Fitting in Fitness: Get Your Sweat on While You Travel

Vacations are a time to step away from the mundane and ordinary, and refresh your mind, body and soul. They represent long nights laughing with friends, waking up for lazy mornings and talking over coffee, and laying out your beach towel next to your loved ones. These are the kinds of days that have yet to be planned and do not have to be.

Whether it’s a quick getaway to the mountains or a week of tanning in paradise, vacations are a sacred time for many of us. And now that summer is here, travel season is in full swing.

So, as you prepare for your getaway, whatever it may be, you don’t have to fear losing all of your hard work just because you’re not sure how to keep up with your cardio, strength training and nutrition programs while on vacation. With a little prepping beforehand, along with a go-with-the flow attitude, you can find a way to fit in fitness anywhere. Ahead are some tips to keep your travel fitness goals on track.

Don’t Stop Moving!

If you’re already stepping away from your everyday surroundings, why not step out of your comfort zone and try a new activity that will get your body moving? Get online and start googling your vacation destination to see if there are fun excursions to take, activities to try and places to see. All of these things will get you up and moving in a fun setting — all the while enjoying some sight-seeing.

Last summer, my husband and I spent our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. We didn’t use it as an excuse to be lazy. Instead, we packed it full of activities! We toured the coastline on a boating excursion that included snorkeling, ziplined and hiked through the mountains, paddle boarded and kayaked in the ocean and took long walks along the beach every day. Guess what? We had so much fun, met cool people from all over the world and burned some calories in the process.

Did you know that one hour of leisurely stand-up paddle boarding can burn 300 calories, and 30 minutes of swimming burns about 180 calories? Vacations should be full of relaxing moments, but that doesn’t mean you can only sit on your bum while looking out at the ocean. Just moving for a short time each day can help you stay fit and active, while still allowing you to embrace the sense of adventure that comes with new surroundings.

Harness the Power of Your Own Body Weight

Photo by Marion Michele

When you’re going on vacation, the last thing you want to think about is trying to squeeze in some fitness equipment. My suitcase already weighs as much as I do and I can barely squeeze in all the shoes I’ll need on each trip, so there is no way I am packing weights for the sake of my travel fitness commitments.

The good news? You’ve already packed your weights: yourself! Harness the power of your own body weight to squeeze in some strength-training so you don’t lose the progress you’ve made on your fitness journey. The best part is that you don’t even need a gym for these exercises.

Make your strength training simple and fun. While preparing for your awesome getaway, research a few body weight exercises online, create a playlist on YouTube of your favorite workout videos, or download a new fitness app. My personal favorite these days is the Tone It Up app. It houses a large variety of short workouts that require minimal equipment. 

Take in the Local Nutrients

Nutrition is crucial to maintaining your health and fitness goals. Remember: Food is fuel for your body, and it gives you the energy you need to enjoy your trip.

Find ways to embrace local fruits and vegetables that you might not normally have the chance to try. You’ll be able to broaden your palette, learn something new about the local culture and maybe discover a dish you can make at home, too.

Stop by a local grocery store or farmers market to load up on some snacks that are tasty and beneficial to your body. This is a great way to save money and make sure you’re still getting nutrients your body needs to feel great throughout your vacation.

Above All? Enjoy Yourself. 

The most important thing to remember is to stay committed to yourself and your fitness journey, but also don’t stress too hard. Yes, you should try to exercise and eat a well-balanced diet every day no matter where you are in the world. But, vacations are special, so embrace those moments. It’s OK to go for a walk on the beach with your mom instead of going on your usual run.

Do your best to get moving, get your heart rate up, and work your muscles, but don’t feel bad about giving yourself a break when you need it. After all, that’s what you traveled so far to do.

Tori Tate Thomas

Senior Staff Writer: Health & Empowerment

Tori is a branding guru, social media strategist, fitness fanatic, and writer with a passion for empowering others. Born and raised at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, she spent most of her upbringing exploring the hundred-acre woods on her farm, creating a deep-rooted love for nature and adventures. Driven by her pursuit of knowledge, she finds great joy in learning. She earned her degree in journalism and electronic media from the University of Tennessee, where she also met her adoring husband.Tori has a big heart for her community; she sits on the board of directors for the local children’s advocacy center and works with United Way of Blount County as the chair of the communications committee. In her spare time, she can be found baking delicious treats, fitting in fitness, escaping to the mountains, and cheering on the Tennessee Vols with her husband. 

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