When you’re on vacation, the last thing you want to do is feel bound to your regular workout grind. On the other hand, keeping up your exercise routine while traveling is the best way to maintain your fitness, reduce weight gain, and keep your energy levels up. Here are the best easy vacation workouts along with a few expert tips on how to keep your favorite workouts a priority during a trip.
Decide what type of vacation you need.
“I always tell my clients: the type of your vacation determines whether or not to workout,” says Aaptiv trainer Rochelle Moncourtois. “If your vacation is all about restoring and relaxing, then maybe just take it easy and your body will come back stronger. If you’re on vacation for complete fun and pleasure, then by all means stay active and keep that body moving!”
And honestly, it might be a little bit of both. Maybe you don’t do your usual six miles at dawn, but you go for a casual walk slash jog on the beach instead. Or, you fully recharge and relax, and get back to your regular schedule of physical activity upon returning. “If your vacation is two weeks long, try to stay active a little bit, even if it is for 20 minutes a day,” encourages Moncourtois. “If your vacation is only four days, then take the those four days to relax.”
Vacation workouts help maintain your fitness, but if you do take a complete break, know you’ll be able to bounce back upon returning. View it as an extended rest day. “It’s definitely ok to not work out for a few days,” said Lauren Foundos, CEO and Founder of Forte. “Your body needs rest, so take those opportunities to give it some.”
Manage your expectations.
The first day of vacation typically goes like this: freedom! Relax! Do nothing! Have a couple drinks, hit up the local ice cream shop, bask in the glory of zero deadlines or obligations. Maybe before bed you tell yourself, “Okay, tomorrow I’ll fit in my run.” Day two arrives, and you begrudgingly wake up earlier than everyone else and hit the pavement for a 20-minute run that feels cumbersome and slow. (Also, summer runs are hard, folks!)
It might be tempting to berate yourself for not running faster or further, but cut yourself some slack. A little bit of exercise on vacation is better than nothing at all. Try to get moving every day, but in terms of your fitness levels, you’re probably looking to maintain more than anything. Which means you have permission to lower your expectations. However, if you do choose to do vacation workouts, you might want to push yourself hard to get it over with, so you can get back to reading by the pool.
Stay on track.
“Working out on vacation will help you avoid weight gain if you’re indulging—which we all love to do, right? Try to avoid a lot of alcoholic beverages, as they have extra empty calories. If you’re going to indulge, at least go for something with some nutritional value and then burn it off by going for a run.”
This approach might actually allow you to enjoy indulging even more, because there’s no need to feel guilty or regretful if you’re staying active at the same time.
No excuses, just do it.
To workout on a trip, you need two things: time and motivation, both of which can be hard to find amid gorgeous scenery or pre-planned activities. But, exercise doesn’t have to be hours long, difficult or pricey. You really just need your body, a good attitude, and a loose game plan. Luckily, Aaptiv’s got you covered on that last front.
“My favorite workout by far while on vacation is outdoor running!” Moncourtois exclaims. “No matter where I am, I can use Aaptiv, enjoy the scenery around and basically shut out the world. It helps me relax and have fun at the same time.”
“I am a big fan of working out on vacation and exploring the hotel gym or local boutique studios,” says Foundos. “I always travel with my jump rope to get in a quick cardio session. I also love to explore a new city by going for a run, and getting a lay of the land.”
Vacation Workouts to Try
If you’re cramped for time . . .
- Practice your planks
- Stretch with a few yoga moves
- Fit in a 15-minute run
- Challenge your legs with lunges
If you’re in the mood to explore . . .
- Pedal away on a bike
- Check out a local studio or gym (tip: ask for new student specials or a day pass!)
- Look for hiking trails to see the sights
- Walk to your next lunch or dinner destination
If you really want to break a sweat . . .
- Sprint up and down stairs
- Complete a resistance-focused jog on the beach
- HIIT it hard with interval training
- Power through cardio on whatever machine is available at the hotel gym
All in all, working out on vacation is a choice, and more than possible if you adapt your routine accordingly. But if you need the mental and physical time off in order to enjoy your vacation, always listen to your body and do what’s best for you.