You have been working hard during your workouts, making good choices with nutrition and work-life balance, and you have seen improvements in your health over the last year. But then vacation and summer months arrive… with that comes schedule changes, opportunities to eat out, celebrations and gatherings. All of that is good and important, but can oftentimes make it difficult to keep up your normal healthy routine. It takes some advance planning and determination to succeed, but you CAN go on vacay and keep your commitment to fitness alive with a vacation fitness regimen.
First of all, don’t just give up and tell yourself you will pick things up once vacation is over. The summer months can be a series of mini-vacations, and that can mean a couple of months of no workouts if you just throw in the towel. You have worked so hard to get to where you are and backward slides can be discouraging. Be realistic and accept that it may be difficult to maintain your regular routine; but promise yourself to allow for an “adjusted program”. As with most things worthwhile, it is a mindset.
Tour vacations can mean schedules from morning to evening, but there are ways to sneak in more activities than you think. Here are some tips to make your vacation successful from a fitness point of view, as well as the sight-seeing side of things:
- Do some checking around online before leaving home. You may be surprised to find a wide variety of workout facilities beyond just the hotel’s bare bones treadmill. Many fitness clubs, studios, and even personal trainers offer special arrangements for out of town travelers. Local parks have jogging trails and some lakeside facilities offer stand up paddle board yoga!
- Your home gym may have sister gyms in other cities and for a nominal fee, you can take advantage of the services.
Think like an adventurer! Make sure one or more days of your vacay include a bike, kayak, scuba, or surfboard rental. Consider trying a totally new physical sport or experience since livin’ it up is what vacation is all about.
- Pack along resistance bands in your suitcase. You can get an amazing full body workout with these things! Add a killer ab session, a jump rope and you are covered!
- Don’t forget your workout togs and shoe options. This way you have removed any reasons to avoid workouts.
- Make a diversion! As you are seeing the sights, take the long way around, or get off the tour bus completely and do it on foot. Find the closest hills or stair climb and make that a part of your route.
- Paddle in the pond! Most hotels have at least a small pool. Even if you are not on a beach vacation, take along your suit and get some laps in or a full body water workout.
- YouTube-it! The sky is the limit with just about every type of workout video for you to follow along with in your hotel room.
- Ditch the rollers. Roller suitcases, that is. Pack all your essentials in two cases and carry balanced weight to and from your flight, hotel room, etc. This makes for a great upper body workout in the same time you would spend in transit, anyway!
- Pedometer-it! Get a pedometer and/or fitness tracker to keep yourself aware of steps and activity level. This awareness will likely cause you to choose more active options and make better meal choices.
- It’s all in the family. If your vacation involves visiting family and friends, instead of always gathering over food and drink, make walking dates to catch up and get some movement at the same time. Even casual hikes at nearby scenic destinations will make your visit that much more treasured.
The options are endless and the change of pace may just make you adopt some of these as a part of your fitness plan even once you return from vacation-land. It’s not an obligation, but an opportunity for adventure!