Vacation. The perfect time to lounge on the beach with a cooling smoothie in hand as you soak up the sun. The soothing sound of the ocean waves. Vacation is the time when most of us are looking to unwind, relax and rejuvenate. The last thing on our minds is our fitness routine.
But why let vacation set us back in reaching our goals? With a little determination and planning, you can easily maintain your fitness while still getting your well-deserved break. So, how can fitness become part of your vacation?
Preparation is key
As with most things in life, it pays to be prepared. When you’re planning your vacation, check out the amenities at the place you’re staying. Do they have a gym or access to a pool? Are there any biking or hiking trails nearby?
Knowing what your options are pays off, as you can integrate fitness into your plans for your vacation. Action planning can make you more likely to take part in your fitness activity1.
For example, if you’re staying in an area near a park, you can head out on a morning run, a midday walk, or even do some bodyweight exercises there. The possibilities are endless!
One key thing though – remember to pack your activewear!
Taking extra steps = extra activities
Looking for a way to add some cardio to your vacation feels like hard work? You can do so by choosing movement where you can. Walk or bike around the city you’re exploring while you’re taking in the sights. Walking is a great way to raise your heart rate and improve your muscle strength and mental health2,3. Cycling is also a great cardio workout4.
If you’re spending time at a beach, play sports like volleyball with your family or have a swimming competition. Take a beach walk with your partner – it will be a great opportunity to connect socially with them.
Low on time? Consider HIIT
If you have access to a gym or anywhere where you can work out, you can try high-intensity interval training or HIIT. HIIT can support you in your weight loss goals, increase endurance, and boost strength5. Such workouts usually have rounds of high-intensity and lower-intensity exercises for recovery6. This type of workout doesn’t take long and can be done with both equipment and body weight.
Fitness tech to your advantage
Don’t forget about the wealth of fitness resources available to you while on vacation. Online and video workouts can be a great way to get moving. If you’re keen on the health benefits of yoga and pilates, you can follow the routines you like from the comfort of your room. For those with a packed schedule, there are usually 20–30-minute routines available.
Also, don’t forget about fitness trackers, whether on your phone or as a watch. These can send you reminders to get active if you’re sitting a lot. Alternatively, they can be a great way to track your steps, making it easier to reach your movement goals even on vacation7.
Bringing exercise to the airport
If you’re traveling for long periods, whether by car, train, or plane, try to get your blood flowing. If you’re sitting for a long time, try chair yoga. Alternatively, when you can, stand up to stretch, and do easy exercises like shoulder rolls or seated leg raises. If you can, try to get your blood pumping at a rest stop or in the airport terminal by doing jumping jacks or sit-ups for a minute. Giving your body ‘snacks’ of exercise can support cardiorespiratory fitness8.
Plus, these snacks are a good way to get kids to release extra energy while traveling.
While vacation is a great time to rest, don’t forget that you can remain active and stay in shape. These easy tricks can make it easier to get plenty of exercise no matter where you’re vacationing. However, remember that the most important part of a vacation is to recharge, so balance your activity with ample time to relax and plenty of self-care.