Working Out While on Vacation

If you’re lucky enough to take the occasional vacation out of town, you might wonder what to do about your workouts.  You don’t want to slack off and lose your hard earned gains, but on the other hand you don’t want to spend your vacation in the gym.  What’s one to do?

There was a time when my vacation plans always included finding a gym in the area and continuing my normal training program.  That makes sense if you have a competition coming up or just love visiting different gyms, otherwise I think there are some healthier ways to maintain your fitness while enjoying your vacation.

Three approaches that I recommend:

  1. Take the week off completely – Train hard in the gym in the weeks leading up to your vacation, and then enjoy the time off. This is a great time to let your batteries recharge and for minor aches and pains to heal.  In fact, you might find yourself stronger and more energetic after the break.  However, this approach only works if you’ve been pushing yourself hard before the vacation and you resume training as soon as you get back.
  2. Find something fun and active to do – Depending on location, you could go kayaking, surfing, swimming, skiing, hiking, biking, or play some tennis or basketball. The idea is to kill two birds with one stone by finding something fun to do that’s also good for fitness.  Plus, the extra calories you burn will help you enjoy those indulgent meals out guilt free!
  3. Do some quick workouts in your hotel room – This is what I typically do now days. Rather than spend a few hours of precious vacation time making the round trip to a gym, I just spend 15 minutes or so doing light exercise before my morning shower and I’m ready to go.  It’s a great way to get woken up and energized for the day.  If you’re quick enough, you can even get it done while your spouse or room mate is in the shower and getting ready for the day to avoid them the annoyance of you working out lol.  Three great exercises that cover your entire upper body are handstand push ups (done against a wall), regular push ups, and pull ups off a door frame or door itself.  For legs, you can do pistols (single leg squats) or high rep squats while hugging a suitcase or any other interesting object available.  If you have the forethought to bring a TRX trainer or resistance band with you, you have a ton more options.  My favorites with a resistance band are seated rows, straight arm pull-aparts, curls, good mornings, and as added resistance on squats and push ups.  If you’re into ab training, throw in some crunches, lying leg raises, or planks.  Do a single set of each exercise in a full body circuit, or do several sets on your area of focus.  With a little thought, you can blast out a great workout and and maintain your muscle tone in very little time, and then get on with your fun day!

I hope you find some of my suggestions helpful.  If you have other approaches that you’ve used successfully while on vacation or travelling for work, feel free to comment below.  Thanks!

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