Exercising isn’t easy. First, you have to motivate yourself to get started. Then, you have to find an exercise that you like so you can continue to exercise enough to improve your fitness. Then, you have to make sure that you can fit regular exercise into your schedule.
You have finally become so used to exercising every day that you feel depressed and lethargic on those rare days when you just don’t have the time to exercise. Exercise has become an integral part of your life.
Now comes the real test. You are planning a 14-day vacation. You are afraid that your vacation is going to be depressing because you won’t be able to exercise. In fact, you’re afraid that you will not be able to resume your exercise routine once you stop exercising while on vacation.
What should you do? First of all, don’t panic. Second of all, here are some tips that could help you achieve your goal of exercising on vacation — while still enjoying your vacation.
Tips for Exercising on Vacation
- Seek hotels with gyms: This isn’t the right choice for everyone because hotels with gyms are likely more expensive and you might be more accustomed to exercising outdoors. If you go to a gym regularly, though, this could be the choice for you. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the hotel gym in order to find a gym that matches your exercise routine.
- Consider swimming: Is it possible that a vacation could actually help you exercise more? Swimming might not be a viable option for you at home or at your gym, but even a significant percentage of inexpensive hotels have swimming pools. Swimming can be a great exercise for your whole body. It’s even better if you can swim all four major strokes — the freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breast.
- Combine sightseeing and exercise: Forget about those generic tours with buses crowded with dozens of tourists! You should tour the interesting attractions of the places you are visiting on foot at your own pace — a pace that will enable you to exercise while you are sightseeing. You can walk slowly in one direction while reading the historic plaques and walk fast on your way back. Many cities have walking paths that enable you to see all of their great sites. I’ve walked on the Freedom Trail in Boston. There are 16 historically significant sites on the 2.5-mile trail, according to The Freedom Trail Foundation report “Walk Into History on the Freedom Trail!”
- Contact the local tourism bureaus: Boston’s Freedom Trail is well known and probably mentioned in every tourism brochure about Boston. However, there could be much less well known venues that will enable you to exercise while experiencing the flavor of the place you are visiting. There could, for example, be parks with trails near the cities where you are vacationing. Speaking to a travel agent or a local person with deep knowledge of the area before your vacation starts could lead to some interesting exercise-sightseeing experiences.
- Take a walk at rest stops: If you have driven your car on past vacations, you are probably used to stopping periodically for gas and food. Perhaps, this vacation should be different. Perhaps, you should take a long walk when you stop for gas instead of eating at a restaurant. Perhaps, you should pack some food on your trip so you can make up for the time “lost” exercising by spending less time at restaurants. This tip will also save you money.
- Try different experiences: Variety is the spice of life. Your vacation may give you the chance to do exercises that you cannot at home. Instead of just lying on the beach, you can walk on the beach. Or you can swim in the ocean. Or you can spend a lot more time exercising with your children. There are lots of choices for exercising while on vacation.
- Bring you equipment: You might not be able to lift weights during your vacation because you can’t afford to pay for a hotel with a nice gym. You might, though, be able to exercise in your hotel room with resistance bands, which are easy to travel with and provide a great workout. Or you can exercise at rest stops. You might also consider bringing your bicycle with you on vacation.
- Consider calisthenics: Your strength training workouts might consist of weightlifting at the gym. If you can’t afford a hotel with a gym, though, you might consider doing pushups and situps instead. These are inexpensive exercises that strengthen your arm, shoulders, and abdomen — and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
- Rent a bicycle: This is an idea I didn’t think of on my own, but I consulted other sources for ideas. An article by FitBuff entitled ”8 Tips for Exercising While on Vacation” suggests sightseeing on bicycle just as I suggested sightseeing on foot earlier.
- Make exercise your vacation: If your vacation consists of visiting one or more of the USA’s great national parks out West and elsewhere, hiking at those parks can be a crucial part of your vacation. You can also do research and find vacations that focus around exercise. An article in Fitness magazine entitled “The Fit Girl’s Getaway Guide” lists several ideas for exercise vacations.
You now have no more excuses for not exercising while on vacation. Have fun!!