By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA
Marketing/Media Writer, Strategist and Consultant
Ahhh… vacation, the time for you to kick up your feet, pick up a drink, and take off your top (to tan in your bikini, pervs). But while we’re relaxing and imbibing in drink after frozen drink, we tend to forget about our waistlines. The excuse I most often use is a simple, but clear “who cares? I’m on vacation!” which can be translated to, “Yes, I will have that third margarita and don’t you judge me.” But just past that incredible excuse lays my conscience and that old thing called, the truth. And the truth always knows that the extra 1,000 calories you’re taking in a day won’t magically disappear just because you’re on vacation.
Two of my greatest passions are fitness and travel. They’re an amalgam that most don’t mix, but I’m here to tell you that you CAN stay in shape and enjoy your vacation even more by adding in some activity and exercise. Try to shoot for accomplishing 50 percent of what you would normally do. Fifty percent is better than nothing!
Here Are 10 Ways to Stay in Shape on Vacation:
1. Go For a Run to Explore a New City: Take out a map…or don’t! One of my favorite ways to explore a new city is by going out for a run. You end up seeing parts of a city you normally wouldn’t. Pop in some good music or take in the sounds of the city. Before you go out, always remember to check the safe areas of town.
2. Plan an Athletic Activity: Overwhelmed by a big city and not enough time? Plan an athletic activity to take in the sights. Look for a bike tour or walk tour of your destination. Some cities even have free tours!
3. Pack Snacks / Plan ahead: It’s easy to fall off of your eating plan when the only things available are croissants and bagels. While you can’t plan ahead for every meal, you can bring some snacks to help you in times of need. Some of my personal favorites are apples, bananas, almonds, walnuts, Jay Robb protein bars and Jay Robb protein shakes. And when faced with the tough choice of what cocktail to choose, try to choose a low-sugar drink. For my guide to alcohol and exercise, click here.
4. Pack Equipment: If you bring it with you in your suitcase, there is a good chance you’ll use it! Pack some resistance bands with you. They’re lightweight and don’t take up much room. You can use them on the plane, in the airport, or in your hotel room. I once had a 12-hour layover in the Barcelona airport. My friend and I used the time to workout… in our jeans… in the airport. No excuses, my friends!
5. Workout DVD: DVD’s are a great way to stay on a workout plan while you’re traveling. You only need a 6×6 space and a DVD player. You can get your workout in right at your hotel so you don’t have to worry about finding a place to workout.
6. Use Your Hotel Room: Hotel rooms offer space and sometimes some equipment! Try doing dips on the bathtub, decline push-ups with your feet on the bed, or squats while holding an iron (preferably, not plugged in!).
7. Walk to Dinner: …or anywhere else for that matter! It’s easy to hop in a cab, but if you walk to your destination, you’ll be kind to your body and your wallet!
8. Hit the Water: If you’re visiting a location by the water, get on in! Look into swimming, wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing or anything that gets you moving! You’ll be having so much fun playing your sport that you won’t notice all of those calories you just burned. Awesome!
9. Spark Some Competition: Traveling with a friend or lover? Turn fitness into a game! The person that runs farther or faster, does the most waterskiing runs, or stays on their mountain bike the longest wins! And the loser? They get to buy dinner / drinks that night!
10. Find a CrossFit Gym: For those of you that love intensity and don’t want to go a week without a WOD (it’s ok, you can raise your hand. Mine’s raised!), then look no further than the local CrossFit gym. CrossFitters around the world love meeting other CrossFitters… because after all, CrossFit is a cult, right? By dropping into a class while you’re on vacation, you’ll meet the locals and get a good workout in! Maybe they’ll teach you where to get some Paleo friendly meals or where the best local pub is (It is vacation!) You’ll get a great workout in and make some new friends!
I’m not just a fan of travel and of fitness, I’m an advocate for it. Travel is about going outside your comfort zones, meeting new people, learning things about yourself, experiencing new adventures, and truly living. So on your next journey, create your own endorphin high, meet the locals, and enjoy coming home with tons of memories and a whittled waistline