Going on vacation is an excuse for letting go of your usual routines and recharging. You can kick back on the beach with a mai tai or sip hot chocolate at a ski lodge. There is one routine you shouldn’t abandon completely on vacation.
You work hard to stay in shape and two weeks away can set you back. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between fitness and relaxation.
Keep reading and we’ll give you ten ways to stay in shape on your vacation.
1. Book a Hotel with a Gym
People who take fitness seriously often invest in exercise equipment or gym memberships. You can’t take heavy equipment with you and finding a local branch of your gym isn’t always practical.
With so many people taking an interest in health these days, many hotels now maintain on-site gyms. You don’t need a cab, just a ride on an elevator. That on-site equipment makes it a lot easier to burn off some calories before the day gets going.
2. Take Equipment
Most exercise equipment is too bulky or heavy for travel, but not all of it.
You can find room for a foldable yoga mat in almost any bag. That covers you for some basic cardiovascular exercise.
But what about resistance training?
Resistance bands are small, flexible and nearly weightless. That makes them the ideal travel companion for any trip.
3. No Equipment Hotel Room Workouts
What if you forget your lightweight equipment and they’re renovating the hotel gym. Body weight exercises aren’t always fun, but they get the job done. Plus, you can do them in your hotel room.
You can lean into a push-up or side plank workout. If you aren’t feeling that, you can work your core with some ab workouts.
If you want to level up your hotel room workout, use a hotel chair for some decline push-ups.
4. Run, Jog, or Hike
Always pack your jogging shoes for a vacation. It’s the go-to form of cardio for people who want to stay in shape for a reason. You can do it almost anywhere there’s a reasonably well-maintained surface.
If you aren’t sure about sidewalk running in an unfamiliar city, look at local running forums. They’re great sources for the best spots to run in a city. Odds are you’ll find a local park or trail that everyone recommends.
If you prefer hiking, it can take more planning. It might take a ride out of the city.
The upshot is that hikes make for great family adventures that help everyone stay in shape.
5. Stay in Shape by Taking Walking Tours
You don’t need formal exercise to stay in shape on your vacation.
You can find walking tours in almost every major city. Most of them last a couple hours, though they can be shorter or longer. You see some of the local sights and get to tick the exercise box for the day.
If you can’t find a good walking tour, you can always plan your own. Just make sure the route isn’t too long or everyone will come back exhausted.
6. Eat Right
You must watch what you eat on vacation. You’ll probably eat out most of the time and you can’t rely on portion control at a restaurant.
As much as you can, eat as you would in your own home. Take a pass on mayo and replace it with mustard. Order salads with vinaigrette.
Stick to lean meats like grilled chicken breasts and salmon.
That said, eating new things is part of the travel experience. Give yourself permission to try a new dessert or dish a few times while you’re away.
7. Look for Restaurants in Walking Distance
It’s the rare hotel that isn’t within walking distance of a restaurant. If you feel adventurous, ask about restaurants at the front desk. If not, do some web research ahead of time and pick a couple restaurants to try.
Walking to and from the restaurant is an easy way to work a little extra cardio into your day.
8. Plan Physical Activities
If you’re more active by nature, you can build physical activities right into your vacation plan.
Let’s say your vacation takes you to a coastal area. You could always do some ocean swimming or kayaking.
Want a look beneath the waves? Try snorkeling. Just make sure you use high-quality equipment, such as Ninja Shark snorkeling gear.
Heading up into the snow-covered mountains? You can do some skiing or snowboarding.
9. Use the Stairs
Taking the stairs at your hotel is just as good as taking the stair at your job.
It burns calories. It can increase the amount of good cholesterol in your body. If stair climbing is part of your regular routine, it can decrease your mortality risks.
It’s also another kind of exercise that doesn’t need special equipment. You can also limit how many flights of stairs you take. You take the stairs from the lobby to the second floor and ride the elevator up from there.
10. Focus on Maintenance
Remember, you are on vacation. You aren’t trying to get into shape. You’re trying to stay in shape.
The key word here is maintenance. You want enough exercise that you won’t lose ground by the time you get home. If you gain ground, you probably spent too much time working out and not enough vacationing.
Vacations let you shrug off your day-to-day concerns and routines, but fitness isn’t on that list. Take some steps that let you workout while you’re away.
You can book a hotel with a gym or take some lightweight equipment with you. If that’s a no-go, move on to jogging or no equipment workouts you can do in your hotel room.
Build physical activities into your trip plans. You can take walking tours. If you want something more challenging, go for a hike, ski, or swim.
Don’t get carried away in restaurants. Order with health in mind.
Most importantly, aim for maintenance. You’re on vacation, not training for a triathlon.
Want some tips for when you get home? Check out our piece on 5 essential weight training workouts.