Taking a vacation should be considered a critical part of any healthy routine. It gives us an opportunity to decompress from the stresses of daily life. Studies have even shown that it can lead to a major improvement in post-vacation work performance and improve our sleep habits once we return home.
But many people worry their vacations will have the opposite effect by interrupting the healthy exercise habits they've established. However, it is possible to maintain regular physical activity even when you’re relaxing on the beach, or indulging in delicious new foods. Really! Just keep these tips in mind before you go.
Research in Advance
If regular exercise is a priority for you, do your research in advance. Book a hotel with its own exercise center, or find some popular local running routes. If none of these options is available, book your accommodations near a park, where you can use simple features like a bench or stairs to work out every day.
Pack for Success
If you want to ensure that you exercise on a regular basis, you’ll need to bring the necessary equipment. This might mean packing:
Try Out Local Exercises
One great way to experience the local culture is through an exercise or fitness class. Try a Muay Thai class in Bangkok, a capoeira class in São Paulo, or join an impromptu tai chi gathering in a park in Shanghai. You get the point. Exercise doesn't have to take away from the vacation experience — in fact, it could be an opportunity to learn a new skill and even meet some locals.
Re-Think Your Expectations
If you’re going out sightseeing every day and hauling around heavy luggage, chances are you’re already fulfilling the recommended weekly amounts of aerobic activity and strength training. Exercising on vacation sometimes involves re-thinking your expectations. If you wear a fitness tracker, or have a step counting app on your phone, it will give you a good sense of how much you’ve moved over the course of your day.
Take the stairs, walk along the beach, or opt for an evening stroll instead of a cab ride. Making these healthier choices will boost your daily physical activity and allow you to see a unique side of your destination you may not have otherwise experienced.