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You’ve been walking and exercising regularly for days, weeks, or even months now. You’re feeling more fit and loving the benefits of improved focus, greater endurance, and higher energy levels. Maybe you’ve also maintained a solid bible study routine while getting your fitness routine in gear. (Maybe together with like-minded folks in a community like HelloMornings?)
Now, it’s time for a hard-earned break with your family (or spouse or friends) – a vacation!
We humans are creatures of habit. Once our go-to schedule is thrown off by a big change (like a move or a new job) or a temporary shift (a vacation), we sometimes lose focus on previous goals.
How can we keep both our fitness routines and bible study habits intact over vacations?
Staying On Track is Easier Than Regaining Lost Ground
A preface: if you’ve gotten off schedule in fitness OR in “quiet time,” do not ever feel like you can’t get back on track. Grace upon grace. We all lose focus sometimes or have extenuating circumstances that prevent us from accomplishing what we’d like and sometimes what we even need. Returning to your healthy habits is better than never trying!
Now that I’ve issued that disclaimer, if you can stay on track, it’s much easier than having to regain lost ground after a while.
Some of the same tips we use for maintaining fitness routines can help us retain bible study routines, too. (If you haven’t read some of my fitness articles elsewhere, you might not know part of my professional background is in family fitness and wellness! My tips are here to help, but always consult a doctor for individualized medical information.)
7 Tips for Maintaining Your Fitness and Devotion Time While Traveling
- Get up early. Rise 30-60 minutes earlier than the rest of your household to read your Bible for at least 15 minutes and then exercise for at least 15 minutes. (Yes, even 10-15 minutes helps!)
- Or, stay up late. Some of you might not be able to get up early, perhaps because of family members with special needs, odd work schedules, or otherwise. Maybe your Bible time has to come in the evenings or even after everyone else is in bed. And, that’s okay, if that’s what you need. The general recommendation for exercise is to finish exercise a few hours before bedtime because it does increase heart rate, so perhaps you can fit in higher intensity exercise earlier in the day, but include stretches and floor exercises in the evening.
- Pray or memorize Scripture as you walk (or bike or swim or run). You might not be able to pull out your concordance and study Bible while you exercise, but you can review memory verses and spend time in conversation with God. (Lisa gave some great memory verse tips for traveling on this post.)
- Find a friend (or family member) and read the Bible together, then exercise together. The buddy system has long been offered as a motivation solution in exercise, and the same can go for devotional time. Workout and worship together! (Matthew 18:20)
- Journal your routine. Writing down what you accomplish can motivate you to keep going. Journaling also helps you chart what you’ve learned and your progress in both fitness and Bible study. (Check out Julie’s family vacation faith journal here. And, if you’re looking for help setting family goals, check out this free printable.)
- Keep your expectations realistic. No, you might not take a 10-mile run while on vacation (or you might!). You might not have two hours of uninterrupted study time while also monitoring your preschooler at the vacation site. But, some portion of your normal routine is often better than none. Reframe your goals for vacation, but still work to maintain part of your routine.
- Try something new. I know, we’ve been talking about keeping your normal routine, and now I say “add something new.” But, just as vacationing somewhere different than home (or participating in new activities around home if you’re “staycationing”) provides motivation, trying something new in exercise or studying in a new way can help you stay on track while out of your normal environment. A few options for exercise? Try disc golfing, horseback riding, or snorkeling. For bible study? Read in a parallel Bible (like this one or this one), look up a few of the Greek words, or listen to new praise music.
- Need a workout for small spaces using little to no equipment while you’re traveling? Check out this free basic workout plan here.
- Check out our Bible study tools posts for several printables for prayer on the go, family study tools, and Bible notebook tips.
How do you keep up your fitness routine and/or your study routine while traveling? What strategies do you use with one area that might help in the other? Please share your tips in the comments so we all can learn!
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