The first day back in the gym after a vacation is never easy.
Here are my tips for easing back into a gym routine while battling post vacation depression.
I'm no fitness guru, but I am a traveler whom has felt the struggle. Trading in my usual routine for a more "potpourri" workout helps accustom my body to being in the gym again. I'm usually feeling like a blob after vacation anyway, so it's a great mood booster as well.
1. Start with cardio
Stairclimber, elliptical, treadmill... whichever you choose, start with cardio to give your heart a much needed workout and allow your body to work up a sweat. I usually do 30 minutes of cardio, but in this workout I lower it to just 10-15 minutes. That's not much, but it's a start to getting your body accustomed to the gym again.
This is one of my favorite exercises to do pretty much anywhere. Our core suffers when we go on vacation thanks to buffets, desserts and drinks. If you usually plank for 3 minutes, then try to plank for at least 2. If 2, then at least 1 and so on. If you've never planked before, try to keep your hips off the ground for at least 30 seconds.
3. Keep it moving
I avoid doing any one workout for too long, otherwise I'll get bored and find myself staring at the red neon exit sign. Let go of your usual routine just this once and bounce around between machines. I incorporate any of the following exercises in smaller increments such as 3 sets of 6-8 reps as opposed to 4 sets of 8-10 reps: chest fly, bicep curl, tricep rope, pull-ups, glute bridge, calf raises.
4. Drink lots of water
Traveling will dehydrate you in general, not to mention if you've had alcohol and other sugary drinks during your trip - odds are you haven't had enough H2O. Make sure you're giving your body more than enough water when you get back into the gym! This promotes better health and will leave you feeling better about yourself. I try to drink at least a couple gallons a day.
5. Cap it at 45 minutes
My typical routine ranges from 1 - 1.5 hours, but it decreases when I haven't been to the gym in a while. Following my tips above should give you a good enough workout to let your body know it's time to start hitting those weights again soon. A little cardio, a little plank and a few machines in between is my way to go for the first workouts back from vacation.