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, participating in high intensity work outs, just like at home, is 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 to put 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?

Sailing is the best.

Your Clothes Should Do Something

I’ve never considered myself a stylish individual, see above sailing picture.

My process for item selection is incredibly simple: garments and accessories should do something.

Whether they’re keeping me warm, cool, holding my stuff, facilitating movement (yay sports!), helping me get a job, or even making my legs look longer, my wardrobe consists entirely of items that do something.

You know that saying, “Honey, that shirt/dress/pair of trousers do(es) nothing for you.” 

It’s like my inner rationalist took that saying on and beat it up until my mother would approve.

When we select items to represent ourselves to the world, the semiotics are more than I could ever hope to break down…even if I were to write a novel. This confusion over representation is one of the reasons there is a fashion industry and why there are so many fashion bloggers out there. So, I’mma dodge that bullet (at least for now).

But what I can contribute to the discussion is a somewhat Durkheimian perception of item selection.

Owning clothes or items simply because they appeared appealing does very little for our day-to-day needs. When we cave and purchase something for purely symbolic value (because it’s pretty), these items often end up living on a hanger or in a closet somewhere (hehm, those painful shoes).

So, I challenge you, walk into your closet and ask yourself, what do your garments and accessories do?

Wardrobe Wrangle

Due to the nature of my work, I’ve been out of the country for the summer…almost every year since 2006. 

Last year, I managed to stay in the country but, I was still doing field work in northern Alberta…and company protocol (and my dislike for bug bites) demanded full length pants and shirts.

While back in the city, I had several occasions to go out for drinks with friends and when I did, I was surprised to discover that I owned very little summer clothing. All of my shorts are nearly a decade old.

So, it’s spring and it’s time to look into spring-summer transition pieces…clearly, after a decade out of the loop, I needed some advice. Here’s where I went:

Becky Kung has styled me so many times in the last couple of years and every time I see the results of her expertise, I am totally blown away. Becky’s style is often far more bold than my own but, there are so many fun takeaways from her website about lengths, shapes, colours, prints and patterns.

Kayla Short is a wonderful blogger from Halifax whose style is a little more similar to my own. I really enjoy browsing through the outfits that she puts together. Between her and Becky, there are now so many items that I pull off a shelf/hanger to try on, that before, I would have missed.

Taylor MacDonald is all of the different kinds of amazing and her advice is super on point: Have questions about your wardrobe and/or look? Then you should ask her!

Her one-on-one method will help you navigate your way into the look that’s best for you.

How do you dress for the summer season?

Where do you go for advice when you are picking out something new to wear?

Until Next Time!