With summer soon winding to a close, you’re probably spending more and more time up at your cottage to take advantage of these last few weeks of hot weather. But does this also mean your exercise regimen is falling to the wayside and being replaced with kicking back in a Muskoka chair? If so, you could be setting yourself back from all your hard work. It varies for every individual and what your fitness level is before you stop training, says Sammie Kennedy, founder of Booty Camp Fitness, but if you’re a newbie to fitness, you can lose up to 80 percent of your strength level in just two weeks.
(If you’re a veteran who’s been consistently training, you’re in better luck – it can take longer, she says, approximately three months). Cardio-wise, the change is faster, “usually within one to two weeks, you can see changes to your endurance level,” says Kennedy.
So how to keep active at the cottage? “It’s the perfect setting to have fun with your fitness,” says Kennedy. “ Hiking, playing volleyball, swimming, cycling, running, and dock workouts are all great ways to stay in shape while vacationing in the wilderness.” Personally, before hopping onto a lounger, Kennedy uses the lake and Tabata workouts (a form of interval training) to stay fit.
Some cottage workouts she recommends:
Get in the lake and do rapid water treading (20 seconds), ten seconds rest (have a pool noodle beside you for the break); repeat eight times.
Sprints from the cottage to the road (20 seconds), 10 seconds rest; repeat eight times going back and from between the cottage and the road.
Burpees on the dock
Grab a yoga mat and head to the dock. Complete 20 seconds of deadman burpees (body coming all the way down to the mat), ten seconds rest; repeat eight times.
And if you just don’t feel up for workout out, don’t beat yourself up over it. “If you’re due for some relaxation, don’t fret—a week or two of calmness won’t set you too far back,” she says. “Just remember to take that time for recovery and not to punish your body with excessive amounts of processed foods and alcohol. Reward your body with whole foods for that time away from your workout routine.”