Stay in Shape on Vacation

Some people (not me ha!) like to work out while on vacation. I generally go by the whole, well I do a lot more walking than normal so it kinda works out thing.

Skip the gym, find another way to work out.

However, I have been working on my fitness level and am currently obsessed with my kettlebell. In literally ten minutes a go, a few times a week I get a full body work out without feeling I have been wasting time on the treadmill for two hours.

Now many hotels have work out rooms, pools, or at least a treadmill or two thrown somewhere in the basement, but you might be interested in some different options that are a touch more exciting. So here is a not at all comprehensive list of creative ways you can get a bit of exercise in without taking too much time away from your vacation.

Use Your Feet

This is really the most obvious choice, need to work out, then go for a jog around the city where you are staying. It could be a cool way to check out how a place ‘wakes up’ if you a morning runner.

If you’re a walker, you will most likely do a lot of walking on vacation anyway, I know I usually do, but if you’re really concerned tag on an extra 30-45 minutes to your day in an extra stroll. Pick a new street or block to check out and use your time walking there.

A rewarding view for a little exercise.

If you’re more of a nature person, take a hike, literally. In most cities a 20 minute drive or train ride out towards the burbs can lead to some rolling hills, or even maybe a mountain or two to get some extra exercise. It’s a great way to get the heart rate going, check out a different view of the area, and of course chill out in nature.

Hit the Water

Many vacations locate us towards the water, and with good reason, hanging by the water is fun. If you are looking to do a bit more besides just lie on the beach, rent a snorkel, spend a few hours checking out coral reefs and even though it doesn’t feel like you’re working out per se, you are working out, and as my mom always said, salt air makes for a great nights sleep.

Is there a better place to kayak?

Try out kayaking, many cities and beach places offer rentals now, after a solid hour or so of using your arms to get around, no one can say that isn’t a workout. Or, check out the fastest growing paddle sport, SUP! Follow Dave Cornthwaite’s lead, hop on a stand up paddle board and get out there, more and more I see rentals for these also.

Pedal to Victory
Hop on a bike. I recently started riding my bike again, and I’m kicking myself that I’ve let it sit in the garage these last few years. A great help is that Providence has a really good bike trail that runs along the ocean from Providence down past Bristol.

A lot of cities have great bike paths.

In addition to being a great work out, it is a truly beautiful view as you go. A lot of hotels and spots in cities offer bike rentals now. It’s a great way to see large chunks of a place, a good exercise, and a lot of fun. Pack a lunch in your bag and have a picnic at a scenic spot off road.

Use Your Bodyweight
I’m a frequent reader of Steve Kamb’s blog Nerd Fitness (I highly recommend checking it out), and ironically as I am linking to his blog, I see his latest post is exactly about keeping in shape while traveling, so good timing.

What he says is spot on, there is always one constant tool to use to exercise: you. Some of the most basic things you can do can happen right in your hotel room. The famous 300 Workout utilizes mostly body weight exercises, so more and more people don’t need to just hit the gym.

If you can do this, you're pretty badass in my book.

Do push-ups, planks and squats. Right there are a only a few easy ways to get a full body work out, with little time and no need for extra gear.

And if you want a bit of an extra challenge then do some pull ups, mountain climbs (the workout move not climb an actual mountain), v-ups (kind of a modified crunch), and box jumps (find some stairs, curb, or bench).

Of course don’t forget to stretch, and don’t over do it, have fun and get a little exercise in when visiting some of your favorite sites.

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  • Jen

    some great advice – I’m literally just writing one myself about staying in shape in disneyworld so it’s great to see someone elses views – noone want’s to feel bad in a bikini x

    • Liz

      Lol, totally true Jen! I’m with the amount of walking people do in Disney make a huge difference, but it’s always good to know you can keep up with it without needing a gym. Really opens up options.