Summer is now in full swing, so many of us are packing up and heading out for vacation! Many people think that going on vacation means they can take a break from exercise, but please don’t let yourself fall into this trap! Although it may appear difficult to keep up with your fitness routine on vacation, it really isn’t all that tough… it just takes some planning and some commitment to be intentional while on your trip! Here are a few tips to help you stay fit while on vacation.
1. Think Ahead. Be sure to pack your exercise shoes and enough exercise clothes to last you while you’re away. Search the internet for nearby walking routes/trails so that you have a plan in place. If planning to stay at a hotel or condo, try to find one with a fitness center.
2. Walk, walk, walk. And then walk some more! Vacationing is about enjoying the place you’re visiting and taking a breather from usual life, so make it a point to walk instead of drive to the beach, shopping centers, and restaurants when something is within walking distance. Wear a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day!
3. Choose active activities. Rather than just sitting on the beach or by the pool all day, seek out nearby nature and hiking trails, rent bikes to tour the town, or rent a kayak!
4. Be prepared for the heat. Most vacations in the summer involve warm weather, so be sure you’re prepared for the heat, especially if you will be exercising outdoors. See this post for a few tips.
5. Utilize your hotel room. Pack an exercise band/tube or light hand weights. If bringing along light hand weights, you can do these exercises without additional equipment. Even without hand weights, you can work on your core muscles using these exercises. An exercise DVD is a great option as well. (On a side note, be courteous to your neighbors… if you’re not on the ground floor, try to avoid things like kickboxing and jumping jacks!)
6. Have realistic expectations and avoid an all-or-nothing attitude. It may not be possible to do your usual workout when you’re on vacation, but realize that every little bit counts. Additionally, if weight loss is a goal you’ve been working on, try to focus on just maintaining your weight on vacation, rather than being overly concerned about losing… your vacation will be more enjoyable this way, and you can get back on track when you get home!
7. Take advantage of the beach. Sand makes it harder to walk, so take a walk on the beach and enjoy the increased intensity and calorie burn! Also, pack a Frisbee or a football to get you up and moving throughout the day.
8. Take advantage of the pool. Instead of just floating on a raft, swim some laps or do some water walking/jogging.
9. Take advantage of the campground. Campgrounds generally have great places for walking and riding bikes, so take advantage of this. You can also find some steps (or a picnic table bench) and perform these simple strength training exercises.
10. Take advantage of the rest areas. It is important to get up and move around at regular intervals while on a long road trip. Stop consistently and walk for a few minutes each time. It may take slightly longer to get to your destination, but your body will be happier and you will feel better upon arrival!