Staying motivated while on vacation this summer

Kris Morrill, Fitness column

Kris Morrill, Fitness column

It seems that last weeks' column struck a chord with a few of you, and I am glad for that. I really enjoy the interactiveness that this column has taken on. I am aware that some of you believe that I may take my job as a fitness coach a little too seriously and that I may make too big of a deal about not exercising properly and often enough. Fortunately for you, and me mostly, this column undergoes an extreme editing process before it gets in your hands;, making sure that I don't say something to offend the greater reading population.

This is such a great paper and Albany is fortunate to have it. I understand I am pretty "out there" with a lot of my thoughts, but my sole intention is to motivate and help you in any way to achieve your top fitness level.

My grandmother used to say, "If someone has taken the time to write something, then someone else should take the time to read what that person wrote." With that being said, here is a great article that came across my desk on a hot topic around my facility, "Maintaining your fitness level while on vacation." Here are a few ideas to keep you moving, even on vacation.

Walking on the beach. Walking in soft sand is a killer workout and burns more calories than walking on flat ground. Some experts suggest that you can burn twice as many calories walking in soft sand. Keep it safe by wearing shoes (you may get shinsplints if you go barefoot for too long) and going for a few minutes at a time to get used to it. You'll be surprised how hard it is.

Beach volleyball. You can burn more than 150 calories an hour, depending on how hard you work, and it's a great way to meet other people at the beach while having fun.

Surfing, swimming and snorkeling. Surfing is a total body workout that will challenge every muscle in your body. Even if you just paddle out to the waves and fall off (like I do), you'll get a great workout. Snorkeling is a bit more leisurely, but you can add intensity by swimming a little harder. If you're at a beach that doesn't have big waves, put on your snorkel gear and swim out and back for a few laps to get your blood moving.

Leisurely bike rides. Long bike rides are a great way to see the area while getting in some low-intensity exercise. If you take your time and go all day, you'll burn calories without even thinking about it.

Hiking. Anytime you add elevation to your walks, you'll burn more calories. If you carry a backpack, you'll challenge yourself even more, all while enjoying a little nature. Check with your hotel concierge to see about hiking adventures nearby.

Golf. Golf can be a dud of a workout if you ride around in a cart and drink beer at every hole. If you want to burn more calories, though, carry your clubs and walk the course. You'll burn around 200-300 calories per hour, even more if you hit every ball into a bunker and add 19 strokes to each hole, like I do.

Tennis. Like golf, a game of tennis can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. Chasing the ball and hitting it like you're Serena Williams or Roger Federer will give you a great workout, burning up to 400 calories for a 150-pound person.

(Ref: American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription - "Maintenance of the Training Effect." 7th edition. Baltimore, Md: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.)

Now, taking a week off probably won't make much of a difference but, any more than that, and it may be harder to get back to your previous levels. Finding ways to stay as active as you can will keep you fit, help you avoid weight gain and make the transition back to real life a little easier. If none of these ideas is appealing to you, feel free to checkout my website and click, on "On the Road Workouts" for more ideas.

Thank you for taking the time to read this week's column and, as always, thanks for reading The Herald!

E-mail fitness columnist Kris Morrill, certified personal trainer and owner of World Camp Fitness in Albany, at kris@worldcampfitnesstraining.com.