Taking a Healthy Vacation to Cabo
I can’t remember the last time I took a vacation, a real, no agenda, no plans, sit by the pool and relax kind of vacation. Iceland was spectacular but it was an adventure, logging roughly 30k steps each day.
With the New Year quickly approaching I did as most of us do, I started thinking back on the past year. I reflected on the many ups (and downs) and quickly realized I was burning out. Running, which I typically love, felt like a task, I was restless at work, and I couldn’t stay asleep throughout the night. It was time for a real vacation. One week later and Cabo was planned (thank you to the best father in the world who insisted on a family vacation).
Where we stayed:
What we did:
Like I said, we did a whole lot of nothing. Although this is exactly what we wanted, it was a totally foreign feeling. This whole, “no plans” sort of thing. The first day was definitely an adjustment, we can’t help it, we go, go, go all the time (I am sure many of you can relate).
On days one and two we lounged by the pool the whole day before going to dinner. Side note, on that first day, my boyfriend announced to me, “I don’t believe in sunscreen,” which he quickly regretted when that evening his face matched his red button down. He used sunscreen the rest of the week (please use sunscreen everyone)!
On day three, our only activity aside from the beach and going to town for dinner, was working out with the kindest, most hospitable, and badass trainer, Modu Seye (owner of Moduvated at the Koral Center in San Jose del Cabo). It was in that same shopping center that I found an awesome little boutique called Blu (and picked up a Cali Dreaming Swimsuit and Corey Lynn Calter Mexican-inspired off the shoulder dress) and got my funky half-head cornrows done.
Modu put us through my favorite style workout, a HIIT series consisting of pushing sleds down the turf, rowing, and weighted circuits.
On day four we visited the one and only, Flora Farms. This was the most spectacular place I think I have ever been. Although yes, it is a tourist attraction, I can’t recommend it more. We went for brunch, despite other’s recommendations to go for dinner, but I am glad we did. I valued seeing the farm in daylight. Everything on their menu consists of items taken directly from their organic farm.
The week was the perfect combination of mostly lounging in the sun with a few activities sprinkled in.
Tips of Staying Healthy on Vacation:
My plan is to let you guys know exactly what I did for staying healthy on each vacation. Although we were lucky to have a gym at our hotel in Cabo, not every spot you visit will have one. It is important to remember (and I need to take my own advice at times) that it is vacation. I want you to sweat and remember your goals, but also enjoy your well-earned relaxation.
What I did for exercise:
Before committing to a hotel, I made sure it had a gym. I know there are plenty of places to stay in Cabo that there had to be ones with this amenity (my hotel gym workouts are below). I try to aim for at least two days of strength per week on vacation.
After securing a hotel with a gym, I was onto exploring other local workouts in the area. Not only do I think this is a fun way to check out a city and meet some locals, but it’s of course the perfect way to get in some more exercise. I was browsing Instagram when I saw the owner of one of my favorite Los Angeles boutiques post a shot of her working out in Cabo. That’s how I found Modu and I quickly booked my boyfriend and I a personal training session at his gym. If you don’t want to spend the money on a personal trainer, I recommend checking local gyms for spin classes, bootcamps, or yoga.
Next on my list was checking out the hotel’s location. Was there a beach to run on? Roads? Treadmills (my last choice). The Cape is set on a small private beach so beach runs weren’t really an option but there was a path leading from the hotel to main road which we could easily run on (keep in mind, it was a pleasant downhill run out and quite steep uphill run back).
That rounded out my vacation exercise: hotel gym workouts, a personal trainer, and outdoor running.
What I did for clean eating:
I think that clean eating is the hardest part of sticking to your goals on vacation.
Here are a few of my tricks I stuck to in Cabo:
- Order crudité (sliced veggies) with your guacamole instead of chips
- Opt for “skinny” margaritas (substitutes the high sugar margarita mix for fresh lime juice, Triple Sec or Cointreau, and a little agave syrup)
- Order fajitas and opt out of the tortillas
- Limit chips to one meal per day
- Don’t skip breakfast just because you’re in a hotel (plan accordingly and stop by a market before heading to the hotel or bring your favorites with you…. just don’t tell customs)
Aim to make intelligent decisions at least once per day but allow yourself to eat some fun things you don’t typically have the rest of the day (I can promise you my boyfriend had his fair share of Piña Coladas while I splurged on banana daiquiris).
Let me know if there are any questions you have about staying fit on vacation.
Workout 1 (courtesy of Paul Wright, SF trainer extraordinaire):
- Deadlift to 2 bent over rows (10-20 pound dumbells) 8x
- Forearm plank rainbow dips 20x each side
- Pushups 10x
- Tricep extensions using cable machine (10-15 pounds) 20-25x
- Full body crunches 20x
- Straight leg bicycles 30 seconds
- Tricep pushup to renegade row (12-25 pounds) 8x each arm or 16 total
- Atomic situps with medicine ball (10-16 pounds) 15x
- Step back alternating lunge with kettlebell (10-20 pounds) with pulse 10x each leg
- Alternating lunge jumps 30 seconds
- Double leg drops on bench 20x
- Side lunch with kettlebell (10-20 pounds) 10x each leg
- Side to side bench jumps 30 seconds
- Single leg pistol squat with forward straight arm shoulder raise (8-10 pounds) 10x each leg
- Side lunge hip dips with hold 20x with 10 second hold
- Full sit ups with dumbbell (10-15 pounds)
- Russian Twist with dumbbell or medicine ball (10-20 pounds)