Staying Fit While on Vacation

There are plenty of opportunities to keep up with healthy routines while taking some time off.


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Ah, summer vacation. The time to break out of your normal routine and just hang loose. But those irregular hours and culinary indulgences can derail even the most disciplined among us.

The good news: Exercise during vacation doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or intrusive. You can maintain your fitness with some basic exercises or even with activities you may be planning anyway.

“No excuses,” says Johnny Di Santis, owner of True Rival Fitness in Wilmington. “If you have a body, you’ve got a gym. You can get a total body workout—from head to toe—in 10 to 20 minutes.” Here are some ideas to keep active and energized while you chill out.

Walk Before You Fly

Are you a power-walker? Think of the airline terminal as a walking track. Just 15 minutes of brisk walking can burn 100 calories or more. Plus it will keep you from ambling into the food court with all its temptations.

Going by Car

Road trips go hand-in-hand with inactivity. It’s not exactly aerobic but if you’re sitting in traffic, suck in the abs and squeeze the glutes to keep muscles working. Better still, if the road runs along a national park (www.nps.gov) or hiking trail (www.americanhiking.org), make a pit stop for a short hike in the woods. If swimming’s your preference, find a pool anywhere in the world at www.swimmerguide.com.

In the Hotel

Even if your hotel doesn’t have a gym, you can still get an effective workout from bodyweight exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lunges. “The old stuff you did in gym class way back when are still some of the best and most effective exercises you can do,” says Di Santis. If you prefer to exercise with equipment, tuck some resistance bands, a jump rope and a yoga mat into your luggage.

Visiting Family or Friends

  • Engage your hosts in a walk through the neighborhood.
  • Check out local walking trails or high school tracks.
  • Get into some calorie-burning fun with the kids.
  • Pitch in—and score some brownie points—with aerobic chores like gardening, mowing and housework.

At the Beach

  • Walk or run on the sand. You’ll burn more calories in less time than on dry land.
  • Try a new activity like kayaking, snorkeling or sailing. Many shops rent equipment and offer lessons as well.
  • Break out the beach balls and Frisbees and play a game or two with your travel companions.

In the City

  • Get acquainted with your new surroundings the old-fashioned way: on foot. Many cities offer running tours (www.cityrunningtours.com) to let you explore while working out.
  • If you’re feeling especially motivated, check out www.active.com to see if your visit coincides with a 5K run or walk.
  • Find restaurants that are within walking distance of your hotel. The activity will help burn calories and keep blood sugar levels in check.

Aim for Maintenance

Summer vacation is all about having fun and experiencing new things, so if you can’t devote as much time to your fitness regimen, that’s OK. Doing something is better than doing nothing. “If you can maintain your weight, then you’ve had a successful trip,” says Di Santis.

 

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