What comes to mind when you think about going on vacation?
Blissful relaxation? A break from work and adulting? Good food and drinks? Room service? What about exercise?!
I know, I know. There’s enough to think about while you’re traveling, and you want to relax. Exercise is the opposite of relaxing, right? Wrong. Actually, working in some exercise during your travels may actually HELP you relax.
I’m not saying that you should do a 2-hour long intense workout each day, that would be silly. Studies show that exercising at moderate intensity for just 20-30 minutes daily may do good for your body and mind. Not only does exercise have the ability to increase your metabolism, it may also be helpful for reducing the effects of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, improving energy levels and keeping your immune system strong.
All of these are benefits you can reap while you’re on vacation. Think about it: if you fit in just a little bit of movement into your vacation days, you might have more energy to enjoy fun activities, or you may be able to chill-out and relax even better than you would have without a workout.
Now that I have you convinced, here are some of my best tips for staying active on vacation:
Stay in a Hotel that has a Gym
It’s not always possible, but if you have the option, do your research and find a hotel that has a gym. This way, you can fit-in a quick workout whenever you want! Many hotel gyms have your basic workout equipment like treadmills, ellipticals and free-weights. Look for one that meets your needs so you don’t have to stray too far from your regular exercise routine while you’re away.
If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, you can also use Yelp or another app to find a gym that’s close to where you’re staying.
Take the Stairs
This is a tried & true tip that I’m sure you’ve heard a million times, but taking the stairs is SO helpful especially when you don’t have access to a gym or don’t have time for an established workout. It can be easy to just take the elevator when you’re at the airport or hotel–elevators are easy to find and might get you to your destination more quickly than the stairs will. HOWEVER, the stairs are less crowded and taking them regularly will do wonders for your legs and booty 😉
Here’s a real-life example for you: When I was in Portland last summer for the Food as Medicine Conference with my fellow RD friend Maddie, we would go up and down the big hotel staircase every time we had a break!
Walk, Walk, Walk
Get those steps in whenever you have a chance! Did your flight get delayed? Instead of sitting in the dirty waiting area suffering in boredom, take a walk. You’d be surprised by what you can find at airports (fun restaurants, cool shops, etc) simply by walking around. Maybe you’re spending a day at the beach. Well, set a “walk-break” timer on your phone that will encourage you to move around every hour or so. Or, if possible, plan to explore the area that you’re in by foot instead of car/bus/train/whatever. Of course this isn’t always an option, but when it is, don’t hesitate to get your walk on!
Take Advantage of Workout Apps
You really don’t have an excuse to not exercise when you have workouts literally at your fingertips in the form of smartphone apps and Youtube videos. There are apps and programs you can pay for, such as Daily Burn (my favorite!) and Aaptive, that provide all kinds of different workouts of various lengths and intensities. They don’t require any equipment, so you can do them in the comfort of your hotel room.
If you don’t want to pay for a fitness app, no worries! Do a quick Youtube search and you’ll find plenty of free workouts. You can also check-out some of my fellow food & fitness blogs: Fit Foodie Finds and Nourish Move Love have lots of free workouts to choose from that you can do anywhere! My friend Chelsey at Rooted Essence has some fun workouts you can try as well.
Scope out a Local Yoga Studio
Some people prefer yoga over doing workout videos, and I totally support that! Yoga is the best. Thanks to apps like Yelp, it’s super easy to find yoga studios that are in your area. And if there aren’t any, of course there’s a smartphone app or internet solution for that. I personally loooooove using YogaByCandace–she has an app that includes all of her amazing yoga YouTube videos. Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour, there will definitely be an option for you in her app (and it’s free!). Sara Lou Yoga is another yogi that I follow who has several yoga sequences on her website and some videos, too. You should also look into Do You Yoga, which provides lots of material for on-the-go yogis.
Plan Some Exercise-Based Activities
While you’re planning your vacation, why not fit in some exercise-based activities into your days? I already mentioned walking, but you could also schedule a hike, rock-climbing, surfing lessons, kayaking, swimming in the lake/ocean, etc. This will obviously depend on where exactly it is that you’re going, the time of year, and the weather. Nevertheless, these activities are a fun way to get some exercise in without even realizing that you’re exercising.
Alright, now get off your computer or phone and go get some exercise! 🙂
What’s YOUR favorite way to stay active while you’re on vacation?