How to Keep Up with Your Exercise Routine While on Vacation

Fitness enthusiasts like to maintain their healthy lifestyles no matter where they go, including on vacation. However, it can be challenging to stick to a diet and exercise every day when you don’t have the same gym, food options and other resources. Here are a few tips to help you keep up with your exercise routine while on vacation.

Not all hotels and vacation rentals have fitness centers, and even the places with fitness centers might not have the equipment you need. They’re usually one small room with a row of treadmills, some dumbbells and a few isolation machines.

Before booking a room, make sure the building has sufficient accommodations for your exercise routine. Don’t be too picky, though. You can’t expect a hotel to have a fully-equipped gym with every machine.

The same goes for your diet. If you want to stay at a hotel, make sure it has a healthy variety of foods that allow you to follow your meal plan. If you prefer vacation rentals, book a rental near a grocery store so you can buy the food you need without wasting too much vacation time.

If you can’t find lodging with a decent fitness center, substitute your routine with bodyweight exercises. Don’t worry – you won’t lose muscle by doing easier exercises. It takes about three weeks of inactivity before a healthy body starts to lose muscle mass.

Every exercise you do in the gym has a sufficient bodyweight substitute. The difficulty and intensity might not measure up to your regular workouts, but you’re still stimulating your muscles and keeping them active. Here’s a short list of popular bodyweight movements that will give you a solid full-body workout:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Dips
  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Planks
  • Air Squats
  • Lunges

You can make some of these exercises more challenging by incorporating resistance bands. The weight distribution might feel different from dumbbells or barbells, but it’s extra resistance all the same. You should also bring a yoga mat and towel so you don’t have to work out on the dirty floor.

Most people have a harder time following their diets than following their exercise routines, especially on vacation when they’re often surrounded by comfort foods and alcohol. A simple solution to this problem is to pack your own food and supplements with your luggage.

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If you’re driving to your destination, bring as much of your own food as possible. Our bodies grow accustomed to eating the same foods, so you should try to maintain a similar diet wherever you go.

You should also make sure you hydrate and stretch often to maintain a robust activity level. It is recommended that you drink at least 16 ounces of water one to two hours before your workout.

Keep in mind that you can still bring food and supplements onto a commercial flight, but only dry non-refrigerated items are allowed in the luggage area. Still, that gives you enough options to pack a healthy food supply:

  • Whole wheat bread, bagels, etc.
  • Protein powder and other powder or pill-based supplements
  • Protein bars
  • Canned foods
  • Cereal
  • Dried fruits
  • Beef jerky
  • Nuts

As long as you pack these items in leak-proof containers and fit them into your checked luggage, you will have no issue getting them past airport security.

A workout program you should try:

You might think you will have no issue maintaining your diet and exercise habits before you leave for vacation, but your mind will probably change once you arrive. Distractions will pile up in a hurry and your routine will falter eventually. So how can you stay healthy without your usual diet and training? The answer is simple: stay active outside of your routine.

Your vacation destination should have plenty of attractions to keep you moving. Take a hike, rent a bicycle, go swimming or simply walk around and explore the area. You don’t have to lift weights or run on the treadmill to get a good workout.

Research your destination and look for potential attractions and activities. Set some plans in advance so you know what to pack. You won’t be able to work out in the traditional sense every day, but you can make sure you always have something on the agenda.

People tend to increase their alcohol consumption on vacation, including fitness enthusiasts. Drinking in moderation won’t affect your eating habits and workouts too much, but heavy drinking is one of the easiest ways to throw off your routine and lose progress. Alcohol is the sworn enemy of protein synthesis, preventing our bodies from properly recovering after a workout.

If you want to keep up with your diet and exercise routine, you must monitor your alcohol consumption. Track how many drinks you have and keep the number in the single digits. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and eat some food before and after you drink to prevent a nasty hangover.

We know you want to forget your responsibilities and have fun on vacation, but if you’re serious about your fitness goals, you need to control your alcohol consumption. Bad drinking habits develop more easily than you think.

You can take careful measures to follow your diet and exercise routine away from home, but don’t ruin your vacation by stressing over a missed workout. Your body isn’t going to change after one day or even one week. You worked hard for this vacation, so relax for a while and enjoy yourself.

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Mia Barnes is a health and fitness writer and the Editor In Chief at Body+Mind. When she's not writing, she enjoys running and taking Zumba classes at her local gym.

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