Would you like to achieve your health and fitness goals faster? If you answered YES, I’m going to share a secret with you. Something other fitness gurus don’t want you to know. Are you ready? Take a break. Give your body and mind a chance to decompress. Think about how you feel when you’re on vacation. Inhale and take a deep breath. You’re relaxed. As my Dad says, your biggest worry on vacation is what you’re going to have for lunch. Not too stressful.

Changing your daily routine keeps you from getting stagnant. When you come back from a break, you feel refreshed, refueled and invigorated. It might only be a weekend, but it makes a huge difference. Sometimes clients will express apprehension about not working out while they’re on vacation. I assure them that it’s okay, and there’s a good chance that when they come back they’ll be stronger. And I’m not just talking about taking a break from your exercise routine. I mean your routine of checking email every five minutes, driving the kids to soccer practice or hurrying to your next appointment. Just typing the last sentence made my chest tighter. Ugh!

My big brother, Ken, visited last week, and when I dropped him off at the airport yesterday he said that it was the most relaxing vacation he’d ever had. He got a chance to read (for fun), wake up to singing birds (not an alarm clock), sit in the passenger seat of my car (not driving in stop-and-go traffic in Los Angeles) and eat home-cooked meals (without having to prepare them). His battery was recharged. The funny thing is that Ken lifted weights in my studio once and we played tennis five times during his trip . . . and he was still re-energized. So when is your weekend getaway?