It’s been said, “no man needs a vacation as much as the one who just had one.” Not in my case. I just returned from a family vacation in Newport Beach, California where a vacation is truly an opportunity to just, well, do nothing but relax.

Waking up every morning in a massive, rambling suite with a view from our balconies over-looking the beautiful Pacific extending forever, several swimming pools, a well manicured golf course, luxurious palm trees and brilliant blue skies is the right way to start any day. But when it’s a vacation and grandchildren – and ducks – are your early morning alarm clock, it’s pure heaven.

So if it was supposed to be a vacation in a stunning setting in Southern California, what in the world was I doing spending a couple of hours every morning on a disciplined, intense and sweaty workout in the gym???? I thought a vacation, according to one humorist, “is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” Do nothing? Me??? When there is a great gym nearby? That’d be a large bowl of no way!

Well, if you’ve been reading my columns and blogs over the past years and know anything about me, it’s that I am a true believer in Plato’s comment, “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” Frankly, I coach many of my clients that if they are not willing to engage in physical fitness, or get on a path leading them to sweat for 30 minutes five times a week, they are not going to see the results they want from any self-improvement program. The mind is the body, and the “link is what you think.”

If you want to change your physical, emotional and mental well-being, you just have to think well to move well. I believe you can either think living a stationary life, continuing on a static path is the best thing you can do for yourself, or you can grow healthy. You simply cannot do both. The same holds true for children, by the way.

So instead of having to “make time” to work out, on this vacation, I had all of the time I needed with no pressures at all. The gym, spa and private pools were nothing short of first-class, with every imaginable amenity within arm’s reach. Between the gym, the spa and the pool, who needs anything else? Hmmm, come to think of it, there was nothing else on this trip.

I was fortunate to have the world’s finest six doctors on the planet accompany me on my stay, insuring the healthiest, most relaxing experience possible: Dr. Sunshine, Dr. Water, Dr. Rest, Dr. Air, Dr. Exercise and Dr. Diet. Without them, I might just still need a vacation after my vacation. Living a longer, healthier life filled with more enjoyment, pleasure and well-being is what these doctors are all about. And they delivered.

As Director of Transformational Behavior Coaching at the Premier Fitness Camp at the famed Omni La Costa resort in San Diego, I teach my clients that their wellness and health are largely in their hands and help motivate them to learn how to create complete mental, physical, and social well-being. It is certainly not just the absence of disease. To create the kind of well-being that allows us to return from a vacation rested and not in need of another vacation, we need to be sure we play and enjoy every moment we have wherever we go.

I was once asked to spend time as a public spokesperson for the Government of Bermuda’s Department of Tourism’s ad campaign selling Bermuda as a “stress-free vacation spot.” One of the best gigs I ever had. Visiting Bermuda with the red carpet rolled out for me, developing creative ways to help east-coasters focus on the relaxing potential that the pink sands and green waters of Bermuda held out for them was a dream job.

While Bermuda, Newport Beach and surely my hometown San Diego hold the potential for destinations that can help promote well-being and healthy living, it is ultimately our decisions and actions that create longer healthier lives, not the place. But we all need help coming to these decisions and knowing how to take proper actions that speak to us in life-long, health enhancing ways. Whether it’s from an inspiring fitness-focused transformational behavior coach ☺, a role model trainer at your gym or dressing the part before you even achieve it, it is a fact that your personal drive, your individual internal self-motivation needs external support.

For me it’s my certified personal trainer, my wife Paula, and of course, reading every piece of research out there on emotional wellbeing, success and exercise.

If you are living your life in the most optimal way, with balance and fulfillment, there is no separation between health, family and work. You love every minute of your life.

That’s the sign of a great vacation and true well-being. Not just being fortunate enough to enjoy a beautiful rest with family, but to create the kind of “time-out” that nourishes, nurtures and provides for genuine wellness.