We often ask ourselves the same question when we go across state or national borders: “Will I get a workout in on this vacation?” ”
Your gut instinct is undoubtedly telling you no, and we understand. Burgers and beers are delicious. 8 a.m. Jogs, however, are not. Travel and fitness may, however, coexist and even thrive if properly planned.
Here are our top ten tips for remaining fit while on vacation. Find 20-minute body workouts, equipment you won’t want to leave home without, and drinks to avoid. It’s time to take your trip and eat your cake.
- Start your day with jogging or running
Most visitors, especially those visiting cities, prefer to devote their first day to total absorption. They take a sightseeing bus or try to figure out how to use the local metro to see as many attractions as possible to become oriented. That procedure appeals to us. But we prefer it in a pair of running shoes. Running across a city you’ve never seen before is the perfect workout. You simply won’t have the patience to be concerned about leg pain when racing past street merchants and thousand-year-old cathedrals. Getting lost is an apparent risk, but figuring out how to get back home is part of the adventure. And you’ll have undoubtedly noticed a slew of appealing off-path sites that weren’t mentioned in the “36 Hours” piece you scanned on the way there.
- Have a body workout plan prepared at all times
If you’re looking for non-running strength training (and we’re assuming you’ve left your cast iron barbells at home), it’s useful to have a dependable bodyweight routine on hand, which you can do in your room, the hotel gym, or outside in a park. We recommend the former if you’re on business, and the latter if you’re on your own time and want to appreciate the outdoors. Luke Zocchi, Chris Hemsworth’s trainer, created the 20-minute scorcher above. Perform each of the five mentioned exercises for 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Perform the whole circuit four times. Then you should go get yourself a beer.
- Be a morning person
Getting up early can only assist you no matter where you go. Pre-9 A.M. if you’re five or six hours ahead in Europe. Wake-ups (at the very least) will assist you in adjusting to the local time zone and making the most of your holiday. Waking up after midday on every day of your European vacation is fine if you’re 20 and beach clubbing in Barcelona, but it will seriously disrupt your plans (reservations, museum tours, trains) otherwise. If you’re going to the West Coast or Hawaii, make the most of your new early riser abilities. Obviously, waking up is unpleasant. And waking up sweating is worthy of the Fields of Punishment. However, a decent session before breakfast will set the tone for the rest of the day.
- Don’t get drunk every night
Every night is the key word. Travel’s favorite cousin is drinking, and you’d be foolish not to let them mix. Simply select your evenings. We wouldn’t recommend working out every day of your trip anyhow, so plan your big nights out around an off-day. In terms of what to drink and what not to drink during the week, avoid sugar! A short straw poll at IH HQ revealed that pia colada was the leading cause of hangovers. This is because most holiday drinks contain excessive amounts of sugar and alcohol. Both cause hydration and, when combined, can overwhelm the liver. As a result, you have a terrible hangover. Brew isn’t exactly safe either, so skip the Double IPAs in favor of a low-calorie beer.
- Have fun, get creative
Golf is important. Tennis is important. SUP is unquestionably valid. Whatever gets you up and moving while on vacation can be recorded in the workout column. However, if you do some preliminary investigation, you can find fitness possibilities in a variety of settings. If you live somewhere with easy access to outdoors, always go on a local hike. Think the Presidio in San Francisco, Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. Take your better half to classes if you’re in a country with a long history of dancing (maybe Italy). Expect the tarantella to be really challenging. And, as luxury hotels become one-stop shops for all parts of vacation (think: rooftop bars, coffee shops, and fresh food markets), you may make some major fitness connections during your stay. Consider LINE DC, which has the Urban Athletic Club, a strength and conditioning facility with personal trainers, bootcamp-style courses, and access to a variety of Strava-registered jogging routes throughout the city.
- Snack accordingly
Most clever vacationers make dinner reservations ahead of time. However, lunch can be difficult to plan for, especially on days when you’re on the go. That means you’ll be hungry when you eventually sit down to eat, and you’ll be tempted to order something caramel brown. Your best defense is to nibble regularly and in a variety of colors. We asked chef/nutritionist Dan Churchill to help us create a healthy snacking guide a few months ago, and his advice is invaluable when traveling. Colorful snacking involves prioritizing meals that are high in minerals and vitamins. Don’t be concerned about getting your wires crossed with foreign cuisine. Raw almonds, plain yogurt, and a smidgeon of chocolate are quite universal and will suffice.
- Pack accordingly
Athleisure is your best friend in this situation. Bring a variety of flexible items that can do double (if not triple) duty throughout the week. If you pack a yoga top and running shorts in your suitcase, you will feel obligated to use them. Plant them on top of the rest of your clothes so you don’t forget, not to mention for easy access on your first sightseeing run!
- Learn how to use a jump rope
We spoke with Cory Calliet, the trainer behind Michael B. Jordan’s physical makeover for Black Panther and Creed 2 last month. Jumping rope was Cory’s go-to cardio tip. “It’s healthy for the lungs, it keeps you conditioned, it keeps you in shape, and it’s easy things,” he explained. We recommend investing in a strong rope, such as this Ballistyx type with steel handles and silicone grips. It weighs less than a pound and fits easily into a duffel corner. Make a small place (as with the body workout: in the hotel gym, or outside in a park/on the beach) and go through the circuit in the video above. It’s simply 15 seconds on/10 seconds off eight times… then you repeat the sequence four times.
- Don’t get down on yourself
You don’t have to establish a fresh mile time while traveling. It’s not supposed to be this intense. Don’t beat yourself up if you plan to get up for an early workout and miss it, or if you end up half-assing a jump-rope routine. The goal is simply to sustain the gains you’ve made at home, to at least address the impact all those burgers and beers will have on your aging body. Don’t forget that simply being on your feet for days on end will be a major, good shift in and of itself. Consider how many hours a day you spend sitting, shoulders slumped over a computer. On the subject of work, remember to look after your mental health when on vacation. Detox from the internet, take photos, make notes, and watch the waves. Whatever. Everything is excellent for the soul.
- Just go on a fitness retreat
You may simply put all of the above on hold and schedule a trip solely dedicated to your fitness. Wellness tourism is a rapidly rising vacation trend, and finding luxury compounds dedicated to your health isn’t difficult. Check out The Ranch in Malibu, which wakes up visitors with Tibetan bells and mountain walks every day. Noah Surf House in Portugal combines excellent seafood, big swells, and yoga. Then there’s Spain’s famed Sha Wellness Clinic, which specializes in sleep therapy, acupuncture, and “brain massages” and is located in the world’s best microclimate (according to the World Health Organization).