As many of our clients know, Chris and I were able to take a vacation to the Dominican Republic over the 4th of July with our wonderful wives. There was a lot of time spent on relaxing by the beach, having drinks, eating lots of great food, and laughing while having a good time. We all came back with a little more tan, but other than just having a good tan, the impact of our vacation on our fitness levels was awesome.
A lot of people have this pre-conceived notion that if you stop exercising during your vacation or for any other reason, all of your gains or progress is going to be lost! This couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, as we exercise and endure everyday life, our body starts to build up this hormone, called cortisol. What is cortisol? It is a hormone related to stress. Now, it can be brought on by both negative and positive stress, but we usually associate it with negative stress (lots of hours at work, not enough sleep, etc.).
So, who cares about all of this mumbo jumbo about cortisol? Everyone should. Cortisol can actually have effects on our body that will cause you to begin losing the progress you made. You can lose muscle mass. It can cause you to hold onto fat and your weight. It has many bad properties. So, what is the best way to get rid of cortisol?
This can be done daily through things like meditation, quiet time, etc. For me, I like to take some sort of vacation, whether long or short, quarterly. Over this past vacation, Chris and I both had awesome results, with respect to our body composition. We both actually maintained our body weight, while dropping some body fat percentage. Our bodies needed the break. They enjoyed the break. My advice when you’re on vacation: take the time to relax and enjoy it! Your body will enjoy it in the long run!
By: Ryan McIvor