How to work in your workout: Simple tips on staying fit while enjoying your vacation

How to work in your workout: Simple tips on staying fit while enjoying your vacation

By Allison Tallman

Getting away from it all doesn't mean leaving your fitness routines behind

Vacations are supposed to be a break from everyday routines, but that’s a problem if you’re trying to become more fit.

Fortunately, vacations are a great time to explore and get in some physical activity while you do it. Whether you’re in a bustling city or near a quiet beach, there are a lot of ways to keep up your fitness routine. Here are a few.

Go ahead: get outside and exercise

For those who are physically able, traveling on your own two feet can be the best way to adventure. Not only is it the easiest mode of transportation, but it’s free. It’s also a great way to exercise. Walk along the streets or hiking trails and observe people or wildlife.

If you’re near a beach, try walking in the sand. It provides more resistance. If you prefer a faster pace, try exploring the town while on a run. For lower impact on your joints, try running on a dirt road or on trails through the woods. If sensitive joints are not a problem, enjoy running through the city on the pavement. Using a cellphone application or fitness watch, try tracking your steps each day while on vacation.

Set goals for yourself and see how many miles or how many steps you can travel. Just 10,000 steps take about two hours to complete when walking consistently.

Try your hand at the locals' favorite outdoor activities

Different climates allow you to try activities you might not have a chance to experience back home. If you’re visiting California, you’ll see a lot of people playing beach volleyball. Colorado has amazing mountains and terrain ideal for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Common outdoor activities include:

  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Ice skating
  • Paddleboarding
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Horseback riding
  • Rollerblading

Getting involved in local activities can give you some insights into the people and traditions of the region. If you’re in Hawaii, you can take hula dancing classes — a local art form important to the people of the island. New Jersey and New York have some of the most impressive golf courses in America. When booking a trip, research the activities that are available in the area.

Many cities now have bike-sharing programs. Biking can be an inexpensive and easy way to get around a city, but it also is useful for your health. Biking can raise your heart rate, burn calories and build strength. It’s also time-efficient, as biking can take less time than sitting in traffic.

Find places to do more intense exercises

While traveling, finding access to a gym can be difficult. When you don’t have access to machines and weights, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and bodyweight exercises are a great way to squeeze in a short, yet efficient, workout. HIIT workouts can be completed in as little as 20 minutes.

Try three or four bodyweight exercises, with 15-30 reps each and minimal breaks to keep your heart rate up. A lack of equipment does not have to stop you from getting in a good workout. Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere.

Many bodyweight movements can be done in minimal space:

  • Squats
  • Jumps
  • Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Pullups
  • Planks

Whether in your hotel room, on a balcony, or in a local park, you can work out anytime in any place.

Grab a friend or family member to join you now

Physical activity is crucial for your long-term health goals. Get your travel partner, family or friends involved with you. By doing workouts with someone else, you’re more likely to complete them — and have more fun. Set goals and challenge each other.

Balancing vacation with working out

Working out while on vacation may seem like an added chore, but it’s important to remind yourself of the benefits. Including physical activity in your vacation plans can increase your energy throughout the day and improve your mood.

Typical holiday eating habits, such as dining out and consuming more sweets, can contribute to vacation weight gain. Physical activity can help.

To make time for working out, chose impromptu ways to incorporate physical activity, like hopping on a bike or taking a long walk instead of calling a cab. It might be helpful to choose a certain number of days that you’ll work out while on vacation.

Working out while on vacation can seem daunting. While all these tips may not work for everyone, find what works best for you. Create a plan, get your travel partner involved, and stick to it.