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Vacation: Why We Should All Take Time Away to Disconnect from the Screens

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lighthouseI did not realize until I went away to college how lucky I was to grow up in a family that took vacations. They were not always fancy or super expensive. Our hotel was usually at a camp ground in our tent trailer. We took many weekend trips with family friends and a couple times a year we took a week-long trip to places further away from home. On our week long trips we would sight see during the day and play games in the evenings. These are some of my favorite memories growing up playing cards spending time with the family.

As adults my cousin and I continued to vacation to farther off places. We have been to the Caribbean; Alaska; Rome, Florence, and Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Lucerne, Switzerland; and London, England. It is a priority for us. No matter what is going on we plan and save for travel. I was talking with a friend at a BBQ over Labor Day weekend and he commented his daughter was going to Canada to practice her French and could not find any friends to go with her. They cited reasons like not having the vacation time or not having the money. Really it is about priorities. A lot like our exercise practice. We follow through on what we prioritize.

Charles and I also prioritize vacation. We try to take a couple true vacations each year in addition to time away to visit with family. Our preferred vacation type is cruising. Over the years people have asked me what I like most about cruising. The answer is simple. We turn off our phones, put them in the safe and enjoy spending time together away from the everyday routine. Depending upon the length of the trip I may check email and respond to people once or twice during a trip but overall vacation is a time for us to spend time together.

We actually took a 9 day trip to New England and Canada over my birthday and I was disheartened to see a large number of people glued to their cell phones, especially the kids. The ship we were on had amazing amenities; huge recreation area with bumper cars, roller skating, basketball, dodgeball, and ping pong tables, a mile long walking/running track, wave pool with boogie boarding and surfing, a huge swimming pool, a large wading pool and a round pool with a current, and climbing wall, as well as ifly sky diving . Yet I saw countless kids wandering around with their noses in their phones.

There are some great benefits to technology for keeping in touch with people and staying connected to friends and family. However, it is healthy to disconnect from the electronics and reconnect in person with people we love and meet new people. When we disconnect from electronics we can also reconnect to the physical world around us, appreciate nature and enjoy new experiences.

Here in the United States we do not put a priority on taking time off. Even though there is an abundance of research in support of vacation reducing stress levels, lowering the need for mood enhancing drug prescriptions, and ultimately increasing work performance. Taking vacation is not generally encouraged here. The US is the only industrialized country that does not have legislation requiring paid vacation for employees. In fact every time legislation has been proposed congress has voted against it. Yet they take the month of August off every year. Most European countries have from 20 to 30 days of required paid vacation and in a majority of European countries the month of August is a primary holiday time where many businesses are closed.

Upon return from our vacation we were refreshed and ready to get back to day to day life. So my challenge for you this week is to find a way to take a mini vacation from your devices. If you are a treadmill walker or bike rider with your kindle or tv switch it up and get outside. Music is good, just disconnect from the screens. See if you move a bit faster, maybe find yourself problem solving those challenging dilemmas that have seemed tough to solve, or perhaps you enjoy seeing a dear or other wildlife you forgot was so nearby. Then come over to the Facebook page and tell me what you experienced.

Have a great week. Hope to see you back here next week and please share with your friends!

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Why I do what I do.

Habits are invisible. Movement just happens. You don't actively think about how to stand up and walk across a room. Right?? Unless a foot or knee or hip are not working as they should then it can be tough or downright painful.

The human body is an amazing instrument and everyone’s is different. Some people have long limbs and short torsos, some have long torsos and short limbs, some are lean and naturally muscular, others work hard to build strength and even harder to gain and maintain flexibility, while more still have such flexibility in their elbows, knees, shoulders and hips that the muscles need to work overtime to protect them from injury. Or more commonly learn how to recover.

Pilates and Yoga Therapy are tools I have used to rehab injuries for myself and post-rehab with my clients. I know what it is like to work through an injury. It is extremely rewarding to guide my clients on their path to strengthen, re-balance, and improve their overall functional fitness.

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