Ways to sneak in exercise while on vacation
Woman doing sit-ups on a beach

While going on vacation is a much-anticipated activity, for some it also comes with a bit of stress. All the relaxing, the abundance of food and drink, and the break from a usual routine can be a challenge for some who are looking to follow a healthier lifestyle. However, just because you’re leaving your local gym behind doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to work out. Here are a few easy ways to sneak in exercise while on vacation that go beyond using the hotel gym.

Take a local fitness class

If you’re someone who thrives in a public workout environment, then consider checking out a local fitness class or two while you are travelling. If you are staying at a resort, these types of activities are often available daily in the form of yoga, Pilates, or even water aerobics. If you are on a city trip, why not look for a fitness studio nearby. Oftentimes they have drop-in class options that will allow you to keep up with your routine, or perhaps even try something new. It can be a fun way to sneak in exercise while on vacation while also engaging in a more local experience.

Tip: In some destinations you may be concerned about language barriers. Many cities do have expat communities, which often means English options. See if you can find an online forum or tips from a local who you can ask about any English-speaking options.

Do bodyweight workouts

If your hotel doesn’t have a gym - or even if you’re more of a home-workout kind of person anyway – there’s still a lot you can do in your hotel room just using your body weight. Push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks can all be done in the privacy of your hotel room at any time. The flexibility of being able to work out in your own space might be helpful for those who are looking to keep up with their at-home routine.

Tip: If you don’t think that your body weight will be enough of a challenge, you can look at travel-friendly resistance bands to bring with you. They are small and lightweight but will provide more of a challenge.

Include physical activity into your itinerary

If you’re good with breaking away from your routine but still want to get in some movement during your vacation, then add some physical activity or sport to your itinerary. This is a fun way to try something new, something local, or just to get out to explore. These activities will depend on where you are going, but consider things like skiing or snowboarding, scuba diving, surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, rock climbing, canyoneering, and even just hiking. While these activities are physical and can count as workouts, they tend to feel more fun and exciting since it’s something different in a new location with new scenery.

Tip: Look for a guided tour with a local for some of these activities. That way you can get your workout in along with some education and/or culture from the place you are visiting.

Prioritize walking

Finally, don’t forget about walking. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise out there and chances are it’s going to be a lot easier to get in those 10k steps (or more!) while sightseeing on vacation.

On top of being a great way to exercise while on a trip, walking allows you to better explore and appreciate new destinations - especially when it comes to big cities. So (assuming it is safe to do so) forget the subway, taxis, or city buses and instead pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes to get around.

Final reminder

Fitting in some exercise while on vacation is pretty easy when you think about it, and it can also be pretty fun. With so many options now available online for even DIY at-home workouts, it’s easy to incorporate something into your travel itinerary.

That said, remember that you’re on vacation and it’s okay to relax and enjoy yourself. So if you aren’t keeping up with the same fitness routines and schedule, don’t panic. Not only is it okay, but it can also be good for you. Resting your body is equally important, and taking a few days off to relax can actually be quite beneficial and give your body (and mind) time to recover.

Hannah Logan is a Canadian travel writer who dreams of being just like Indiana Jones. You can follow her travels on her personal travel blog Eat Sleep Breathe Travel where she shares her travel tales and (mis)adventures around the world.

Hannah Logan is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.
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