It’s a conundrum faced by vacationers all over the world: how do you stay fit while on vacation?
Whether you call it a vacation, holiday, or constitutional, getting away from your daily routine for even a few days is cathartic. The spirit is rejuvenated, the mind is revitalized, and you feel better about yourself and your life. That is why we take vacations; to give us a renewed sense of purpose.
But getting away from our routines means a disconnect from our lives, which can have consequences we might not appreciate when everything returns to normal.
This mindset on vacation defeats the purpose of healthy eating and makes your investment for ways to cook healthier meals seem like a waste. But you already paid for the food on your cruise or beach holiday, so shouldn’t you eat it? Even if you didn’t pay for food upfront, shouldn’t you let loose and enjoy yourself?
Many people see vacations as a getaway from everything, including their diet and exercise routine. They figure that they will feel like they missed out if they don’t indulge. It’s up to you whether you want to indulge in all vacation offers. But the upside of vacation, even with prepaid food, is that you’ll always have the choice to eat and be healthy.
It’s okay to indulge a bit, just make sure you don’t completely drop your health routines. Here are 10 tips that will help you stay fit while on vacation that also won’t cost you a ton of money.
Tips To Stay Fit
If you already live a healthy lifestyle and have the right balance between your diet and your fitness regimen, you likely already know how to stay fit while on vacation, and straying from your routine doesn’t even compute for you. But for those who are still wrestling with the potential for regret from not overindulging, here are some tips to stay fit while on vacation that require any sacrifices from your fun.
1. Get Moving
It doesn’t matter if you are vacationing on a tropical island or a cruise, walking as much as you can will significantly help you stay fit while on vacation. This one is a simple choice that can also save you big money on your vacation. Eliminating the need for a rental car and/or reducing the need to pay for rideshares could save you hundreds.
If you cannot get somewhere by foot, then a bicycle is a good back up plan. Anything without a motor is an easy way to stay fit and save you money.
2. We’re Going Up
Stairs are another great exercise option, and they are everywhere. Cruise ships have elevators, but by design, for safety, they are required to have plenty of staircases, and you can use them all the time. Mountain hikes, man-made ladders, stairs built into rock faces; all are great for cardio, for burning calories, and strengthening your legs.
Even if you don’t go out looking for a demanding hike with elevation gain, simply changing your routines to take the stairs whenever you can is a great way to help yourself stay fit while on vacation.
3. Know Your Meal
It is rarely wise to eat something you cannot identify, although often it is quite tasty. When picking a meal, make sure you know a little something about the ingredients. This is wise for two reasons: you don’t know if you might be allergic, and you may not know if it is a healthy food option or something that might sit in you like a lead weight, ruining your routine and your trip.
Often, vacation destinations have buffet-style eating available, and while a fun option, it’s essential that you make good choices. Some tips for dealing specifically with buffet’s are to take a little of everything you want (so you don’t fill up on one or two things), choose primarily healthy options, and stop yourself when you begin to feel full. You don’t want to make yourself sick just to “get your money’s worth.”
It is possible to both indulge and eat healthy while traveling.
4. Cook It Up
There is no such thing as a free trip, but there are ways to reduce your cost. Cooking the majority of your meals is not only one of the ways how to stay fit and healthy, but to keep your wallet in good shape, too. Cooking your meals versus eating out all the time gives you the luxury of always knowing exactly what will go into your body. And it is less expensive than the markups at most restaurants.
The same goes for snacking. Having healthy snacks on hand will help you save money and reduce your overall food intake.
If you do choose to go out, use these tips to save money when eating out.
5. Yoga for Focus
It might not seem like one of those exercises to stay fit, but yoga has some great benefits, such as helping you to limber up before hitting the trails, helping to align your body to digest food more efficiently, and giving you a clear sense of purpose, which allows you stay true to your goals.
Yoga is not only great for both the body and the mind, it’s an exercise that can be done almost anywhere. You can watch videos with your smart phone or other device and practice yoga in your room, next to the pool, out in nature, in the hotel gym, or anywhere else that is comfortable.
6. Stress Avoidance
The point of a vacation is to decompress and relax, but that isn’t always the case when traveling. This one might be especially tricky when thinking about how to stay fit during the holidays.
Family is often a point of stress for many people, and one way they cope with it is to overeat and sleep a lot. If you are planning to have family over or go to someone’s home, plan ahead for ways to get away and destress. Go for a walk, do some yoga or deep breathing, read a book, or some other activity that helps you calm and clear your mind. Make sure to regularly schedule these things, especially if you know the trip will cause you stress.
7. Bring Your Own
Bring along your gear if you go somewhere you know will have limited fitness potential. Heck, even if the place you’re staying has a fitness center it may be a good idea to bring along some personal equipment to make sure you can do your workouts.
Workout bands are thin, easy to pack but can be helpful for many exercises. It is also a good idea to bring your protein bars or powdered supplement. Bring some goggles and turn the pool into a fitness center. Even if you can’t do laps, water exercises are a great way to workout without putting a lot of pressure on your joints.
8. Agua Por Favor
Unlike some of these tips that will save you money, this one you will need to spend a little on. All fitness gurus will tell you that one of the best ways to stay fit is to hydrate continually, which means plenty of water. By volume, about a third of your body weight in ounces will do the trick to keep your liquids balanced. That means if you weigh 150 lbs., then you should drink no less than 50 oz. of water a day.
Many hotels will offer complementary water bottles, but other venues will not. One way to ensure you can access plenty of good water without having to pay for it is to invest in a reusable water bottle, like a hydro flask. If you want to be cheap, you can even use a plain old water bottle and refill it.
While many places won’t provide water bottles, most offer fresh iced water in the lobby or, if nothing else, a drinking fountain where you can refill your bottles.
9. Take a Long Snooze
Have you ever heard the phrase “I need a vacation from my vacation”? The body needs to recuperate and repair after a day of hiking or walking through hilly roads to distant souvenir shops, and sleep is how that happens. This is a fitness tip that everyone can appreciate.
Be sure to get your 8 hours every night. It will be tempting to tear up the town, but if you are serious about staying fit, call it a night early or sleep in late. Or, if you really must jam-pack a long itinerary into your vacation, try to plan an easy day or two in between. An alternating schedule of one day out and one day in will go a long way to ensure your body has the necessary down time to stay healthy.
10. Prepare Yourself
The best way to stick to a routine while on vacation is to first establish one at home. While the tips above will help you stay fit while on vacation, you won’t suddenly establish a healthy fitness routine on your trip if you don’t do some of these things at home.
Establish a few healthy routines at home, such as eating healthy and practicing mindfulness before taking them out on the road. Once you’ve prepared your mind and body by locking in a daily regimen while at home, it’ll become much easier to maintain while having fun on vacation.
Beware the “Trap”
The “trap” that helps you to justify undoing all of your progress tells you to eat another slice of cake, sleep more than you need, and avoid walking when the bus is right there. The trap is not your friend and is the devil on your shoulder. Be steadfast in your resolve. It doesn’t have your best interest at heart.
While it’s okay to let loose a bit on vacation, ensure you have a balance so that you don’t end up doing more harm to your body than good. You don’t want to feel run down, or worse, get sick or injured while on vacation.
Go on vacation and have fun. No one is stopping you. Just remember that fitness is not just a choice. Enjoy yourself but do so while recognizing that the check always has to be paid.
What are your favorite ways to stay fit while on vacation?