Summer is officially here, and that means planes, trains, and automobiles all across the country will be filled with people traveling to vacation destinations. You might be thinking that a vacation may be the perfect excuse to give your exercise routine some time off, too. But that doesn’t need to be the case. After all, you don’t need any excess “baggage” following you home, do you? You will have more success if you plan ahead, and actually schedule a workout (even a short one) into your days while away. Whether you are housed in a hotel or rooming with relatives, here are 5 tips on how to plan for a stay that is healthy and fit.
1. Pack portable equipment for a workout in a pinch.
This may be resistance bands, an inflatable exercise ball, or even a doorway chin-up bar if your suitcase is large enough. You’d be surprised how a little creativity can help you create a “mini gym” in your hotel room. Don’t forget your laptop and exercise DVDs, too!
2. Book a place that’s fitness-friendly.
Does the hotel or resort you chose have a workout room? That is the optimal situation,but if not, you can probably squeeze into the space between the two double beds or in front of the TV. Sadly (but better for you!), most of the time the hotel exercise room stands empty for much of the day. If your hotel does not offer a workout room, ask about a fitness center or group classes in the area, as hotels sometimes have reciprocal agreements with local health clubs nearby.
3. Put on your walking shoes (or running, tennis, biking, etc).
Explore your new surroundings with a brisk walk or go for a run. There may also be opportunities for a game of tennis, a mountain hike, or a bike tour. See the sights, get some fresh air, and rev up your metabolism at the same time.
4. Take a dip.
Many hotels have a pool that’s accessible to their guests. Swimming is a great aerobic exercise, especially if your destination this summer takes you to a hot or humid climate. Swimming is also a nice change from your usual gym routine. The whole family can enjoy this time together!
5. Don’t forget technology.
As mentioned in tip #1 under exercise equipment, a laptop with exercise DVDs is perfect for staying on track with a daily schedule. There are also many streaming videos online that offer yoga or simple aerobics routines. Track your workouts online, use suggested meal plans (here are some free ones), or sign up for a year of unlimited workout access here.
When on vacation, perhaps a daily exercise plan may not be at the top of your to-do list, but don’t be afraid of a good workout. Try to squeeze in a little something each morning, even if it means waking up a few minutes earlier than you would have otherwise. It will help set a positive tone to the rest of your day, may just put you in a great mood, and you’ll still have plenty of time left to enjoy your vacation. Who knows? When you get home, you may just continue the regimen and start a whole new healthy lifestyle!