Staying fit when your workout takes a holiday

Mon Aug 8, 2011 5:03am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - There's nothing like a week in paradise to derail a fitness regimen.

Plucked from routine and surrounded by temptation, even the most health-conscious vacationers can find themselves torn between exercise and excess.

A recent poll of over 1,000 American travelers by the travel website TripAdvisor showed that 52 percent exercise on their vacations. But 81 percent confess they are more likely to overindulge on food while away.

The good news is that a week away from the treadmill will not turn you into a formless blob. The bad news is if you don't plan to do something, guilt could ruin your good time.

When his exercise-addicted clients express their fear of taking a break to Mark Hendricks, the group fitness manager at an Equinox fitness center in New York, he often tells them their anxiety is more mindset than matter.

"A week's vacation, which is generally what most people take, will make no difference in your cardio vascular fitness," Hendricks said. "I don't think it's necessarily such a bad thing to take a week off and let your body recover from all the workouts."

Even gaining excess pounds is unlikely within a week, he said,

"And if you do gain a few, they will come off just as quickly when you get back on your routine," he added.   Continued...

<p>Holiday makers enjoy the beach in Nice, southeastern France, at the start of the summer holidays, July 12, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>