How to Stay Fit on Vacation

When you’re at home, it’s a bit easier to keep your commitment to workout routines and healthy eating. Vacation is an interruption to your daily routines – that’s the point. Get a break. Get out of town. Go see the world. And for many of us, once our daily ritual is thrown out, it can be hard to keep going in the right direction with staying fit. Fitness on vacation comes in many forms, and you’ll thank yourself later if you make even the most modest effort.

Reasonable Eating on Vacation

Vacation is the time to indulge yourself. You’ve earned this time off, and you’re going out for some fine dining or even street food to experience the local fare. Food is a big part of why you’ve come. Don’t feel like you have to select your meal only from the salad bar. Enjoy those barbeque ribs, succulent lobster, and that Crepa de Manzana. But balance heavy meals with light meals. Have a hearty breakfast, followed by a light lunch (or even just a snack), and then a nice dinner. If you visit the same restaurant more than once, try picking the lighter option the second time.

One creative way to taste as many of the foods you want is to order several dishes for the whole table and share them. Everyone can taste a little bit of everything. Depending on the portions and the size of your group, you could end up eating less than you normally do, but still feel full.

Healthy Vacation

Eating right is probably the tougher discipline on vacation. But no matter how healthy you eat, your diet should be paired with regular exercise.

“You do want to maintain a little activity while on vacation, primarily to keep your metabolism up as a hedge against packing on the pounds from all the delicious food you’ll be eating.”

Fitness coaches have high expectations for their clients. Maybe they’re realistic, maybe not. What you’ll see here is a range of suggestions. The big idea? Tailor your exercise routine around your environment and schedule. If you’re used to three workouts a day at home, then you’ll probably do at least one daily workout while on vacation. If you’re doing three workouts a week at home, then you’ll probably make time for one to two workouts during your trip. Be realistic.

A healthy vacation can be fun; it doesn’t have to be that time you tried a new diet, new exercise routine, made impossible goals for yourself, and then ended the week discouraged and right back where you started.

Exercise Ideas

Working out while on vacation is not a crazy idea. You want to get out of the hotel and sightsee, so take a walking tour. Or a bike tour. Riding in a taxi or bus is great, but you don’t burn any calories that way.

“For a unique sightseeing opportunity—and a real cardio boost—consider booking a bike tour. You’ll get to see everything at a faster pace, while burning extra calories. For those heading to beach towns, another active option is to rent kayaks; paddling for an hour burns roughly 345 calories.”

Vacation is a chance to try new activities. Maybe you’ve never tried stand-up paddle boarding. When you’re experiencing a new activity like that, the fun you’re having helps you forget how much work you’re doing. Take Nikki Fogden-Moore’s advice and get out in nature:

“Embrace the surroundings. If you are on an island or beach holiday, head to the water for your workouts. In the countryside or even in a city that has amazing parks, head out and explore by hiking, running, walking, biking or even look at horse riding for a more adventurous twist. Try surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, windsurfing or kite surfing to get some fresh air and wake up some muscles you may never have known you had.”

It’s not hard to be active while on vacation. You go to these exotic places to experience them for yourself. Take advantage of the amenities of your hotel, but don’t let the comforts outweigh the chance to explore the city, parks, historical sites, and beaches.

If you come with your kids, go outside and play with them in the pool, ride bikes, climb a mountain, do an obstacle course together.

“Go ahead, relax and sunbathe a little, but make sure you have some calorie-burning fun with the kids, too. Play ‘Marco Polo’ in the pool. Go bike riding. Shoot hoops. Pick up sea shells on the sea shore. Warm up those decades-old-but-you-never-lose-‘em ping pong skills. Chances are, you’ll have as much fun (maybe even more!) as the little ones.”

Specific Workouts You Can Do

You may have a gym membership where you live. Or some home equipment that you can’t take with you on your trip. Don’t let that stop you. Here are some specific workouts to help you stay healthy and fit, even if you don’t have access to a gym. Both of these workouts are designed for men and women, but with slightly different approaches.

Workout Suggestion from Nikki Fogden-Moore (vitality coach):

“15-minute Express Session: Quick walk or jog followed by a superset of 25 push-ups, 25 crunches, 25 tricep dips and 25 prisoner squats. Finish with three yoga poses to stretch; for example, downward dog, triangle pose and a classic forward bend.”

Workout Suggestion from Matt Reynolds (strength trainer):

“Do the following exercises, one right after another without stopping. When you complete a circuit, take a break for one or two minutes. If you’re a rank beginner, start with one circuit, and then try to work your way up to six.”

  • Air Squats 1×10
  • Push-ups 1×10
  • Lunges 1×10
  • Chair Dips 1×10
  • Sit-ups 1×10

Enjoy your vacation, and get some exercise while you’re at it. When you get home, you can get back to your routines. Only by then, you’ll want to add some new activities to your repertoire.






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