I just returned from a five day vacation to Florida. It was a wonderful to get away and experience some warm weather and sunshine, but being away from the gym always throws me out of my normal routine. I’m sure many of you will be traveling with Spring Break upon us and summer just around the corner, so I thought I would share one of my vacation workouts with you.
Lately most of my visits to Disney World have been for runDisney events. Most of these vacations are days spent in the final days of a taper, racing and then recovering. I don’t give too much thought to fitting in extra workouts. This trip was different. I was heading to Disney for Atlanta Braves spring training and there were zero races on the calendar. (As a side note I loved the early years of Princess Half Marathon weekend that actually overlapped with Braves spring training. This was like a dream come true for me, so the move of the Princess Half to slightly earlier in February was sad news!) Typically on vacations with no gym I run every single day, but my foot is still not quite up to that. I can workout (almost) every day, but I need to vary it a little more.
What’s a gym rat to do with no gym? Many times when I am on vacation I look online to see if there is a Lifetime Fitness in the area that I can use, but I knew there was not one in the Orlando area. My only option was to make the resort my own personal gym! I started my workout with a one mile run just to warm up. Then I found a bench. This bench was able to serve many purposes for me. I used it for decline push-ups, dips, box jumps & reverse lunge into step-ups. As an added bonus, since this is Disney, the bench was actually bolted into the ground making it extremely stable. I found a nearby three-story flight of stairs, and my workout was staged.
Here was my vacation “Use whatever I can find” workout:
20 decline push-ups from bench
20 dips on bench
10 bench jumps (still supposed to be limiting the jumping on my foot…)
20 reverse lunge into step up (10 each leg) on bench
20 squat jumps (in the grass)
20 flights of stairs
I repeated this circuit five times finishing with 40 extra flights of stairs (for a total of 140) and some ab work. I had fun trying out some ab work in a hammock. The unstable “surface” made some basic moves pretty challenging. I have to say, this did get me some pretty strange looks! In general, I find working out at Disney World gets you “looks.” The fact that they offer gyms at so few of their properties (Only “deluxe” resorts, and not even all of those!) is proof that most people do not show up here looking to workout. If you are a runner planning to visit Disney World, I highly recommend either Port Orleans (where we are staying) or any of the hotels along the Boardwalk. These options offer some of the better running routes on Disney property without having to venture out onto the streets. I have heard the path along the Magic Kingdom resorts is also good, but sometimes very crowded.
A few other ideas for vacation workouts would be to visit a playground or the beach. I did not have access to either one of these on this trip (the playground was very specifically marked for “Under age 12 ONLY” and there was no beach), but have used both in the past. Monkey bars are great for an upper body workout. I also read an idea on the plane that I am anxious to try – decline push-ups on a swing. That sounds challenging but fun! If you have a beach, the sand makes normal workouts much harder. All of your typical body weight exercises will work on sand – push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, squats, lunges, etc. Running is especially challenging in the sand as well!
I often get into the mindset that I need heavy weight to get a good workout and forget just how awesome body weight exercises can be. This week of being “gymless” has been a good reminder for me. It has also forced me to try to push myself without my encouragers surrounding me. Many of these things would have made good “excuses” to skip this week – no gym, no trainer, no weights… I am pleased that I was able to fulfill our motto of NO EXCUSES.