From snorkeling off the shores of St. Lucia to getting lost in the Great Smokies closer to home, whenever Jon and I plan our trips we create an itinerary that appeals to both our adventurous side and chill side. As we head up to the northeast in a couple short days, this time is no different. We will adventure to catch the sunrise before 6am and then mosey over to a coffee shop for an hour or two to relax. Some people are GO GO GO, and some people are like “please don’t make me move”, but packing for trips a combination of the two can be tricky. Having to be prepared for everything can sound like a chore, but trust me: it’s easier than you think.
- Set an itinerary – I am all for spontaneity, but there is some good that can come from having some set activities especially if you are having a mix type of vacation.
- Use packing cubes – back your undergarments in one, and your sports attire in one, then you can rightly figure out how much non active, nicer items you need and that will fit! My go to: @Amazon
- Wear your sunnies – regardless of what you might think sunglasses can be just the right accessory to make you presentable even after an active morning or afternoon along with a fresh shirt. My go to: @Goodr (in all the colors)
- Bring your snacks – this sounds oddly placed, but if you make sure you have substantial food along the way you won’t feel like you will barely make it to the meal you have planned for after. My go to: @rxbar
- Have a durable, yet light and sleek backpack – something to carry your water, snacks, the item below and a shirt change.
- Bring your toilettees – yes having a refreshing cloth with you is not only great for sweaty activity, but it takes up basically no space so you can transition quickly. My go to: @goodwipes
- Portable chargers – these are life-giving, at least to your phone. And you won’t have to rush back to charge your phone, but can head out for lunch or for coffee and you can post that sunrise photo no problem. My go to: @anker
- Shoes – one of the biggest things struggles when packing. Simply: pick three pairs of shoes that will go with anything you pack. (1) Outdoor pair for hiking, running, etc. (1) Casual around town pair, and (1) sandal or heel for fancy occasion.
Nothing on this list weights a lot, takes up a lot of space, or is incredibly expensive. Take the time to set aside your transitional gear so you can seamlessly go from sweaty to savory in a moments notice.
So where are we headed? Acadia National Park with moments off the coast of Maine with our books and coffee and a lovely 60 degrees. I will bringing my professional camera so I’ll be excited to share some of the views, tips and surprises along the way.
I’m a chronic stander, it drives my husband crazy. While I do prefer to stand naturally, there is more to it than that: sitting for long periods of time causes too much discomfort. Read: I had a doctors note that allowed me to leave my 1.5 hour long classes in college early because the max I could sit was 45 minutes.
I was destined to back problems before I was born, my dad has struggled with chronic back pain since before I can remember. So, when I hurt my back at the end of my sophomore year of college I knew it could be long and drawn out, I wasn’t wrong. My junior year was basically a wash, and it was hard on my body and my pride. Don’t get me wrong, that year wasn’t wasted – it taught me a lot about just how much it would take to keep my back healthy. It also taught me a lot about myself, my pitfalls, and my resilience.
But now, almost 10 years later and I am learning every day about the routine it takes to keep everything on track. So here is a look into my weekly routine to keep my core strong and my back healthy.
- Yoga (2-3x/week) – If you’ve followed me for any amount of time you know that I am a strong believer in the power of yoga – all types. But I particularly like the strong and slow flows that help you stabilize your body, while strengthening your core. Depending on your pain, you might have to modify and that is okay and really a good thing. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should!
- Careful stretching (daily) – Proper stretching is incredibly important for keeping muscles loose and the body flexible. However, depending on where you feel less than your best you have to be careful about overextending. If needed, ask a physical therapist to show you the do’s and don’ts for you.
- A core routine (2-3x/week) – here is a look into the core routines that I prioritize throughout the week:
- Plank – not the like the fad, but true planking for minutes at a time. You can stay on your hands or drop to your elbows, just make sure to keep you core tight and your back level.
- Plank Jacks – your arms hold a plank, while your feet jump out and in like a jumping jack. I usually do
- Leg Lifts – This one can get you in trouble if you do not keep your back flat on the ground. You want to keep your core tight and your back flat while you lift your legs from 6″ off the ground to a 90 degree angle.
- Single Arm/Single Leg Body Weight Dead Lifts – Your right arms slowly goes down while your left leg comes up to a 90 degree angle.
All together now!
3-5 rounds of the following:
- 30-90 second Plank depending on ability level
- 20 Plank Jacks
- 20 Leg Lifts
- 10/each side Dead Lifts
Do you have any other exercises to add to the list?! If you have any questions about chronic back pain or stability + strength work doesn’t hesitate to push that contact button above!
Happy Weekend Friends!