How to Heal Your Body With Exercise After Vacation, Injury, or Just Being Plain Lazy

Breaking away from your typical routine can sometimes feel like playing with fire… especially while on vacation and totally out of your element. A new space, sleep cycle, food, environment, demographic influence, and adjusting daily activities are just a few of the changes that come with vacation…

Or when coming back from an injury – like knee surgery for example – it can be intimidating or scary to try squats, lunges, or even running again. Your mind wanders through tragic scenarios that can happen, distracting you from the endless amount of progress you are able to make…

Or maybe you are ready to get your butt off of the couch, but those complex moves you see on social media intimidate the crap out of you from getting started. Just like you don’t see a 3rd grader day-trading stocks or building houses, there is an order of progression that comes with exercise. You need a coach (or information) that will meet you where you are now, to bridge the gap between learning and doing without feeling so damn hard to stick with it.

I love getting away and exploring new adventures too, but if part of your ‘day-to-day rigors’ include getting to the gym, moving your body, or practicing mindful activities, do you take those with you on vacation? Since my fascination is to explore, appreciate and take care of the human body as a daily practice, there are strategies on how to stay fit while on the road or wanting to get into a routine. I have written about some of them here;

The Essential Fitness Tools to Fuel Your Adventurous Lifestyle

Never Leave Home Without Your Gym in a Bag

10 Ways to Stay Fit THis Holiday Season (and Still Drink Some Eggnog)

However, getting back into the groove when you return may not be so simple. Jet lag, feeling lethargic, or developing a new ache may be part of your return flight and linger. Luckily, there are strategies that you can use right now in your home to help that now!

Practical Application: Vacation Reset

Sofia just returned from a 10-day trip out to Portugal to visit family and encounter new experiences. She came back full of smiles and excitement and honored her body with exercise while away too. But within just a day or so, the time adjustment reared its head, and the lingering over-indulgence on sweet and refined ingredients influenced some not-so-favorable joint stiffness and a drop in energy (both in workouts and at home).

The body is asking to heal and needs restorative movement coupled with detoxification; not sweaty, smashing workouts to “knock the funk out”. Here is how we adjusted her training to aid feeling back to 100%…

Replace Multi-Joint Compound Movement

With a less externally stressing regression to re-establish favorable movement pattern, connect to physical sensations, and create tension or mobility in the correct areas. For the sake of time and efficiency, there are no links provided for the movements listed below.

  • If you need some visual demonstration or coaching cues, a YouTube search and following videos with a greater amount of views is a great place to look. If you cannot find one, send me a message or leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to demonstrate for you exclusively. Here are some recommendations on how to drag-and-drop nutritious movement patterns to feel and move stronger;
    • Deadlift/Hinge: Glute Bridge, Elevated Hip Thrust, Bent Over Row, Hinge Isometric Hold, Light Deadlift, KB Swing, Single Leg Hinges
    • Squat: Sumo Squats, Squat+Pry Open, Childs Pose, Steel Mace CLimber Squat, Kettlebell Figure 8, Quadruped Rock back, Duck Walk, Happy Baby, Isometric Squats, Swiss/Physio-Ball Wall Squat
    • Bench Press: Banded Shoulder Activation,  Stability Ball Chest Press, Bottoms Up KB Floor Press, TRX Push-Up, Chaos Push-Up
    • Overhead/Hang: Banded Face Pulls, Scapular Wall Slides, Landmine OHP, Bottoms Up Carries, Steel Mace Press Variations, Downward Dog, Hang+Retraction
unnamed (3)
Deadlift→Band Bias Dowel Hinge

Joint Stability Exercises

  • Focused on integrating for stabilization, aligning your structure, and connecting your mind to your muscular activity (the ability to focus and feel what is going on):
    • Single Leg Balancing Drills, Side Plank, Quadruped Animal Movements, Bird Dog, DeadBug, Overhead Holds, Turkish Get Up

Elevated Quadruped Banded Row

Body Love and Essential Human Care

  • Joint Rotations, Foam Rolling, Inversion, Breathing, Soft Body Bends, and Twists, Enhanced Warm-Up Drills 
    • Spiced Up Warm-Ups & Bodyweight Moves (see video below)

Foundation Training Methods

  • Foundations: Utilizing the posterior chain muscles “Redefine your core, conquer back pain, and move with confidence”;  A great addition to the bookshelf and workout library. This is a video from Dr. Eric Goodman demonstrating one of the Foundations Training workouts from his book, follow along!

You have to take care of your body to restore the other aspects of your being. Don’t try to just push and push and push, thinking that having your nose to the grindstone will bring you to a state of feeling better. The signals your body sends come off as stiffness, pain, weakness, tightness, or a drop in energy; they are hints that there is a compromise occurring! Use these methods as a reset from a long weekend, or getting back into positive habits without the intimidation of big or overwhelming exercises.

Wishing you Great Health and Strength



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