Memorable vacations often require planning and advance preparation, especially if you travel to a different climate. Here are some hints for getting off to a smooth start and for staying fit while having a good time.
When considering where to go on vacation, consult relatives, friends, and co-workers, as well as travel books, travel agencies, and tourist information bureaus. If you have a chronic medical condition, talk to a knowledgeable physician before you firm up your plans. People with heart conditions, for example, should probably avoid high altitudes.
Work out an itinerary and route. You may decide to diverge from your plan, but at Least you’ll have a framework.
If you’re going to a place that may be crowded, such as a lakeside resort, make reservations for your lodging.
If you’re trying something new, do a trial run. For example, if you’ve never camped out, start with a weekend at an Iocal or state park.
Never embark on a wilderness trip or exotic adventure trave unless you have acquired some expertise through prior experience.
Give a copy of your itinerary to a friend or family member in case there’s an emergency.
A change of climate, such as going south in the winter, may provide a welcome change, but your body may need a while to adapt to it. You can take steps to help yourself adjust more rapidly.
For a warm climate, pack loose-fitting, Iightweight clothing, preferably in white
or light colors, which reflect the sun.
If you’re heading into the cold, you’ll need layers of warm clothing. Pack Long underwear made of silk or polypropylene; wool or polyester sweaters; wool socks; down-filled overgarments; waterproof, lined boots; a waterproof and windproof shell; a warm hat; and perhaps a face mask.
Take it easy for the first day or two of your vacation. In a hot climate, spend the hottest hours of the day indoors or in the shade; schedule exercise for the early morning or late evening (see also “SunSense,”).
Drink extra fluids in hot climates, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Water and fruit or vegetable juices are best. Avoid drinking a lot of beverages with caffeine and avoid too much alcohol, which can increase the risk of dehydration.
While on vacation, especially in a harsh climate or at a high altitude, start out slowly with any sport or exercise routine.
GETTING IN SHAPE
Vacation activities seven just walking-can be tiring. If you’re not used to exercising, get into better condition before you leave.
About a month before your departure date, start an exercise routine to prepare your muscles and ligaments for physical activity. You may want to seek advice from a health-club trainer.
If you plan to do a lot of touring on foot, start a walking program. An hour a day of brisk walking can help you avoid fatigue on your Vacation, and it gives you a chance to break in new walking shoes.
If you are preparing for a ski trip, try step aerobics or working out on a stair or skiing machine. These exercises work the thigh and buttock muscles, which are important for skiing.
For scuba diving or snorkeling, spend some time at a local pool, swimming laps, and perfecting your form. A strong stroke can make these water activities more enjoyable.
If you intend to do any other activities that require considerable exertion, start an exercise routine between six and elght weeks prior to departure. You may want to consult a fltness trainer so that the conditioning exercises you perform are geared to your planned travel.
MAINTAINING YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE
Daily exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy and energetic when away from home. Even the most hectic travel schedule should allow time for a short workout or a brisk walk each day.
Before leaving on a trip, flnd out about the facilities at your hotel. Many hotels have fltness rooms; even more, have pools. Others have agreements with nearby gyms or health clubs.
If you belong to a franchised health club, check if there’s a branch you can use at your destination. Or ask if your club has reciprocity with out-of-town facilities.
Take advantage of fltness classes and facilities on cruises and at resorts.
Look for portable exercise equipment. A jump rope can provide an excellent workout for people with sturdy knees. A cassette player and workout tape f,t easily into a suitcase, and they can inspire you to keep up with your exercise routine on the road.
Even without equipment, you can do calisthenics, sit-ups, leg lifts, and other flexibility exercises in your hotel room.
Walking is the best way to get to know most cities and towns. Get a good map from your hotel or the Local tourist board and take off exploring.
To relieve foot pain from a day of city touring or museum-going, soak your feet in cool water for 10 minutes. Then massage them (or have your travel companion do it).
Elevate your feet to help ease swelling caused by walking or standing (see “Go Easy on Your Feet,”).
When vacationing at the beach, don’t just relax on the sand. Get in the water and swim-it’s one of the best forms of exercise. Bring a mask, snorkel, and flippers to explore the underwater landscape as you exercise. (Using flippers has the added benefit of working the upper thighs.)
Exercise in Transit
Sitting for hours in a plane, train, cor, or bus can leave you tired and listless. By exercising along the way, you can reach your destination feeling more refreshed. Here are a few techniques to try.
Seated isometrics. Sit with your shoulders back, stomach in, knees together, and feet flat on the floor. Starting with your shoulders and working down, contract each major muscle group, holding it for the count of five and then relaxing. This can be especially effective for the buttock, stomach, and back muscles. Car drivers: Be sure to keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.
Seated flexing exercises. Keep your body moving to prevent stiffness and fatigue. At least once an hour, wiggle, bend or rotate all movable parts. Start with your toes and ankles. Next, bend your knees and straighten them. (Be careful not to kick the seat in front of you.) Stretch your arms and shoulders by reaching up to the ceiling. Bend your arms over your head to get a good backstretch. End by shrugging your shoulders and rotating your head.
AND DON’T FORGET…
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring an extra pair and a copy of your prescription in case you lose the original pair. Contact-lens wearers should bring glasses in case eyes get irritated or tired.
If you wear a hearing aid, carry along the brand name and model number, as well as extra batteries.