Vacation is a time for relaxing, indulging, and letting go of the stressors of your daily life. Often people mistake their vacation vibes as an imperative to let go of their health along with everything else — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Unlike your chores, work schedule, and to-do list, your body goes with you everywhere. When you let your fitness regimen take a vacation, the effects are apparent pretty immediately, and they make themselves noticed during your time off and when you come back.
Working out isn’t always such a blast; when you’re trying to treat yourself, the last thing you want to do is trudge your way to a depressing hotel gym.
But what you’re not considering is that you can still work out on vacation without going through all that torture. There are ways to move your body while you’re away that not only aren’t terrible, but that are actually — if you can believe it — fun.
Most of them are free, many of them encourage you to spend quality time with those you travel with, and some of them even help you discover new things on vacation that you would have otherwise missed — but they’re all things that can keep you fit, happy, and healthy all vacation long.
Taking a bike around town is a great — and speedy — way to explore. It won’t take ages to get where you’re going like walking would, but you still get to pump those legs the whole way there. With the wind in your hair and the interesting scenes racing by, you won’t even notice you’re getting your sweat in.
If you’re vacationing on the water, see if there is a boat rental offered. Kayaking, rowing, and canoeing are amazing for building arm strength. Even steering a sailboat is good exercise, especially if it’s a small boat you have to prevent from tipping over. You can catch some sun, see some views, and enjoy an afternoon on the water without even noticing you’re working up a sweat.
Yes, dancing is a workout — and a great one, too. Studios and fitness centers everywhere have started expanding their classes to include more dance workouts, but you can get yours for free anywhere (even on vacation). Go dancing in the evening to absorb the local culture, start a dance party in your hotel room, or even look into dance classes on a cruise. The options are out there — you only have to reach out and take them!
I know, it sounds crazy, but it actually works. Let yourself roam, whether it’s through the woods, through the middle of downtown, or up and down aisles of local retail shops. The more lost you get, the more you’ll discover and the more you’ll have to walk to get back — giving you a better workout at the same time.
Climbing up rocks and trudging through dirt could be part of your hiking experience — and a strenuous part at that — but they don’t have to be. A leisurely hike is just as great a workout as any, and a fabulous way to get outdoors and experience some scenery.
Nothing gets your heart rate flying and your endorphins pumping like a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. They’re short, they require no equipment, you can do them virtually anywhere, and they leave you feeling fantastic. If you’re feeling down or sluggish on your trip, the best way to get back into the party groove without leaving your room is a burst of HIIT. Your metabolism will experience a major boost, resulting in overall improvement in your mood and energy levels.
These are one of the most convenient workout tools out there because they are compact enough to fit into even the most stuffed suitcase. The workouts you can do with a jump rope aren’t only convenient to pack and crazy effective, but they’re also a lot of fun. It’s like double dutch, but sweatier — and you’ll probably find yourself looking forward to it. Take it outside and get the whole family in on it for an even better time.
Ever wanted to take surfing, horseback riding, or paddle boarding lessons? Vacation is the time to do it. Do a little research to see what’s offered nearby.
Fishing, windsurfing, cliff diving, and swimming with the dolphins all count as workouts! All of these ideas, and any others you might find, offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to build skill and strength. Don’t miss your chance.
Vacation is partly about the places you go, but it’s also about the people you go with. Staying active together is a simple and wholesome way to have a good time together, even when you’re surrounded by flashy distractions.
Research shows that having someone to workout with is the key to working out more — and to bonding with each other.
Sports, and outdoor games in general, can be a great way to meet new people on your trip and a great way to bond with the people you’re traveling with. Did you bring the family along? Suggest a soccer game before dinner. Did you go somewhere with a beach? Set up a simple game of beach volleyball. You could even beat the heat with a game of water polo at the pool. All those things will get you moving in a way that’s a lot of fun, completely free, and makes memories for everyone.
Ask for a room on the top floor of your hotel. (Who knows, maybe you’ll discover your hotel building is cooler than you think.) You’ll be going back and forth from your room often enough that you’ll pile up a crazy number of steps beneath your feet without even trying.
No matter where you’re vacationing, there are opportunities to swim. Hotels almost always have pools and beaches have oceans (duh). Pack a swimsuit whether you’re going to a destination on the water or not, and take a few leisurely laps.
Swimming is a fantastic workout that can be lots of fun, and you might even discover that your hotel’s pool looks more like an oasis than a recreation center. Infinity pool, here you come.
We know you have one in mind. It’s that one challenge, that one workout you’ve seen and read through and just know is going to knock you out.
Vacation is the best time to do it. Think about it — after your challenge workout, you’re going to want to take a day off to relax. Vacation, a time when you can shut off completely, is the best time to take that day. No chores, no walking to work, no kids to carry… You won’t have to deal with your boss and you won’t have to struggle through conference calls. The ideal rest day awaits you. You can veg out on the beach and sip something sweet all day long.
All you have to do is challenge yourself. The ultimate feeling of accomplishment (and relaxation) awaits you on the other side.
You can’t beat those views. The soft sound of the ocean, the relaxing feel of sand beneath your feet… and burning thighs. If you’ve ever spent more than thirty minutes walking on the sand, you know how great of a workout it can be. However, when the whole point of your vacation is to soak up some sun, why not get some walking in while you’re at it?
If your vacation spot happens to feature some sand dunes, opt to stroll through those to kick it up a notch. You’ll get more benefit out of every uphill step and get to see some unbeatable views from the top!
Sometimes, vacation can actually be stressful. Yoga is a fantastic way to not only get back in touch with your body, but also to relieve tension and unwanted stress. The resulting hormonal balance and positive outlook you’ll experience make the hour away from the beach all too worth it.
You might not even need to leave the beach at all to get in your daily vinyasa — beach yoga is popular at most vacation spots.