It started with packing, no planning, and then packing. Since I was flying, taking my weights was out of the question. Instead, I would bring resistance bands, easy to pack and nearly as effective as dumbbells. Although my sister Cathy does yoga, water aerobics, biking, etc., she does not do weight training. She walks every day, so that would work well for my cardio. Nutrition would be interesting. My sister is on the paleo diet, more or less, so I figured on plenty of vegetables, even if there would be more meat in my life than I’m used to. Missing would be grains, but I could always buy a little stock of groceries once I arrived. Finally, since I’d be gone longer than 7 days, I’d have to remember to check my pedometer for archived steps, before they “fell off.”
Arrived. Redmond, WA, close to Seattle, is an amazing city. So many trails, parks, walking paths, and beautiful scenery—a great place for walking. On most days there, I got up early to do my resistance routine so I was ready to accompany Cathy on her morning walk. It was good to walk and talk, and I looked forward to that time—especially since coffee (and not decaf!) was on the route, our “goal” in fact. Although I did not get much sleep that first night, I was up and ready to walk in the morning. Our coffee route was 3 miles round trip—5.5 when we took the long route—which we did at a brisk pace, providing a nice daily cardio workout. On day 1, I chalked up a gratifying 6 “active” miles and more than 14,000 steps, all before 8:30! We walked so many places, whether intentionally for exercise or incidentally to get places, and boy did we get places: estate sales, farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts, Discovery Park, shipping docks, and more. Did I mention that Redmond is an amazing place?!
On my training days, I would work out with the bands and do resistance exercises using my own body, as Jen had taught me. “All you need is a 6-foot square space..,,” and she’s right. I also did cardio “bursts” some mornings (a fast succession of different cardio moves) and even tried something I’d never done before: water aerobics. This was big for me since I’ve never been a real water person, and besides, water aerobics just seemed, well, too easy. Was I wrong! My niece taught the class, and it really gave me a workout–water proved to be great resistance tool.
Even though I was on vacation, I ate healthily and mindfully, as Jen says, even when we went out, which we did often. I usually chose salads, often with crab or shrimp added—to be healthy but also to take advantage of the fresh Pacific seafood. Always with dressing on the side, of course. A typical breakfast at my sister’s was scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, roasted red pepper, and a side of avocado! Fresh fruit was plentiful, too. I also had whole-grain toast and yogurt (Cathy had shopped for me). Dinner was often grilled fish with an array of vegetables and fruit, including grilled peaches and pineapple.
A fun, full vacation and a great experience that wasn’t about food! Although I indulged a few times, I didn’t gain a single pound. I feel confident that I can handle being away from my day-to-day routine and know how to keep up with my fitness and nutrition goals. It takes a little planning, but it can be done…at any age. Oh, did I mention I was 71? From Jen: see Lynn’s before and after pics here.