How You Can Still Stay Fit On Vacation

James Logie

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With more things opening up, you may be itching to take a trip.

Whether it’s now, or in the future, a vacation is an easy way to leave fitness behind.

Vacations are great, but there can be a lot of over-indulging. You definitely need to enjoy yourself, but what if you still like to stay active instead of just sitting still?

If you want to stay on top of your workouts while away, it’s not too hard to do so. You just need to be creative, resourceful and take advantage of what’s around you.

Don't Forget: Fitness is Everywhere

This is the first tip to focus on, and the thing that fitness clubs don’t want you to know: fitness is free.

During the pandemic, we’ve had to get very creative with training and workouts and didn’t have to pay a cent to do so.

Chairs, steps, couches, and tables all became pieces of fitness equipment. And you can still get some great workouts in.

This may or may not be an option depending on where you stay — but everything outside is. Walking, running, and hiking are always available.

If you’re near a beach, run sprints in the sand. Even just a long walk on the sand can be a good workout.

Hiking is one of the best ways to stay fit, and also see more of the area you’re visiting. It’s an amazing form of cardio that has less impact on the joints and knees than running.

Hiking will always be an effective form of cardio. The constantly changing terrain is more challenging for the mind and keeps you alert.

The changes in elevation use your smaller stabilizer muscles, and hiking is a great core workout.

If you’re traveling, make use of the "Alltrails" app. This app has over 50,000 trails you can find all over North America.

There is also "Locus Map" which will help you find trails and works like a GPS.

You Have a Gym With You Everywhere You Go

This relates a bit to the first point. Again, while being stuck at home to train, many of us had to rely on bodyweight movements. It’s easy to forget how effective these can be.

With bodyweight exercises, you have access to an unlimited number of workouts. Here’s just a small sampling of those exercises:

  • planks
  • burpees
  • mountain climbers
  • skater hops
  • push-ups
  • leg lifts
  • side planks
  • bodyweight squats
  • lunges

Now, just take three or four exercises, combine them into a circuit where you do each exercise for a minute, rest after the round is complete, and do 5 to 6 rounds.

Depending on how you’re feeling, you can add another few exercises to the circuit, increase the time on each exercise, or do some more rounds.

You can also add in Tabatas where you take one exercise for a tough 4-minute workout.

With these full-body circuits, you get a cardiovascular, and muscular endurance workout at the same time.

You work your entire body, burn a good amount of calories, and boost your aerobic system.

You can do these workouts anytime, anywhere. It may be your hotel room, on the beach, or anywhere you can find a small space.

Throw a skipping rope in your bag, and you’ve got a portable gym anywhere you go.

Book a Place to Stay With a Gym

This is a simple decision, but when you’re planning a trip, look for places to stay with some form of fitness facility.

Even lower-quality hotels are including some type of fitness center. Others often have arrangements with local gyms so that guests can use them.

If wherever you’re heading doesn’t have any form of gym, look to book a place that has a swimming pool. Swimming is still one of the greatest ways to stay fit.

It’s aerobic, muscular endurance, and works every muscle in the body. There is also no resistance, so it’s perfect if you have any joint issues.

Look For Free Trial Memberships at Nearby Gyms

This is an underutilized “fitness/travel hack.”

When you know where you’ll be traveling to, look up gyms that are near where you’ll be staying. When you get to your destination, call or visit the gym to see about a trial membership.

Any decent gym will have a week trial — or at least a free day pass. You can also look online and fill out the information beforehand so when you get there you just have to pick up your pass.

Even if there isn’t a pass, see if they’ll give you a free trial.

This is tougher in a remote area, but if you're staying in a city, it will be easy.

If you’ll be somewhere for an extended period, you can even line up free trials back to back between different gyms.

Even if the area you’re going to seems remote, just do a search online before you go. You’d be surprised how many fitness clubs are hidden where you least suspect.

If there’s no way to get a free trial, see about negotiating a special rate for the time you’re there.

Rent a Bike and Explore

Biking is such a substantial form of exercise. It's total cardio while not affecting your joints and knees.

It’s also the best way to explore a new area. You can cover a lot of ground and be less fatigued compared to running or walking a long distance.

Before you head to your destination, check out local bike rental companies in the area. It will be hard to find a city that doesn't have some sort of bike rental service.

Many cities also have bike-share apps or their own version of New York’s Citi Bike. You just pick up the bike in one location, return it back there — or drop it off at a different spot.

Once you have your bike, you can find and create your own routes with apps like "Bikemap."

There are many others, but Bikemap is free and has the biggest collection of bike routes in the world..

With a bike, you get to see places that aren’t always accessible by car and are often too far away to get to on foot.

There’s no better way to see the area you’ve traveled to and stay fit while doing so.

Getting out on the road to travel is exciting, but you don’t have to leave your fitness behind.

If you're the sort of person who has trouble sitting still even on vacation, you'll want to find different options to stay active.

Whether it’s a full-body circuit in the room you’re staying in — or hopping on a bike and exploring the area — you don't have to neglect your fitness when you travel

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Personal trainer, podcaster, Amazon best-selling author. Writing about some health, a little marketing, and a whole lot of 1980s.

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