Vacation mindset and why you should “sweat the small stuff”

Happy Wednesday,

As you know, I LOVE travel. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, I love visiting new places and meeting new people.

However, travel can get tiring and throw you out of your routine if you don’t have a plan for it.

Since so many FRESH! clients are corporate professionals, travel is a common frustration and blamed as a barrier to their health and wellness success.

My recent schedule involved A LOT more travel than normal, so it inspired me to write this post…

The past 10 days have been action packed on my end. After a great conference and business retreat in San Diego, I was home for less than 48 hours and am now on my way to Mexico for a family vacation.

My original goal was to stick to usual email schedule, and send this on Friday morning, but I (smartly, according to my wife) chose to prioritize family and checking some Calgary-based tasks off the list.

This message is actually being written from a Westjet flight while the kids are watching the Captain Underpants movie beside me (writing this was MUCH more compelling than Captain Underpants!),

Since I’ve been traveling for business, and am now slipping into vacation mode, I thought it would be prudent to write about one of the important factors in health and well-being…

I’m referring to your MINDSET about fitness.

This topic actually crosses over into all 4 Pillars of Performance (Mindset, Habits, Movement, Fuel).

As I mention in my book and in all client coaching sessions, your Mindset is the filter through which you see the world. It determines virtually everything else in your life, and influences whether you are in a Circle of Success or Distress™.

Today we will look at how this mindset plays out when people travel for both work and pleasure.

Virtually all of our clients at FRESH! are corporate professionals, and travel is a fairly regular occurrence for them.

One of the first questions I ask to gauge their mindset is “Do you exercise when you travel?”

Far too often the answer is “NO! Vacation is a time to relax. Why would I workout?”

Other people say, “Sure, if the hotel has a nice gym”, or “I would love to, but the schedule is often too busy to get to the gym”.

All of these answers point to an unproductive mindset around fitness and health.

The first answer demonstrates that the person thinks of exercise and fitness as a “Chore” to be done grudgingly, and that you would need a “break” from this chore during your vacation.

When a client answers in this way, I know that we need to work on changing that mindset before long term health and fitness success is possible.

The other answers show that people have the desire and motivation to workout, but would benefit from a change in perspective around fitness.

We won’t go into the details of the coaching process for these situations, but it all comes down to identifying and replacing key beliefs around fitness, and health, while providing some perspective on the “Movement Spectrum”.

The Movement Spectrum

This is a key part of the talks and presentations I do for Corporations and working professionals as it has a direct impact on:

  • Energy
  • Motivation
  • Productivity
  • Fitness
  • Injury
  • Overall Health

Here is a quick overview (A more detailed description of each step can be found in The Fitness Curveball).

The movement spectrum is a progressive phase of physical development that EVERY person should be aware of.

Using it properly is at the heart of increased performance in life. Failure to understand and use it is at the root of most injury, frustration, and failure to achieve your physical goals.

It all starts with MOVEMENT. I define movement as simply taking each joint in your body through a full range of motion on a regular basis (multiple times per day is ideal).

The next step is ACTIVITY. This encompasses our activities of daily living (ADL)…Everything we do each day at work, home, and play (Grocery shopping, getting dressed, working, locomotion, etc.).

The more active we are each day, the healthier we will be.. 60 or 70 years ago, people were much more active because there weren’t as many modern conveniences.

After activity, comes EXERCISE. Exercise is merely activity that is done above a baseline of intensity. You do something that gets your heart rate and effort level above normal. This can include work, hobbies, games, leisure pursuits and much more. The recommendation is to exercise at least 3 times per week, but 4 or 5 would be better. These “sessions” can be as little as 10-15 minutes each.

Remember that there isn’t a specific goal to these exercise sessions. Just get your heart rate and effort level above your usual baseline.

For example, if you’ve become more active by walking more each day, simply take this walking and do it at a faster pace. Perhaps you choose to take the stairs more often, but walk up them two at a time.

These little choices each day begin to add up, while also slowly shifting your mindset and focus to the small daily choices you have to improve your health.

FITNESS comes in when we take exercise, and focus on a specific physical aspect such as:

  • Cardiovascular capacity
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility/Range of motion
  • Power
  • Etc.

PERFORMANCE is when we take Fitness activities, and add competition (whether with yourself or others). Typically some scoring or specific competitive parameters are introduced.

The interesting thing is that FITNESS and PERFORMANCE are completely optional.

To be healthy, happy, and achieve your ideal body composition, you don’t need to do them.

More importantly, if you try to do them without doing the previous 3 steps (in order), you actually decrease your chances of success, and increase the risk of failure, frustration, and injury.

80% or more of the overall health benefits come from the first three phases (MOVEMENT, ACTIVITY, EXERCISE).

Even more relevant to people is that none of these phases have anything to do with “going to the gym”.

Sure, you can do them in the gym, but a fitness centre is not necessary, and often counterproductive because it leads people to focus on the wrong things for their needs. People often skip the first three steps and try to jump straight to fitness or performance (do New Year’s Resolutions, or joining a “Bootcamp” come to mind?).

This typically leads to injury, frustration, and burnout.

The great news is that Movement, Actiivty, and Exercise can be done ANYWHERE, don’t require any fancy EQUIPMENT, and you don’t need any special SKILLS.

The solution is to simply, move your body more. Doing so provides an amazing list of benefits to you, including:

  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Improved moods
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased stress levels
  • Greater confidence, and self esteem
  • And much more

If we take think about our travel situation through the lens of the Movement Spectrum, we see that it opens up a completely new perspective.

Thinking (and acting) from this perspective will help you realize that the movement spectrum isn’t something you “take a break from” while on vacation. It’s part of who you are, and what you choose to do daily.

You will also realize that you can harness this phenomenon to improve your energy, health, and happiness, while decreasing the impact of jet lag to help you sleep better reduce stress, and be more productive.

Now that sounds like a great vacation to me!

From this day forward, I challenge you to be conscious of the daily opportunities you have to harness the power of the movement spectrum.The “small stuff” (like movement, activity, and exercise) matter the most.

Do these properly, and you will be amazed at how much your health and fitness level also improve!

Next time you are on vacation, make time for movement, activity, and exercise to help you explore your vacation destination. You might just find yourself motivated to take it to the next level and do a “workout”!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Keep an eye on your inbox for tomorrow morning. I’m in a writing mood and have a small rant in the works!

Tim Borys
FRESH! Wellness Group

P.S. I’m in the preliminary stages of planning a book launch event in Calgary, and have a few questions for you.

  1. Would you be interested in attending?
  2. What day of the week and time would be most convenient for you?
  3. Do you know of any people or businesses who would be interested in collaborating with me on it (venues, food. beverages. marketing, health, wellness, etc.)

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