For many, summer means vacation – a time to relax and have fun with family or friends, but vacations can also be an opportunity to re-energize your body and mind. Putting exercise on pause may not significantly decrease your fitness level, but it could get you out of the habit of maintaining your regular workout routine. Instead of forgetting your workouts completely, incorporate them into your travel! With a little planning, many vacation areas can be prime locations to get your workout in. Fitting in a little exercise while you are away is probably easier than you think.
Walking and running on the beach is my favorite way to stay active on vacation. I’ve had some of my best runs on the beach! Early morning workouts work best for me. I get up early and get in a quick workout and a little “me" time before everyone else is up. I find waking up early has its perks because I get to enjoy the beautiful beachside sunrise as a backdrop to my run. I also enjoy evening power walks in the sand while watching the sunset.
These are a few of the things I incorporated over the last couple of weeks while I was away. I hope you can use some of the following ideas and tips to keep your vacation from taking a toll on your fitness level and training routine.
Packing your sneakers, workout clothes and swimsuit may be all the motivation you need to workout while you’re away. Workout “toys” like a pedometer, heart rate monitor, resistance band or jump rope are small items that won’t take up much room or add excess weight to your luggage.
Many hotels and resorts cater to the active clientele with fitness centers, tennis courts or pools located right on the premises. Check online or call ahead to see what active amenities and fitness options are available in the area. Many hotels arrange for passes to a local gym during their guests’ stay where you can try out new equipment or a fitness class.
No Gym? No Problem
If you have a smart phone, explore your free apps. Smart phone workout apps are great motivational tools. I found a few apps that provided me with tons of no-equipment circuit workouts and yoga and Pilates workouts for my cross-training days.
No Equipment Necessary
Do simple exercises such as pushups, squats, and stretches when you have spare time. These can be done anywhere and require no special equipment. Planks, Pushups, squats and lunges are great functional exercises that require you to use the largest and most important muscles in the body.
Surf & Turf
Swimming is a great cardiovascular full body workout. Water play is a great workout as well. Who doesn’t love jumping up and down over the waves or playing a game of Marco Polo in the pool? Pack a Frisbee or beach ball in your beach bag and play in the sand with friends and family!
Running, Walking, Hiking
Walk or run on the wet, packed sand by the water’s edge or for greater intensity, walk through the looser sand. Running or walking on an uneven surface is a great low-impact workout and strengthens the muscles of your legs and feet. Take a walking site-seeing or shopping tour. If you see a flight of stairs, opt to take them instead of the elevator or escalator. Walking up stairs is a great way to work your quads and glutes, the largest and most efficient muscles in the body.
Challenge Yourself and Try Something NEW
Part of the fun of a vacation is doing things you might not normally do at home. That includes your exercise. Rent a bike, climb a mountain, try a new adventure and test your limits. You may not wind up being very good at paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, or rock climbing but that’s okay. In fact, doing something you’ve never tried, or haven’t quite mastered is a wonderful way to work muscles you probably haven’t worked in a while, and you may find a new passion!
Fitting in activities that are fun and convenient for you will have the most impact on your adherence to your exercise program. Challenge your spouse, family or friends to help you get creative, and come up with enjoyable ways to stay active while on vacation. Spending time with family and friends doing something active gives you the perfect chance to connect and create lasting memories.
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