93: How to have a great vacation without sabotaging your Health

Summer time is here, which often means golf trips, family vacations and time spent at the pool, lake, etc.  This can also mean slipping a little on the workouts, diet and training regimen.

Just this past week, I took a trip with my family to Table Rock Lake, where we had an incredible time.  I played some golf, we fished, we boated, swam and took in lots of scenery.  And I have to say, it took some will power to not just say “forget it” when it came to the diet, workouts, and booze.  And in all honesty, in some ways I would say I succeeded, and in some, not so much 😉

Given that it’s summer time and you just may be embarking on a vacation soon, too, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to give you some tips to have a great time, but not get too off track when it comes to a few topics including:

  • Golf
  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Drinking
  • Relaxing

You can listen to the episode below or find it on iTunes/Stitcher:

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Notes from this Episode

We took a trip down to Table Rock Lake this past week and spent some time at the Top of the Rock facility which is a creation of Johnny Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shop and Big Cedar Lodge.  The place was incredible, including golf at Buffalo Ridge (a championship 18 hole course that is a regular stop for the Champions’ Tour, Legends of Golf), the Natural History Museum, and the Lost Canyon Cave Tour.  (see below for a few pics of the family and some of the highlights of the trip)

In this episode, I wanted to address some of the areas that are easy to slip up on when traveling, especially for vacation. The main ones being: Golf, Eating, Exercise, Drinking, and Relaxing

Buffalo Ridge


Plan the night ahead

  • What to eat for breakfast
  • warm up at home or the range?
  • how much time do you need before you tee off?
  • What are you going to do?
    • warm-up exercises
    • driving range
    • short game
    • get your cart/bag ready
  • suggested items to have: shaker bottle, protein bar/shake, electrolyte drink, resistance band


It’s hard enough to eat well at home, much less on vacation

Know what your accommodations are and what you’ll have access to.  Things to think about:

  • will you be eating out more or cooking in
  • how many days of each?
  • go to the local grocery to stock up on fruits, veggies, water, etc
  • resist the temptation to go crazy with snacks and processed food because it’s easy

Do some grilling: chicken, beef, pork, fish, veggies, etc.

Use some of the leftovers for your snacks rather than “snacks.”

If you are going out to eat a lot, stick with the basics, non-processed, whole foods: meats, fish, veggies


Look at the accommodations and figure out what will be available to you (weights, cardio, nothing)

Determine what your schedule looks like ahead of time and how much you want to devote (you’re on vacation so try to figure out how this won’t impede your experiences and time frames).

Are there other activities that you are going to be doing that are active like hiking, biking, etc that could be considered a replacement for a training session?

Here are some suggestions based on accommodations:

  • If you have a gym and some weights, stick with the basics, push/pull/deadlift/squats/rotation.
  • If you only have cardio equipment, I suggest sprints and some bodyweight exercises.
  • If you have nothing, get creative!!

A couple of the things I did were a circuit routine with a 30lb kettlebell (5 sets of 10 reps of each):

  • Split squat (1 kettle bell held at chest) do on each leg
  • Goblet squat
  • Kettlebell swings
  • pushups with feet on couch

Also did a sprint workout on the hill

  • 20-30s sprint up the hill, walk back down (8x)

Added 30lb kettlebell statue of liberty walk at the end of the sprint sessions 1x on each arm.


This can be one of the biggest challenges on vacation and on the golf course.

I highlight 4 suggestions when it comes to balancing out and keeping yourself in check when it comes to the booze.

  1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Keep a water bottle with you at all times (on course, at the pool, on the boat, wherever)
  2. Be aware that you are drinking and why you are doing it: Many of us drink to enjoy the social nature of the environment and the people around us, but sometimes the drinks flow as more of a habit than actually enhancing the experience.  Create some awareness around that cocktail in your hand
  3. Drink better stuff: This goes back to the enjoyment factor and being more aware.  If you have the more expensive stuff, whether your choice be craft beers or high end whiskey/bourbon/vodka, you’re less likely to go crazy
  4. Don’t start the round with a cooler: This one sounds pretty simple, and it is.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If you don’t have it with you in the cart and the beer cart isn’t rolling by, odds are you’ll survive and likely play better.  Quit falling into the thought process of “needing my swingoil” to get loose.  If you want to get loose, actually GET LOOSE before your round with a proper warm-up!


Don’t come back from vacation more stressed out, in worse shape, and needing a cleanse to get back on track.  That’s what vacation should have been.  You should be more fresh and clear-minded when you come back than when you left.

  1. Work: Minimize it.  Get it done ahead of time so it’s not weighing over your head the whole time for when you get back.  Hide your phone, or at least turn off your notifications so you’re not being pinged by emails and Facebook all day.  And don’t spend all day posting your pics on social media.  Actually enjoy the time by experiencing it, not sharing it on Facebook.
  2. Sleep: Get your rest.  Try not to deviate much from your normal routine.  The more well rested you are, the better you will play and the more enjoyable the other experiences will be
  3. Be Present: Don’t let all the other distractions take away from your experience.  If you’re there with your family, then actually BE there!  It’s easy to let the other things like work and/or stressing over your diet get in the way of actually having a good time.
  4. Don’t Feel Guilty: It’s vacation.  You’re allowed to splurge a little.  This is why you put in all of that hard work the rest of the year.  If you typically eat well, get your workouts in and practice, you’re ahead of the game.  Cut yourself a little slack if this truly is a vacation and it’s a rarity for you.


Other Links Mentioned

Top of the Rock

Buffalo Ridge

Lost Canyon Cave & The Natural History Museum


Pictures from the trip to come. . .!

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