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“I need a vacation!” 

That’s a phrase we’re sure you’ve said on many occasions. From stressful days at work or busy weeks spent taking care of personal and family obligations, you just need to take a break and recalibrate.

While vacations provide that much-needed relief from your everyday stresses, they can also distract you from your health and wellness goals. Too often many vacationers also take a break from exercising and eating healthy.

If you’re worried about straying too far from your healthy habits, we’ll show you some of the best ways to maintain your health and wellness routine while you’re on vacation! 

Take Your Exercise Essentials With You 

Taking a road trip this summer? Then be sure to save some space in your truck for your exercise equipment! 

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to pack your weight bench or any of the big stuff. Still, there’s plenty of room to include some travel-sized exercise equipment so you can workout during your vacation:

  • Neoprene dumbbell set
  • Resistance bands
  • Exercise mat
  • Inflatable stability ball (and pump)
  • Jump rope 
  • Goggles (in case plan to swim in a pool, ocean or lake) 

In addition to the items above, you’ll want to pack your workout clothes and footwear, and your fitness tracker watch. Even if you’re not using your own vehicle to travel, the items above are lightweight and compact enough to easily store in your carry-ons and luggage for air and train travel.

Take Advantage Of Fitness Centers   

One of the best travel accommodation trends in recent years is the addition of onsite fitness centers. 

Recognizing the importance of everyday exercise to their clients, many resorts, hotel chains and cruise lines now include fitness centers among their list of amenities. Some are pretty simple with a few treadmills and exercise bikes. Others are fully equipped with equipment, free weights, yoga studios and more. Even rental homes and other vacation rental alternatives offer access to exercise equipment! 

When vacation lodgings feature an onsite fitness center or exercise equipment it allows you to conveniently maintain your fitness routine at any time during your vacation. 

You don’t have to worry about packing your equipment (or making excuses for not exercising). Simply dedicate some time each day when you’re most likely to get a workout in- like first thing in the morning before you hit the beach (and before it gets too hot). Best of all, when rainy days cancel your beach or sightseeing time, you can spend some time getting a workout in! 

If you’re still planning your summer vacation, look for lodgings that include a fitness center or workout space to ensure you retain your routine.

Use What’s Around You 

When you get away, do you really get away from it all? 

Find a campsite, lake or National Park that’s off the beaten path. No cell signals. No wi-fi. No neighbors. No distractions. A complete removal from the everyday craziness. And the more remote the location the better! If that’s your idea of a dream vacation, that’s great! In fact, it gives you plenty of time and opportunity to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities that help maintain your health and wellness. 

Although you may not have access to a fitness center or exercise equipment, you can use what’s around you to maintain your routine. No dumbbells and free weights? No worries! Find some fallen branches and rocks that are of equal weight (and easy to handle) and use them as substitutes. Or just use your body weight! Find a strong sturdy branch and use it for your pull-ups. Do your push-ups and sit-ups on the beach, in the grass or on the river banks. 

Fill your day with outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Meditate with only the sounds of nature in the background. Need to run to town for supplies? Bike or walk instead of drive. 

Although you may be removed from your everyday surroundings and routine, you can rely on these natural elements to invigorate you and support your health and wellness journey.  

Don’t Stray Too Far From Your Eating Habits

Your vacation is a necessary break from your busy everyday schedule and to-do list. No work (hopefully). No running errands. No projects around the house. 

Although you’re on a break from the ordinary, it doesn’t mean you should take a break altogether from healthy eating. Sure, it’s ok to indulge in some dessert after dinner or take a little extra from the buffet. Yet, you shouldn’t make a habit of straying too far from your everyday diet. Even though vacations are brief, they can be long enough to affect your weight loss goals and general wellbeing. 

Though it may be tempting to divert from your healthy diet, the end results aren’t worth it. Maintain your health and wellness by continuing to be mindful of what you eat. Try not to obsess or restrict yourself too much, but some basic guidelines to follow are: drink plenty of water first thing in the morning and throughout the day (especially if indulging in some alcoholic beverages), fill your plate with protein, greens, some starchy veggies, and fresh fruit, and occasionally enjoy that ice cream or apple pie treat. Don’t feel guilty or beat yourself up if you happen to over indulge. Just try and do better at your next meal! After all… you are on vacation!

Schedule Virtual Training with Loyalty Fitness 

Following the steps above can keep your fitness, nutrition and wellness goals on track while you’re vacationing. However, if you’re a Loyalty Fitness client, you have an extra advantage over everyone else: Virtual Training! Whether you’re on vacation, frequently traveling for business or visiting out-of-state family and friends, you can schedule a virtual training session with our team. 

Unlike other virtual sessions, ours are not taped or part of a group session. They’re live, one-on-one sessions with a certified trainer and minimal equipment if need be! With these virtual sessions, you can maintain your routine anywhere: hotel rooms, poolside, the backyard, and even the beach! You’ll never miss a session when you’re vacationing or traveling.

Now that you know some of the best ways to continue your health and wellness routine while on vacation, you’re ready to hit the road! If you’d like to learn more about managing your health goals while away from home or to speak with a trainer about scheduling a virtual training session, please contact us today!

When the days grow longer and the weather gets better, avid golfers and tennis players hit the greens and courts to enjoy their hobbies and passions.

Yet, many golfers and tennis players do so without the many benefits of strength training. This is unfortunate as strength training offers many advantages, including more power, better form, improved stability and increased stamina. It also helps with injury prevention and rehabilitation. 

Below, you’ll discover some of the key benefits of strength training for golf and tennis. Plus, you’ll learn how Loyalty Fitness specifically supports injury prevention and rehabilitation. 

The Foundation for Improved Performance: Core Strength

Do you wish your golf or tennis skills could be better? 

You want to drive the golf ball further. You want your second match of tennis to be as good as your first one. You’re tired of feeling rusty after not playing all winter. 

Strength training can help with all of these concerns. 

How? 

By focusing on core strength- the foundation for improved performance, technique, stability, flexibility and stamina.

The Importance of Core Strength For Golf & Tennis 

Swinging a golf club or tennis racquet requires a combination of power, stability, flexibility and endurance. Although it seems like all of those driving factors come solely from your upper body, they don’t. 

All of those essential elements generate from your core. Strengthening your core muscles, especially your “posterior chain” (abdominal, gluteal, hip, upper leg, and lower back muscles ) helps keep your upper and lower body in sync. When you concentrate on your core strength, you’ll improve your overall performance and protect your body from golf- or tennis-related injuries. 

Core Strength Gives You Power

If your goal is to drive a golf ball further or hit that tennis ball past your opponent before they see it coming, core strength is key. 

Exercises such as planks and rotational movements combined with full body weight training not only strengthen your core muscles, they also help improve core stability and your mind muscle connection. This in turn can improve your overall coordination as well. 

When your muscle strength and coordination are in sync, your body better (and more safely) performs rotational movements, such as swinging a golf club or tennis racquet, that require a lot of power and coordination.

Core Strength Improves Your Technique  

“I’m rusty!”

That’s a common phrase overheard on the greens and courts. Muscles lose their strength and power when they’re dormant. If you don’t use it, you lose it! 

Not playing golf or tennis all winter combined with a lack of exercise altogether can result in the deterioration of your muscles. As some muscles weaken, other larger and stronger muscles begin to overcompensate to restore a sense of balance. That combination of muscle weakness and imbalance is detrimental to your technique.  

Starting a regular core and full body strengthening program builds up those under trained muscles which gives your overworked muscles a break and restores balance between both. Once all of your muscles are performing optimally, your technique then improves. 

Core Strength Increases Stamina

Stamina is necessary if you want to finish all 18 holes or play back-to-back matches. But if your muscles fatigue easily, they’re unable to withstand the demands of a full round of golf or more than one tennis match. 

If each hole gets more challenging as the day progresses or you’re exhausted after one tennis match, your body is telling you that certain areas need improvement. Developing a strength training program focused on resistance exercises builds up your core muscles and overall strength and stamina so you can play all 18 holes or finish consecutive matches. 

Not only does strength training help build your stamina, it also helps with consistency. After developing an effective strength program, your technique on the 18th hole is as smooth and solid as it was on the first. For tennis players, it means your third match of the day is just as fluid and natural as the first one. 

Strength Training For Injury Prevention & Rehab 

While untrained muscles negatively impact golf and tennis performance, they can do something even more detrimental: cause injury. 

Participating in a strength training program supports muscle strength, restores balance, and improves flexibility to prevent common injuries associated with golf and tennis, including lower back pain, tendonitis or inflammation of wrists, elbows and shoulders, and muscle and/or joint sprains or strains (especially in the rotator cuffs and knees). 

Strength training allows your body to better tolerate the rotational movements and intensities of playing golf and tennis so that your game is stronger and injuries are avoided. A functional training program is key to injury prevention and to make sure your muscles are firing properly on all cylinders.

However, there are times when, despite optimal muscle conditions, injuries do occur. While this is unfortunate, strength training can help minimize the downtime and speed up the rehabilitation process. But it’s important to keep in mind that it is much easier for your muscles to recover from injury if they’re in optimal condition beforehand. 

Loyalty Fitness 

Strength training is incredibly beneficial for golfers and tennis players. Not only can it improve your overall performance and technique, it’s also crucial to injury prevention and rehabilitation.

If the idea of strength training appeals to you, contact Loyalty Fitness to get the process started! We’ll work with you to develop a custom plan that’s geared to your sport-specific goals. 

Our team has years of experience training clients to strengthen their game and successfully rehab their sports-related injuries. We also partner with a professional acupuncturist and stretch lab for injury prevention and rehab. 

Contact us today to take the first steps toward improving your golf or tennis game!

One of the biggest misconceptions of strength training is that it’s just for bulking up. If you’re a bodybuilder who trains with heavy weights and consumes a lot of calories, that may be true. However, strength training actually is for everyone – not just body builders. Best of all, strength training provides several incredible benefits, including weight loss. 

While cardio workouts receive the most attention as the “go-to” weight loss solution, strength training programs are actually more effective. In the following article, we’ll highlight some of the key ways strength training improves weight loss. 

Strength Training Builds Muscle 

The foundation for weight loss is decreasing calorie intake. When we consume fewer calories, we lose weight. However, if we consume fewer calories than our bodies burn, our bodies start to look for other ways to fill that void. Body fat is one of the first places the body looks to replace missing calories.  

Unfortunately, fat is not the only resource our bodies turn to for energy. They also focus on our muscles, too. Muscle loss due to a calorie deficit not only affects our strength and stamina, it also slows down our metabolism. When that happens, we burn fewer calories which makes it more difficult to lose weight and easier to gain it. 

While a healthy diet focused on proper calorie consumption and portion control is key to weight loss, so is maintaining muscle. Strength training not only prevents muscle loss during a calorie deficit, it also helps build new muscles, too. This is necessary for healthy weight loss since preserving and strengthening muscles increases metabolism to burn more calories than body fat.

Strength Training Burns More Calories Than Cardio 

As we mentioned above, strength training maintains and builds muscles which burn more calories than fat. Yet, the calorie burning benefits do not end when the workout ends. 

Muscles burn calories even when at rest. They also add to the calorie burn while exercising. Since exercise requires more energy than resting, muscles team up with their friend oxygen to break down fat and carbs for fuel. When we exercise, our oxygen consumption increases which causes our hearts to send more energy (oxygen, fat and carbs) to the areas that require it the most: our muscles. 

Yet, increased oxygen intake doesn’t end when the workout ends. Our breathing and oxygen intake remain elevated. This is how our bodies restore our tired muscles to their pre-workout state. The more oxygen we consume after a workout, the more fat and carbs our bodies break down and send to repair our stressed muscles. This process is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), but it’s more commonly called the “afterburn effect.”

While cardio workouts can also burn calories, reduce body fat mass and contribute to weight loss, they don’t produce that same high afterburn effect that strength training does. Essentially, cardio burns calories during the workout – but not after it. 

Since strength training increases EPOC and gives muscles a more rigorous workout than cardio, its calorie burning benefits extend beyond the workout. To restore muscles to their pre-strength training workout condition, bodies may continue to burn calories for an additional 24 hours after the workout ends. 

Strength Training Provides Additional Health Benefits

In addition to improving weight loss, strength training also provides an array of other health benefits, including:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression
  • Improved mobility and posture
  • Increased bone density
  • Decreased cholesterol
  • Better sleep 

Clearly strength training is more than just “something that bodybuilders do.” Strength training is for everyone and anyone – regardless of age and capabilities. Are you ready to improve your weight loss and enjoy the many other benefits of strength training? 

If so, Loyalty Fitness is ready to help!  Our team of dedicated certified trainers will work closely with you to achieve your weight loss goals and enjoy long-term weight control, too.  

If you have any questions about the benefits of strength training for weight loss, please contact us today!