Summer might officially be vacation season, but anyone with out-of-town family and friends knows that autumn and winter are often jam packed with trips. Maybe you have to head to the East Coast for Thanksgiving. Or perhaps your family always spends Christmas on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Whatever your destination, if you’re planning to hit the road, sea, or sky this fall, you might well be wondering how you can stay in shape on the go.
If you’re worried about gaining weight while traveling, you’re not alone. And though studies reveal that the average holiday weight gain is just a pound, they also show that most people never drop this extra pound. So even if you eat healthy and exercise throughout the rest of the year, that weight you put on over the winter holidays might just be there to stay.
While traveling is a great time to set aside work tasks and other worries, it’s best not to let your fitness habits fall by the wayside. Here are some tips for working out on vacation without sacrificing the fun and relaxation.
1. Dress The Part
2. Get Out and Explore
3. Hit a Local Gym
4. Bring Lightweight Equipment
5. Choose the Right Hotel
6. Load Apps on Your Phone
7. Visit the Mall… But Make It Count
8. Thank About Fasting
9. Pack Healthy and Energizing Snacks
10. Get Back on Track When You Return
Want to increase your odds of working out on that next family trip or vacation? Bring along the clothes you need. If you prefer to do your exercising in a gym, be sure to take workout clothes and comfortable sneakers. Plan on hitting the beach or the hotel pool? Bring a bathing suit and swim goggles. You’re more likely to get in some exercise if you went to the trouble of bringing along your favorite workout wear.
Whether you’re traveling for work or play, don’t hesitate to get out there and explore your new surroundings. Take a stroll around the neighborhood, visit a local park, or rent a bike and hit the trails. For bonus points, ask hotel staff or the relatives you’re staying with about the best local spots for getting your sweat on. You might just find a beautiful locale you never knew existed.
If you’re staying somewhere for more than a day or two, you might not be satisfied with walks in the park. While some hotels offer free gyms stocked with cardio equipment, free weights, and free towels, others are a little more rustic. In the latter case, you might want to drop by a local exercise facility. Many gym chains offer week-long passes for new visitors and out-of-towners. Sometimes you can even get a free pass to use while you’re in town.
Of course, not everyone likes working out in a crowded gym. If you prefer to do your exercising solo, consider packing a few supplies to bring on the road. Resistance bands are small, lightweight, and incredibly portable. Plus, you can use them for a wide variety of exercises and stretches to keep you fit on the go. A jump rope is another useful tool that’s easy to stuff in a suitcase. Just be careful if you plan to jump in the hotel room; the last thing you want to do is knock over a $50 bottle of hotel room liquor and wind up with a big bill.
Need some other exercises to try on the go? Some travel-friendly options include squats, push-ups, step-ups (using a chair or park bench), planks, and crunches.
If you’re staying with friends or family, you probably won’t be able to enjoy high-end workout classes on a daily basis. However, if you’re planning to stay in hotels, consider choosing a chain known for its fitness offerings. For example, Royalton Luxury Resorts boasts an All-in Luxury program that makes wellness a priority. Take advantage of hundreds of fitness classes each month at the hotel’s many resorts around the world. Popular offerings include Zumba, CrossFit, cycling, and Aqua Fit classes. If you’re staying somewhere tropical, you might even be able to enjoy your yoga class on a sunny beach.
If you don’t expect to have a resort’s worth of fitness classes at your disposal, turn to your phone for workout help. Apps like Freeletics let you download a wide array of bodyweight workouts ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. And if you have a few dollars a month to spend, you can get access to a personalized training plan as well.
If you’re traveling over Thanksgiving or Christmas, the odds that you’ll be hitting the mall on your trip are high. Turn a day of shopping into more than just a workout for your wallet. Don your step tracker and make it a point to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. You can also bring healthy snacks rather than picking up a Cinnabon at the food court.
Have a bad habit of packing on the pounds on vacation? Intermittent fasting might be the solution. With this eating strategy, you don’t have to give up your favorite vacation treats. Instead, you limit the hours in which you eat, and maybe cut back on the calories for a day or two. By controlling your caloric intake while you travel, you can return home to a closet full of clothes that still fit.
Speaking of eating on vacation, you can avoid fattening foods and keep your energy levels high by bringing along some healthy treats. KIND bars, dried fruits, and nuts are all great choices for snacking on the go. Plus, they’ll give you the fuel to work out. Toss a few in your purse or suitcase. They might even save you from going to bed hungry if your host’s cooking leaves something to be desired.
Even if you slip up and skip a few workouts (or put on a couple pounds) on vacation, you can double up your efforts to get back on track upon your return. Rather than wallow in your perceived failure, strive to wake up an hour early the next week and hit the gym before work. Or you can ask a couple co-workers to walk around the park with you on your lunch break.
With a little planning and dedication, you can maintain your good fitness habits during your next vacation and return home healthy and energized.
For more tips on how to stay healthy, click here.