Many of us try hard to get or to keep in shape only to have it derailed when we go on vacation. Here are some tips for staying fit on vacation.
- Plan your exercises ahead. It is easy to skip workouts at home and even more so when on vacation. Making it part of your daily itinerary will help. Even if it means getting out of bed an hour early. You will be thankful you did.
- Make exercise a part of your vacation experience. If you walk, run, or bike, these are great ways to venture out and see the surroundings. If you get up early, you can oftentimes get a better view of the sites with almost no crowds. You can cover more or even completely different domains than what you have scheduled with your family. This has become one of my favorite vacation activities. Whether running through Hyde Park, along the Oahu coast, or circling Disneyland, I get a new perspective and a more rich experience
- Base your workout length and intensity on your plans for the day and how you feel from the day before. Anaerobic/strength exercises rarely have to be altered; endurance exercises may though. If your planned activity for the day is harder than your daily workout (like maybe hiking into the Grand Canyon), then skip it. If your day will be mostly sedentary (like a driving tour), then do your normal workout. It is a bit harder to determine what to do if you are going to a theme park like Magic Kingdom. You will be on your feet a lot but not really getting aerobic benefit. I recommend that you proceed with a scaled back version of your workout. Do about 1/2 to 2/3 at a low intensity. For example, if you normally would run 6 miles, then run 3 or 4 at an easy pace. This will keep you in shape, burn calories, but should not cause injury.
- Try something new. Vacation is a great time to change things up. Try swimming laps. It might be something you will want to continue when you get home. Some resorts, like Disney’s Aulani, offer free group classes such as Yoga or Pilates. Many beach communities and some other places like Colorado Springs offer bicycle rentals. In Colorado Springs you can bike the smooth, scenic Santa Fe Trail.
You do not have to gain weight or lose your fitness during a vacation. Your belt does not have to be loosened. It takes a little effort, but it can actually be fun and add enjoyment to your trip.
Future related articles: Tips on how not to Gain Weight on Vacation and Tips for Staying Healthy on a Cruise Ship.