson often comments on the shoe that I’ve tried on.

That shoe, and how it stands alone, is not my concern. It looked like a pretty shoe before I put it on my foot. You already knew that it looked like a pretty shoe before I put it on my foot.

My concern is how it makes ME look.
Yes, I’m self centred but, really, if we’re talking about buying new pretty things, that’s really what we’re all going for anyways. No?

When I pick a shoe, my primary concern is what the shoe provides for me.
Do the shoes make my legs look longer? Leaner? Balanced? Top Heavy? Do I look like Big Foot?
Often, especially when people select boots, we are more concerned about the appearance of the shoe than the appearance of ourselves inside of the shoe. I’ve seen shoes take long legged wonder women and cut their legs down to those of a portly, adolescent, male. The shoes were gorgeous, of course.

So, I challenge you. Go take your shoes out of their closet space and get ready for some seriously honest mirror time. Here’s what we’re going to do:

  • Wipe off your shoes. These bad boys live on the ground; occasional touch ups and protective coats have been earned by these poor soles.
  • Try on your shoes with something that you think you’d normally pair them with.
  • Ask yourself, outside of colour, how do these shoes contribute to your appearance?
  • Follow up with: Is that what I want them to do?
  • If what your shoes do is different from what you had intended them to do, try pairing them with something else to see if it makes a difference.
  • If these shoes are still faux-amis, donate them.

Keeping shoes around that don’t help you out will just clutter your living space.
You’re a busy person, you don’t need that.


*disclaimer: if your goal is having your legs look like that of a portly, adolescent, male… then you rock those crazy shoes.
**disclaimer: there is clearly nothing innately wrong with portly, adolescent, males.