How to Take a Vacation Without Losing Too Much Fitness
Summer is a great time to get in shape: you can enjoy freezing weather, longer days and, depending on your job, you may have more free time. But then vacation comes and your fitness goals fade into the background for a while. Here’s how to minimize damage.
Plan for the future
If I follow a structured exercise plan, I always set aside extra time to allow myself a vacation. For example, you can start a 12-week marathon a week or two earlier so that you don’t have to miss a week of training during your week-long vacation.
I also like to practice a little before going on vacation. For example, I use my Classpass credits a month before take off.
If you are planning a longer vacation, make sure you know what the implications will be. Even a few weeks won’t throw you too far away from strength training, but you will lose cardio fitness faster .
With that in mind, consider if you want to exercise – maybe quite a bit – while on vacation.
Stay active on vacation
This is a personal choice. If you are following a plan or staying fit for sports, rest can be more stressful than spending part of your vacation training. But if you can get a real reprieve, you can leave your sports equipment at home and collect your belongings when you return. I like to find a middle ground, to practice a little, but not as much as at home.
Here are some ways to work out on vacation:
- Apps like Sworkit and Nike Training Club can give you equipment-free workouts as short as you like.
- Bring exercise equipment with you to your hotel room, such as a resistance band or a hanging machine .
- Bring your trainers with you and explore your vacation destination.
- Take advantage of the activities your vacation has to offer, such as swimming, renting bicycles, hiking, surfing or paddleboarding, jogging or doing yoga on the beach.
Don’t underestimate the power of walking. As you explore a new city, there are many more steps you can take than usual, and you can check your fitness tracker or phone to see if this is true.
Increase your speed when you return
Don’t expect it to be the same when you return. Your regular workout may seem a little harder, and that’s okay; you’ll be back to normal soon. Just don’t get caught in the trap of waiting until tomorrow because you are still suffering from jet lag and then reschedule it over the weekend and then oh why bother if you travel again in a couple of weeks …
Get back to your daily routine, even if it’s just for a short while. Relax the first few workouts and see if your fitness level has changed . Adjust accordingly and proceed; you’re back to speed before you know it.