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Ask Dr. Salada – Should I take a break from exercise on vacation?

Q:  It’s time for Spring Break and I’m wondering if I should take a break from my exercise routine while I am on vacation?

A:  This is a great question and the simple answer is “Heck NO!”  The reason for this is that as hard as it is to “get into shape,” it also doesn’t take long to lose that edge. Just 48 hours of inactivity causes a drop in metabolism and muscle mass. If anything, I view vacations as a golden opportunity to work out MORE not LESS!!

Vacation time tends to be less pressured, which allows for longer, more focused workouts with more intensity and variety. Try to mix up your cardio routine by doing activities that you don’t normally do, such as biking, hiking, rowing, tennis or try new strength routines like Pilates or yoga. Our bodies crave variety in order to perform to their maximal capacity. Try running while up in the mountains, which over time can increase the oxygen carrying capacity of your red blood cells …. watch your endurance soar when you return to sea level!!

Vacations are for relaxing your mind and rejuvenating your soul … and taking your body to places it may have never been. There’s nothing like an endorphin rush at an altitude of 7,000 feet! As always, check with your doctor if you have any questions about your work out routine and always remember to stay well hydrated to enhance your performance.

Until next time, keep moving!

Elizabeth Salada, MD

Medical Expert, Total Gym Inside Blog

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Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine.

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