Healthier Living Goals: Staying Active on Vacation

I had three goals for Cabo: have fun, get some quality girl time in, and stay active.

Oh wait, make that four goals.

In the past, my vacations have been all about the food…

donuts in seattle

{donuts in Seattle}

Leonard's in Hawaii

{Malasadas in Hawaii}

…and the drank.

beer in seattle

Kona brewing company

Going from a lifelong “I deserve to indulge and relax on vacation” to a shiny new “It feels good to work out anytime, vacation or not” is a work in progress. Sometimes I struggle, and sometimes it’s almost effortless I struggle less.

Our recent trip to Cabo was a big success for me, especially because I had some great workout partners.

Cabo gym time

The first and biggest hurdle was just packing running gear. I used to question whether it was worth bringing the running shoes along when I wasn’t sure I’d even use them. I could be using that precious space for two clutches and a pair of heels!

The thing is, if I don’t pack the shoes, I’m already giving up.

When we went to Cabo, I traveled there and back in my running gear. I didn’t have to worry about cramming the shoes into my carry on, and I was super comfy on the plane. Just walking around in the stuff made me feel like I was a bad-ass, one step away from pro athlete status.

20130613_070251

 

(Sidenote: I took a pair of running capris for travelling only to make sure I didn’t stank up the plane on the way back. You’re welcome, fellow passengers.)

I also brought some running focused reading material for the plane ride there to keep me motivated. I managed to get through at least two articles between daydreams of margaritas and lounging in pools.

My whole goal in wanting to be active on vacation is to explore new places by foot, but that doesn’t mean it’s always going to work out that way. I knew that the location of our resort wasn’t going to be conducive to outdoor runs, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my bigger goals because I couldn’t do exactly what I wanted. That meant some gym time.

Too bad my regular gym doesn’t have this view.

Riu Santa Fe

Everything on the treadmill was in kilometers. Now, I know I should be able to figure out km/h relatively easy and dial in my pace (hello 5K and 10K). My brain, however, refused to do math on vacation, so that meant I bounced around a bit and probably settled for something on the slow side.

Another down side? Apparently three treadmills going at the same time was one too many for the resort gym. A power surge caused all the treadmills to stop with no warning and I almost bit it hard. I think we recovered well, don’t you agree?

Working it out

Since the cardio equipment was a little spotty, I switched things up and focused more on strength. I have a small, free gym at work which is convenient, but it only has dumbbells and medicine balls. It was nice to use some of the strength machines for a change and push my body a little harder and in different ways. Because I stayed flexible in what I wanted to accomplish, I never got discouraged by the limitations I couldn’t control.

Before we left, I didn’t talk to any of my girlfriends about working out while we were there, but I knew that at least a few of them would pack their gear. It’s so much easier to take time away from drinking and sunning when you’re not doing it alone. Y and C were my workout partners at the gym, but all of us also took a water aerobics class together, danced up a storm, and had long walks escapades on the beach. It’s crazy how much of a workout you get just walking in loose sand!

We were in Cabo for about four and a half days, and we were at the gym on two of those days. Trying to build new habits is all about thoughts and intentions, and I rocked it on this trip!

Always, Sierra

Do you have any active vacationing tips?

What are your favorite workouts when you travel?

How do you plan for working out on vacation when you’re the only one who wants to?

Hiking Angel Island State Park

One of the advantages of having a birthday awesome friends is being able to persuade them to do crazy things like wake up at 8:00 am on a Saturday, take an hour-long ferry ride and go on a 5+ mile hike just for fun.

Angel Island group pic

{at the end of the day}

We stuck mostly to the primary trail on Angel Island, a 5 mile Perimeter Road that loops around the entire island. From the Perimeter Road, there are lots of side excursions and secondary trails, including some that will lead you to the top of the island, Mt. Livermore.

angel island map

{source}

Our first order of business was an impromptu photo shoot.

angel island

{borrowed from Y}

Angel Island is sometimes called the Ellis Island of the West. In the early 1900s it was used as a processing center for immigrants coming to the United States, primarily from China. The immigration station has been turned into a museum, and tours are available to detail the experiences of the immigrants.

Immigration Station

The museum is about a mile from the ferry docking area. As you continue farther along the Perimeter Road, there’s no shortage of views…

angel island

views

…or spooky ruins. Could you imagine camping here?! It’s got B-horror movie set written all over it!

ruins

Halfway through our hike, it was time to refuel. White wine and salsa verde Doritos, because we’re classy like that.

picnic

There’s a cantina and a cafe on the island for lunch offerings, but there are so many awesome picnic opportunities on the island, it’s worth it to pack in your own food and drinks.

Refueled and ready to go, we found a nice little beach that we had all to ourselves.

beach

Going off the main path to explore all the nooks and crannies Angel Island has to offer is a must, but be prepared for inclines and stairs of doom to get back to the main trail. Buns of steel!

stair masters

If you do eat at one of the places by the ferry dock, it’ll be overpriced and nothing to write home about. The quinoa salad at the cafe was a win, especially with chicken added to it.

lunch

A couple of ice cold beers later, and we were ready to sail off into the sunset.

ferry

RouteWhen you get off the ferry, you’ll see a sign for the Northridge Trail, and 140 lovely, steep steps. Take these steps (and feel the burn) until you get to the second paved road with signs for the Perimeter Road.  You can go left or right around the Perimeter Road, or follow signs leading to Mt. Livermore. If you choose not to go up to Mt. Livermore at this point, there are trails further down the Perimeter Road that will also take you to the top. The summit of Mt. Livermore is at 788 feet.

Details: The Perimeter Road is a paved, easy, 5 mile loop with a few gently rolling hills. If you plan on going up to Mt. Livermore, or connecting some of the inside trails to the Perimeter Road for a longer hike, difficulty will become moderate to hard.

Rules: Bikes are allowed on the paved Perimeter Road, but not on other trails.

Tips: Angel Island is only accessible by ferry or private boat. If you’re vacationing in the San Francisco Bay area, taking a day trip to explore Angel Island is a great way to add an active day to your vacation. If you’re not up for a hike, there are other options including bike rentals, segway tours, and tram rides. The island is mostly direct exposure, so sun screen is a must and hats/sunglasses are a good idea. We had gorgeous weather, but it’s easy to see how a windy day could be miserable. Be sure to bring layersThere’s a ton of history on Angel Island, so check out the state park website to figure out what spots you want to explore in-depth.

A shout out to my peoples for being up for an adventure and making my birthday unforgettable! Happy hiking!

Always, Sierra

fun times

{borrowed from J}