Fitness Plan: “Playing Card” Workouts

You’ve been planning it all year and the time has finally come to clock out, shut down, and take a break from your everyday routine — VACATION! Whether you prefer sunshine and a beach, a road trip, or just some quiet time off, you’re planning to relax, let loose, and indulge.

But staying physically active is a key component to getting the most out of your vacation. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and promote positive feelings. To give you a break from your normal fitness regimen, we’ve come up with a fun, vacation-worthy workout approach you can do pretty much anywhere, by yourself or with friends and family.

This workout will be a little different every time you do it, because it’s based partly on what comes up in a deck of cards! We’re going to use four basic exercises and pair each with a suit on the playing cards. For your workout, you will flip one card at a time. The suit will tell you what exercise to do, and the card’s value tells you how many repetitions. Cards 2-9 are face value, cards 10-Ace are all worth 10. See the sidebar for more tips, and try the weekly fitness schedule from our “Move for Health” download.

  1. Hearts: Jumping Jacks
  2. Diamonds: Squats
  3. Clubs/Clover: Sit-ups
  4. Spades: Mountain Climbers

Drink to Your Health (by Limiting or Avoiding Alcohol)

The American Heart Association has good recommendations when it comes to drinking alcohol. Bottom line: If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

What is moderate consumption, you ask? One to two drinks per day for healthy men and one drink per day for healthy women. Drinking more than these amounts can lead to serious health issues, such as increased triglycerides, high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, certain types of cancer, pancreatitis, liver disease, and obesity, and may increase the risk of developing diabetes as well. Plus, don’t overlook the extra calories from alcoholic drinks — always include any drink calories in your daily calorie allotment.

You’ll find more tips related to alcohol in the sidebar. Meanwhile, if you are looking for some fun, great-tasting drinks without alcohol this summer, give our mocktail recipes a whirl!


Skinny Pineapple-Coconut “Mock”-ito


Lemonade Blueberry “Mocktail” Mule

Mock Cran-Sangria

Twisted Bloody Mary

Watermelon-Lime Crush