5 Tips for Exercising on Vacation

Summer is right around the corner, and if you’re lucky you’ll be heading off to some nice beach sometime soon. For those of us who have busted our rumps (sometimes literally) getting in better shape all winter, remember you need to keep going through the summer. Sure, it may be vacation season from school and work, but your body doesn’t work the same way. If you get lazy this summer, you’re going to feel it come fall, and it’s going to make getting back on the exercise horse even harder.

So, to help you keep fit while still maintaining your image as a high-flying, citizen of the world, here’s…

5 Tips for Exercising on Vacation

1. You don’t need weights, treadmills, or stationary bikes to stay in shape. Body weight movements are some of the most effective means of conditioning you have at your disposal, and many require no equipment. Spend some time learning the following movements before vacation season starts, and you’ll have everything you need to get a great workout while on the move:

  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Burpees (Yes!)
  • Sit-ups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers

2. If you really want to bring some equipment, consider investing in a good jump rope. They travel well in a suitcase, purse, or backpack, and there’s nothing like whipping one out for some Double Under’s when you have a spare 10 minutes. Other options that you could bring along include a travel resistance band set (many of which come with their own carrying bags) and a travel door-frame pull-up bar/handles. These add even more potential options to every workout, with a small foot-print.

NOTE: If you put a door-frame pull-up bar in your bag and are flying anywhere, don’t put it in your carry-on. The TSA is probably not going to be happy with someone bringing a metal pole onto the airplane. Put it in your checked luggage, and wrap a little note around it explaining what it is. Yes, they do search checked luggage sometimes!

3. Cardio is your best friend. Before you go, check online travel sites and forums for potential running trails where you’ll be staying. Prior guests may have mapped out a good path for you to take, or even more importantly paths NOT to take.

4. Hotel gyms can run the gamut from great to useless to dangerous. If you have a decent one available, take advantage of it! Part of the fee for any hotel or resort is the amenities they provide, and if you’re into fitness but ignoring the gym, you’re wasting money. Scout out the fitness area when you first arrive, and see what they provide. Try to use free weights whenever possible, augmented with the body weight movements you learned in Tip #1, and hit the treadmill on rainy days if they have one.

5. Plan your workout into your day, and stick to it while you’re traveling as often as possible. Make sure your spouse, significant other, or traveling companions know that you need 30-60 minutes every other day to get a workout in. If sometime comes up that makes you miss the workout, don’t write it off as useless for the week. Complete a workout as soon as you get some downtime, and adjust your pattern accordingly. “I missed one” is never a good reason to keep missing them!

BAM! Bonus time!

Here are two simple routines you can follow while traveling, that assume you can exercise every other day:

1. The Classic

Perform 5 rounds of the following every other day:

  • 10 Sit-ups
  • 8 Squats
  • 6 Push-ups
  • 4 Burpees

2. The Tabata Vacation

  • This is a 16 minute workout, with 4 minutes of work per exercise.
  • There is no rest between sets.
  • In every 4 minute set, you will do as many reps as possible of the movement for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You repeat this until the 4 minutes is completed.
  • The movements are: Sit-ups, Squats, Push-ups, & Burpees. In that order.

Have fun!