Tips For Exercising On Vacation (If You Want To!)
When you love moving your body and have a really solid fitness routine, an upcoming vacation can mean feeling excited for a well-deserved rest, or trying to think of how you can stay active on holiday for those feel-good endorphins.
Whatever your stance on holiday fitness is, it pays to know you don’t need to worry about losing progress - taking a week or two off your usual workout schedule isn’t going to set you back a lot on your fitness journey.
Research has looked at the effects of detraining on well-trained runners and found that there is a minimal decrease in VO2 max (a measure of how efficiently your body takes up oxygen during exercise) in the first 10 days of inactivity.
A decline in muscle mass or strength over the course of a short holiday also isn’t anything to be concerned about, as noticeable changes in strength generally only happen after several weeks.
So if fully enjoying your vacation means putting your workouts on hold and trading in your sweat towel for a beach towel, go for it! It’ll be pretty easy to pick back up right where you left off, and some people even find they feel better - mentally AND physically - after a period of rest, too!
On the other hand, if exercising is something you do for the emotional, feel-good benefits and you think finding a way to move your body will make your vacay even better, we’ve put together some of our top tips for working out on vacation.
Take the pressure off
Going on vacation is usually about taking a break from your usual routine, so if you want to stay active, approach your holiday with a goal of simply keeping your body moving, rather than having lofty fitness goals or expecting to hit any PBs.
Given your recovery time is where your muscles adapt and strengthen, you may even notice an improvement when you return to your usual routine, or at least have a greater appreciation for all the benefits exercise provides.
Look for active adventures in the area
If your idea of a perfect holiday includes lots of active adventures, have a look for some fun activities or equipment available to hire in the area. In warmer climates by a lake or sea, this could be surfing, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding lessons, kayaking or swimming. In colder places, you could try snow sports or hiking.
Explore on foot
Walking has many benefits, and it’s a fantastic way to explore a new place and get some fresh air. Whether you’re walking across beaches, over mountains, through a bustling city, or on a shopping spree, you’ll be so distracted by all the sights you’ll hardly notice your impressive daily step count.
And don’t forget, as Sweat Trainer Britany Williams pointed out when she was travelling in Italy, taking the stairs is great for booty gains.
Try something new in the Sweat app
Keen for a holiday workout? There are plenty of bodyweight and equipment-free workouts available in the Sweat app to keep you moving when you’re away from home. Why not take a look at the On Demand section and have a go at something you’ve never done before! Short workouts can be incredibly effective too.
Pack luggage-friendly equipment
Some workouts in the Sweat app also use pieces of equipment that are easy to pack in your luggage, such as a skipping rope and resistance band. They’re great to add variety and challenge your body without taking up half your precious suitcase space. Win-win!
Love the gym?
For some people, working out in the gym is restorative me-time that works wonders for their energy levels, mood and mental clarity. If you’re heading to a new location on your holiday, you can either look for accommodation that includes gym facilities, or find somewhere to stay that has a gym nearby.
If your motivation to workout in a gym is simply to maintain your strength and fitness and you’d prefer to do other things on vacation, don’t worry about missing the gym! You’re very unlikely to notice a change in such a short space of time.
What are your favourite ways to stay active on holiday? Let us know on the forum!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.