It’s not uncommon for people to want to “take a vacation from their workouts” while on vacation, but how many of us have come back from a trip, wishing we had eaten healthier and stayed more active? I know I’ve come back from trips and could feel my clothes fitting too tightly and feeling sluggish instead of rejuvenated. I made a decision not to allow my vacations to derail my goals and now I’ve learned to LOVE being active when I travel or even take a “staycation” at home.
I love walking on the beach, working out on the beach (I really don’t care what people think, most people smile or ask me questions), hiking, renting a bike or kayak and exploring!
Here are some suggestions that I hope help you stay healthy while traveling:
- Prepare! If you are looking for lodging of some kind, try to find a place that best suits the way you like to stay active: nearby walking paths, access to a gym or pool, hiking or biking nearby, ability to rent a canoe or paddleboard, etc… Make sure you’re proactively planning for what you’d like to do while you’re there.
- Take some easy to pack equipment. There’s so much you can do with a loop, band, ball and even a yoga mat if you have one! You really don’t need much space at all and can use them inside a hotel room, on the deck of a rental house or outside on the beach or by the pool. Click HERE for the Faithful Workouts shop and then select “Equipment” to pick up some loops, band, ball, or the full set you can take with you on vacation.
- Set expectations and create accountability. Going with a spouse, friend or family? Find a partner who also wants to stay active. Create plans to meet in the morning for a walk, workout or swim and then hold each other accountable. Going alone or you’re the only one on the trip committed to activity? Ask a friend to check in with you via text or social media and virtually keep each other in check. It’s always better to have a partner to support you!
- Use the hotel gym! Most hotels have very basic gym equipment like weights, mats, treadmills and elliptical machines. Take advantage! If you are not sure about good form, check out our videos on proper from our Starting Point resources by clicking HERE. You can also use the chair in your hotel room - a chair gives you some great options for step ups, mountain climbers and sit-down get-up squats.
- Get inspired! Click to check out some of the outdoor workouts we’ve done while traveling with the Faithful Workouts crew. Many of them can be done without equipment, (see Filter) or with the easy-to-pack loops and bands.
- Explore your environment. Take advantage of beaches, trails, lakes, playgrounds (Yep, great outdoor gym!), tennis courts, etc…. try something new by using apps like TripAdvisor or All Trails to find the best outdoor activities in the area and then go experience them.
- Remind yourself that exercise positively impacts your stress level and mood. It’s scientifically proven! Some vacations (especially with family) can be stressful if you let them – there’s nothing better for your mind and body that some physical exercise to destress.
- Even 10 minutes of exercise is good for the mind and body! You don’t have commit an hour – and realistically you may not have a huge chuck of time in your day. Even a quick 10 minute workout video can give you more energy so you can enjoy the rest of your vacation. Check out some 10 minutes or less options HERE
- Set a plan up front and guard your time. Let the people traveling with you know your plans, guard your time that you want to set aside for activity and make it non-negotiable. Whatever else is on the agenda can wait and you’ll be setting a great example for others.
- Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself now, before you go, “how do I want to feel at the end of this trip?” Do you want to be full of regret and carrying a few extra pounds or do you want to feel energized and rejuvenated by the physical activity you did? It's up to you to take control of your physical and spiritual health!
- Don't derail your activity with bad food. Follow the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and enjoy a treat here and there 20% of the time. Do you really need a whole dessert all to yourself or would it be better to split it with a group so you can enjoy a few bites? Most restaurants overload plates with portions for 2+ people. Can you split a meal with someone else so you aren't tempted to over indulge? Set food expectations for yourself while on vacation is important too.
Of course, make the most of your vacation and HAVE FUN while staying active. You've got this!