It may be challenging to follow your running routine while on vacation—however, a relaxing getaway doesn’t need to be completely lazy. With a little forethought and gumption, you can exercise while having fun in the sun. Here are some tips how to stay fit on vacation.
1) Make a list
Think carefully about what you need on your trip and make a list before you start packing. Don’t be the one who goes on vacation and then realizes that you forgot your running shoes at home. A list can also help you think about what you don’t need: Will you actually have time to do those workout DVDs?
You packing list may look something like this:
- Running shoes
- Sports bra
- Running shorts or tights
- Tank top
- Long-sleeve running shirt
- Water bottle
- Travel-size sunscreen
- Large ziplock bags
Don’t take the tech on vacation as this is a great opportunity to unplug in more ways than one. Beside avoiding work emails, keeping your runs free of headphones and GPS watches allows you to relax and clear your mind, take in your surroundings and decompress.
Running equipment can take up a lot of space in your suitcase. Free up some real estate by putting smaller items (socks and sports bras) in your running shoes. Stay on top of hydration by packing an empty water bottle in your carry-on. Fill up on the other side of security—nowadays many airports provide bottle fountains—and use throughout your trip to save money and the environment. The ziplock bags are for the return trip. When you are leaving and you need to pack up the hotel room, you’ll certainly be glad to have your sweaty workout clothing contained!
2) Seek sunshine
To get as many rejuvenating effects of your vacation as possible on, don’t go to the hotel gym, instead seek sunshine.
Research proves that being exposed to outdoor elements causes our bodies to produce serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical. When our bodies produce serotonin, we enjoy enormous benefits, like happiness, relaxation, and better sleep. And that’s exactly what we’re looking for on vacation!
3) Go sand running
Running on the beach is a great way for runners to get in touch with their bodies. Sand running burns 30% more calories, so if you’re not used to running on the beach, you’ll most probably be surprised at how tough it is.
Get ready with these tips:
- Don’t go sand running if you are prone to sprains or tendonitis, because unstable terrain can aggravate these injuries.
- At the beginning, run on firmer sand closer to the water in order to get a better feeling about the terrain.
- When transitioning to soft sand, ensure you’re running on an even surface, not a slant, which can bother your natural running alignment.
- Expect to feel tired earlier in your run than you usually do. Your feet and calves, especially, are working overtime to maintain stability.
- Take off your shoes a few minutes before you finish your running session. This is a different and very relaxing method to work your leg muscles.
4) Traveling with children?
Going on vacation with children can make it tricky to squeeze in a workout. If you’re finding it difficult to follow your 10K training plan while vacationing, try these active substitutes instead.
- See the sights on foot or by bike. Guided walking tours and bike rentals are becoming increasingly popular in many tourist hotspots, making it easy to skip the tour bus and decide for a fun day of fitness. Even the littlest ones can come along if you rent a carrier or trailer.
- Stay active all the time. Challenge your family to try something new at your destination, whether it’s stand-up paddle boarding or tango lessons.
- Use a park as your gym and your children as your personal trainer. Follow them as they scramble over boulders and across the monkey bars. Have a pull-up contest, play follow the leader, or turn cartwheels in the grass.
- Take a hike. There are some nice urban trekking possibilities in cities all over the world, or you can visit mountainous regions to increase the physical challenge. It’s vital to take your time and make it fun: Dig in the dirt, hunt for pretty rocks, stop for photos and organize an enjoyable picnic lunch.
- Do yoga on the go. Sitting in a car or on an airplane, bus or train can be constricting. With yoga poses you will stretch stiff muscles, which will certainly make you feel better after a long period of stillness. Get ideas in the Internet for children-friendly poses to do during airport layovers or at rest stops.
5) Treat yourself
It’d be a shame to visit Maine and not eat a lobster roll or to drive through France without enjoying a few crepes. Vacation is an opportunity to indulge.
To balance out tasty treats, choose healthy options for the majority of meals and snacks, and counter your scrumptious fare with a healthy dose of fitness.
- Margarita on the Rocks: 455 calories = 2 games of beach volleyball
- Sausage pizza slice: 420 calories = 2 hours cycling around the city
- Cheesecake slice: 380 calories = 9 holes of golf
- Campfire S’more: 268 calories = 45-minute hike
- Hot dog with mustard: 290 calories = 4 games of ping-pong