Summer vacation fitness quest, Day 1

My sisters, mom, and I, along with our own family members, have booked a beach house at the outer banks, OBX, for our summer reunion vacation this year. Naturally, I have this desire to get fit because I will be spending a bit of that mini summer vacay at the beach and in summer-friendly clothing. Additionally, true to my frugal undertones, I prefer to get fit on a budget whenever possible. So I set my sight on budget-friendly activities to get me closer to a toner bod, indoor and/or outdoor. Today is Day 1.

Where did we end up today?

Utilizing our military benefits, my husband and I checked out Rockwell Hall Fitness Center at Little Creek Base this morning. It’s our first time there and we were quite pleased with the amenities offered. Cost = Free.

I love that the workout rooms are segmented at this gym. It covers exactly what I need and then some. The aerobic equipments are on the second floor, as well as the group fitness room-for scheduled zumba or yoga classes. There’s a boxing room, raquetball rooms, basketball gym, weight room, among other amenities on the first floor. Towels are available, as well as lockers, shower rooms, and water fountains. I basically just need to bring myself. As a plus, fitness trainers are available for free.Read more about it here.

Most especially, it’s huge without the gym meat market type of feel that I hate, and without the openness of just one giant room to workout. As an additional incentive, kids 12 and over can utilize the gym, with the exception of the weight room. All for free. I will definitely come back, with my husband, and kids.

My wish list

My number #1 target area are my arms and abs. These are the two areas I store my fat first. Ever since I got pregnant with my first born, I have not gotten in shape enough to sport flat abs again. To be fair, I didn’t really try all that hard to get in shape in the past. I was too busy taking care of the kids, while my husband focused on his military career. But the bottom line is, I didn’t want it enough to put the effort.

I’ve lost weight, sure, but toning is a different ball game. One that requires a committed dedication. Not to mention, I’m older and my muscles require a bit more attention to tone up.

My background plays a part

Historically speaking, throughout the generations, my family has never put fitness on top of the goal board. I belong to the first generation in our blood line that actually exercise. Because I have no model to go by growing up to teach me, exercising is a hit or miss for me because I don’t know how to start it correctly. I’m learning. Given my family background, growing up not seeing focus on health and fitness, it’s no wonder why exercise is not big on me. I like being active, just not specifically exercising to get fit. I’m more creative with my “exercise” regimen.

How I stay fairly fit

Over the years, I’ve done pretty well staying in shape for someone that don’t like to exercise. When my husband was gone for 2 years on military orders, I did everything manually. I mowed the lawn with a push mower, weed the garden by hand, rake and bag the leaves my giant oak tree shed during autumn season, to name a few ways. Being active has always been my choice of exercise.

It was manual labor, yes; but, I enjoyed the calming effect of it on my well being. Not only was I one with nature and breathing in fresh air, I could feel each muscle working. I welcomed each drop of sweat and visualized it as a fat cell that just died. I look at it as an opportunity to get my body active – completing two goals with 1 attempt to cut time is a great incentive for me. Every muscle movement counts, no matter how little.

My chosen activity today

I’ve visited gyms before in the past; but I lacked the incentive to drive myself there. But, if I ever get there, I maximize my time and really try to get a workout. whenever given the opportunity, I prefer to workout outdoors, I really do. After scoping the place out, I headed for the rowing equipments. I’ve always wanted to try it but a bit intimidated with people looking at me.

Let me tell you, I immediately loved it! It felt natural. I’ve gone canoeing a few times in the past and this is definitely along the lines of that. By the way, loading and unloading canoes is in itself a workout!

I started my rowing machine introduction with a game. The game I played was fish eating fish. It was eat or be eaten and it lasted 4 minutes. I didn’t get it at first but eventually did, tried it twice. Each fish I ate gave me points. If I get eaten, I lose points. How strong and/or fast I row helped me avoid getting eaten. It was actually pushing me on, staring at the fish and trying to avoid getting eaten as I rowed.

Rowing Machine Fish Game

Feeling confident, I went for a regular rowing routine and set it up for 15 minutes. At first I was pushing with my legs too much. Then it dawned on me to mimic how it felt rowing on actual water and my muscles shifted. I started feeling my abs contracting with each row and I got into the rhythm. Before I know it, the 15 minutes have passed. I loved it. I will definitely utilize this workout equipment again.

Total time on rowing machine = 23 minutes.

Day 1 of my toning quest was a success

After my rowing event, we left the gym. That was the extent of my workout on my first day back at the gym, as I had a dental appt an hour later. My husband took advantage of the stair steps, boxing room and basketball court. He was sweating a lot more than me when I found him.

Total time at the gym = 45 minutes.

A more scenic alternative approach to exercise

This summer, I plan to head out to Chesapeake to canoe with the fam to get some nature-infused exercise – always a preferred choice of mine. We’ve done this several times in the past. The place is called Northwest River Park. It is a very family oriented place, and pet-friendly. Canoe rental is $6/hr or $30/day.

Northwest River Park
Relaxing View on a Scenic Canoe ride with my fam

The downside, nature have ticks and it is in multitudes in the summer months. Make sure you spray for bugs and opt for sun protection to avoid sunburn. The equipments are not free but rental price is minimal.

We make a point to bring a picnic basket when we visit this place, although they do have a store that sells few food and necessities selection.

Along with canoeing the following are also available:

  • paddle boats
  • fishing
  • park shelter rental
  • camping/cabin rentals 
  • geocaching (I have never tried this and I’m excited to give it a try with the kids)
  • hiking
  • mini golf

Find their website here.  I do not get any compensation to promote this place.  I just love that it is available.

Please consider consulting with your doctor prior to starting a workout regimen. Your doctor(s) will know more about your health history and can help you transition into a workout that will best suit you. Always listen to your body. It should tell you if it has had enough.

What is your exercise regimen like? How do you manage to fit exercise despite your busy schedule?

Until next time.


Site Logo


2 thoughts on “Summer vacation fitness quest, Day 1”

  1. I used to do a lot of lifting at my job and got a decent workout from that. A few months back, I got transferred to more of a desk job supervising others. I haven’t been working out like I needed to and I’m paying the price with back pain. Like you, my wife wants me to go to the gym with her, but I’m the type that likes to work out at home. I plan on investing in a home gym later.

    1. Hi, Mr. Lee. Historically, my job positions have been in an office, where I sit for the majority of the day. I take advantage of break times and walk with a co-worker to a nearby store or take a break outside to breath in some fresh air. I get you though, it’s hard to squeeze in exercise when you are stuck sitting all day. A home gym sounds great. To be able to workout without the need to drive sounds wonderful to me. I’m for that. Good luck and thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post.

Comments are closed.