Travel and Fitness: How to Stay Active and Have Fun on Vacation
For months you’ve been getting into shape so you can look amazing on vacation. But if you abandon your fitness goals on the first day of your trip, your beach body won’t be hanging around for long. Thankfully, it is possible to stay fit while on vacation, and you don’t have to be a slave to the gym to do it. Here’s how you can plan a fit vacation without sacrificing a good time.
Book a Health-Conscious Hotel
It’s easier to make healthy choices when they’re convenient. Since your hotel is your home base during vacation, choose one that supports your fitness goals.
Think a full-service fitness center, wholesome meal options, landscaped grounds to roam, and bicycle rentals for easy, active exploring. Well+Good offers recommendations for hotel chains with great wellness perks.
Wake Up Early
Routines go out the window when you’re on vacation. In fact, half the fun of vacation is escaping your regular schedules and responsibilities for a week or two! But that also means your evening gym sessions aren’t going to happen.
If you want to work out while on vacation, do it in the morning before everyone wakes up. When you stay at a hotel with an on-site gym, you can sneak downstairs for an early morning workout. You’ll not only keep up with your fitness goals but starting your day with exercise will leave you energized and ready to make the most of your trip.
Nothing beats exploring on foot. When you move at an ambling pace, you notice sights, smells, and sounds that you’d miss if you were looking out the window of a vehicle. If you value finding great hole-in-the-wall restaurants, mingling with the locals, and truly absorbing the flavor of your destination—while burning calories at the same time—plan a trip that’s heavy on foot travel. Some travel destinations are more pedestrian friendly than others. If you want to get plenty of steps in on your vacation, travel to a city with a reputation for walkability.
Watch Your Diet
It’s OK to indulge a little on vacation. After all, what’s a trip to New Orleans without a bowl of gumbo and a beignet, or a trip to Austin without some good ol’ Texas barbecue? But if you choose the unhealthy options more often than not, you could end up feeling sluggish and heavy by your vacation’s end. Aim to choose a healthy menu option for at least two meals per day to prevent vacation bloat.
There are a lot of calories in alcohol. According to LiveScience, one beer has around 150 calories, one shot of liquor around 100, and a glass of wine around 125. If you’re ordering dressed-up cocktails, those numbers rise even higher.
That means one night of drinking can be calorically equivalent to an entire meal. Sticking to one or two drinks mitigates vacation weight gain while also ensuring you can wake up for those morning workouts.
Plan Fit Activities
Vacation doesn’t need to be all about eating and drinking. For awesome new experiences that are also great for your health, try a fitness-focused activity. You can take scuba diving lessons, go horseback riding, book a biking tour of the city, or simply choose the stairs while visiting historic sights.
While these tips will help you stay active on vacation, it’s important to keep your goals in perspective. Fitness on vacation isn’t about making gains or dropping pounds, it’s about maintaining your health so you feel good on vacation and when you return home. If you find that fitness is getting in the way of your trip, remind yourself that you worked hard for this vacation, and you deserve to enjoy it—even if that means missing a workout or two.