How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Everyone deserves downtime, but sometimes it can be really tough to know how to stay fit on vacation.  You want to take off time and relax, but you realize that too much downtime can lead you away from your fitness goals.  Understanding how to juggle the tow is so important for your overall health success.  With vacation season upon us, it is time to really consider ways that you can motivate yourself and plan to be able to stay fit on vacation.

Stay in hotels with fitness centers.  When booking your hotel or resort stay, make sure there is a fitness center available.  Setting your alarm for 30 minutes early a few times a week can keep you on track without taking too much time from your vacation.  While it may not have everything your gym at home does, all hotel fitness centers will have at least a treadmill or bike for cardio.  A few simple weights in house can be used to maintain your strength building routine.  While not ideal, it is a functional way to stay fit on vacation when you plan ahead.

Park farther away and walk as much as possible.  Much of vacation is about exploring.  Whether it is walking to and from the restaurant a few blocks from your hotel, or parking on the back lot when you head to the amusement park you can get extra steps in all over the place.  This can apply to nearly everything you do while on vacation.  Park your car and walk as much as possible between activities.  While it may not be the blood pumping workout you normally do at home, it will be a great way to burn some extra calories and get a few extra steps in while you are away from your gym at home.

Pack your yoga mat and resistance bands.  Depending on how you travel and if you check luggage, you can easily pack simple things like your yoga mat and resistance bands.  These are easy to pull out in a hotel room and use frequently while you are on vacation.  Not only can you do some basic floor exercise and yoga positions, you can use the resistance bands for strength training without hefty weights in your luggage. Here’s a great travel-friendly fitness pack.

Splurge on food you can’t get at home, but maintain good eating habits the bulk of the time.  While not necessarily fitness related, this is something that goes hand in hand with your workout routine.  What you put into your body while on vacation can definitely change how you feel when you get back home.  Vacation is a time to let lose and have fun, but that doesn’t mean you should load up on every deep fried, cheese and gravy laden food you come across.  There is an 80%/20% rule that most dietitians as well as trainers will tell you is a good idea.  80% of the time you should eat healthy and on track with your plan.  20% of the time you should give yourself a break and allow a bit of splurge in your diet.  While on vacation, don’t splurge on a burger from a restaurant you have back home.  Instead, save those splurges for the things you can’t get at home.  The taco shop with authentic handmade rolled tacos in downtown L.A. is worth the splurge.  The fast food place? Not so much.

Planning ahead for your travel is the best way to stay fit on vacation.  From making sure you have gym access, to choosing to walk instead of drive you can impact your health positively throughout your time away from home.  Vacation doesn’t have to mean a 10 pound weight gain.  It can mean proving your strength and maintaining your weight as well as your level of fitness when you plan ahead.

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