FITNESS CAN FIT IN YOUR CARRY-ON!

Traveler Henry Moore wrote me: “Hi there.

I love to travel. In fact, for me, there are few downsides to hitting the road. But if I had to name one, it’s that traveling can throw me out of my normal fitness routine.

That’s a big deal for me because exercise plays a key role in helping me manage my high blood pressure.

Over the years, I’ve developed some tricks that help me make sure I’m prioritizing exercise while I’m traveling. Could I write about them for you? I could send you an article with fitness tips for people who travel often for you to post on your website.”

I said, “Sure – send me your article and I’ll publish it.”  So here it is:  Enjoy!

Fitness On the Go: Tips for Travelers

When you’re at home, it’s easy to stick to your regular fitness routine. However, when vacation time arrives, this can throw a wrench into your routine. Exercising makes you feel good, gives you energy, and the stress-relief is amazing, so stopping altogether isn’t an option for you. You aren’t alone. According to a study by Expedia, 53 percent of people in the U.S. think exercising while traveling is important, and only 10 percent forgo any form of physical activity while away from home. By modifying your workout and making use of what’s available, you can still get your sweat on no matter where you are.

Be Picky With the Location

If you are hitting the road, air, or sea for a vacation getaway, you have the luxury of choosing your destination. In doing so, you can find hotels, cruise ships, etc. with fitness amenities such as a gym, fitness classes, pool, and a spa for recovery. Consider using a travel agent for help finding a getaway that offers relaxation, but also meets your fitness-oriented lifestyle with fitness activities and adventures. Keep in mind that you can still stay in that cozy cottage and find opportunities for exercise around you. Exercise is a universal activity, so no matter where your travel takes you, there are local options to explore. You might even consider planning your vacation around physical activity by centering it on hiking, biking, kayaking, sailing, or walking tours. When you book your vacation, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. Just like you’d be able to suggest fitness-related activities in and around your home, the locals at your destination can too!

Get Creative

You might not be able to stick to your regular routine 100 percent, but when you are on vacation, your days look drastically different. You trade early morning commutes for a sunrise view by the fire and evening jogs around the neighborhood for a run on the beach. Adapt your workout to your surroundings by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking whenever and wherever possible. Plexus suggests making it a fun game by downloading a pedometer app on your smartphone to track your steps as you explore the area, leaving you to focus on having fun. If you’d prefer a workout similar to what you are doing back home but don’t have access to equipment, check out these equipment-free exercises you can do from the comfort of your room. No matter how you choose to get your workout in, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Vacation itineraries are often jam-packed, but dehydration will definitely derail the fun. Be sure to always have water and healthy snacks handy to refuel.

Don’t Forget to Relax

Before you lock the door and your vacation begins, remind yourself that it’s okay if you don’t get the same level of activity that you are used to. Vacations are a time to relax and unwind so you can return to the daily grind with renewed energy and drive. Use this time to pamper yourself, and let this focus on self-care continue long after you return home. While exercising and being healthy is one of the ultimate forms of self-care, it’s not the only care regimen you should be doing. Being healthy involves your mental health too. Resist the urge to over-schedule your itinerary. Speaking of itineraries, understand that plans change, so use what could be a negative and turn it into a positive by working on your flexibility and keeping an open mind. Maybe when you return home you’ll be open to incorporating some mental healing into your routine via yoga, meditation, and new hobbies.

Going on vacation doesn’t mean your fitness has to take the backseat. Keep it at the forefront by choosing a destination with plenty of fitness activities, or find fun ways to sneak it in such as using a fitness app to track your steps as you take in the sights. Remember to relax and take care of yourself too, making for a vacation that boosts both your physical and mental health.