Health and fitness enthusiasts often become obsessed with their exercise routines. Even when they’re supposed to be relaxing on vacation, their day doesn’t feel complete without a workout. Maintaining your fitness while traveling can be challenging because you don’t have the same equipment and dietary options.
However, with careful planning and a small amount of improvisation, you can stick to your routine without missing a beat. Follow these eight steps and you’ll have no issue sticking to your fitness commitments while on vacation.
1. Find Lodging With Fitness Amenities
The simplest thing you can do to maintain your workout routine on vacation is to find lodging with fitness amenities. Look for hotels with high-quality exercise centers with all the equipment you need. Browse the photo galleries on each hotel’s website and take a virtual tour of the facility, if available.
Thorough research is important because many hotel gyms won’t meet your standards. Some places might be unsanitary or lack essential equipment. Hotels usually have one room with treadmills, light free weights and a few isolation machines. This selection might be sufficient for the average guest but not for people who are highly devoted to their workout routines.
Surveys have shown that only 22% of hotel guests use on-site fitness amenities. In other words, these places don’t have much financial incentive to invest heavily in their workout equipment. You’ll need to do some deep digging to find accommodations with a gym that fits your needs. Only vacation resorts and five-star establishments are guaranteed to have an excellent gym. Of course, you can always pack your Gorilla Bow Travel.
2. Look for Local Gyms
If you can’t find a hotel with a decent fitness center, your next best option is to look for places with gyms nearby that offer guest passes. It might be expensive, but it’s worth it if you can gain access to a full gym. You might be able to follow your routine with 100% accuracy, down to your machine selection and exercise order.
You can always find viable substitutes if the gym doesn’t have some of the machines you want. Here are some alternatives to popular gym exercises:
Although doing the same exercises is important for tracking your long-term progress, adding some variety helps with muscle growth and prevents boredom from setting in. Don’t be afraid to mix things up while you’re on vacation. There’s no harm in trying something new.
3. Do Bodyweight Exercises to Hold You Over
If you explored all your options and couldn’t find a decent gym or hotel fitness center, you can always do bodyweight exercises in your room. The workouts might not be as intense, but that’s a good thing in this case. Your goal on vacation should be to maintain your physical fitness. Don’t exhaust yourself with grueling workouts.
These bodyweight movements are more than enough to hold you over:
- Air squats
- Mountain climbers
You can also make bodyweight exercises more difficult by incorporating resistance bands. They provide continuous tension throughout the workout and enable you to train anywhere. You can easily pack a few bands with different resistance levels without taking up much space in your luggage.
4. Bring Your Own Food and Equipment
If you’re committed to your routine, you should plan on bringing your own food and equipment. Contrary to popular belief, you can take all kinds of food and personal items onto flights as long as they’re not included in your carry-on luggage.
Although refrigerated food is allowed, it’s generally a bad idea to pack it if you’re taking an extended flight. You’ll have a much easier time sticking to dry food items like these healthy options:
- Protein bars
- Canned foods
- Dried fruits
- Beef jerky
- Powder and pill supplements
On the equipment front, there's nothing better than the convenience and portability of Gorilla Bow Travel. At only 6 lbs. it's easy to make room in your checked bag without paying extra baggage fees for excess weight. And, because it breaks down into three pieces, it fits in nearly all carry-ons.
5. Find Other Ways to Stay Active
Your workout routine isn’t the only way to stay active on vacation. In fact, it should be low on your list of activities. Your destination should have plenty of outdoor attractions, including bicycle rentals, swimming areas, hiking trails and more. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to burn calories and stay in good shape outside your usual routine.
However, these opportunities won’t present themselves to you. You must research your destination’s activities to know what equipment to bring. You also might have to book a spot months in advance, so don’t waste any time making plans.
Of course, if all else fails, you can always go for a walk. Walking has become surprisingly underrated as a form of exercise in the fitness industry, but it has innumerable benefits. It improves your cardiovascular health, strengthens your bones and boosts your mood. It’s also a great way to explore your vacation town and interact with the locals.
6. Have a Flexible Diet
Many people go on strict diets in the months leading up to their vacation, only to immediately revert to bad eating habits once they arrive. Making such a drastic dietary change in a short period can undo weeks of hard-earned fat loss. Plus, you don’t want to feel tired and bloated on vacation. You want to be able to experience everything you want to during your trip.
Some people also go to the opposite extreme and continue their strict diets while on vacation, preventing them from getting the full experience. Their energy levels are low, they can’t eat at certain restaurants, and they can’t enjoy a few drinks with friends and family. As with most other fitness-related topics, moderation is the best approach.
A flexible diet will help you maintain your physique and allow you to enjoy all the pleasures of your vacation. Try to eat healthy foods, but don’t worry about tracking your calories or macronutrients. Besides, slightly increasing caloric intake will boost your energy and make your workouts more productive.
7. Control Your Alcohol Consumption
Unless you’re a strict nondrinker, your alcohol consumption will probably increase on vacation. Drinking in moderation won’t have much effect on your workout routine, but heavy imbibing is one of the easiest ways to lose progress. Frequent or heavy alcohol consumption severely inhibits protein synthesis and limits muscle growth.
You must monitor your drinking habits to maintain your workout while on vacation. Track how many drinks you consume throughout the day. Avoid high-calorie options like beer and sugary cocktails and stick to simple mixed drinks that won’t fill you up. Remember to stay hydrated and eat before bed to prevent a bad hangover.
Drinking more than usual on vacation is normal, but if you’re serious about your fitness goals, you must tread carefully. Alcoholic tendencies develop more easily than you think, and there’s no reason to risk getting alcohol poisoning. Getting too intoxicated is the most surefire way to guarantee you miss tomorrow’s workout.
8. Don’t Stress if You Miss a Day
You can take many steps to follow your workout routine while on vacation, but you shouldn’t stress if you miss a day. Your body isn’t going to change immediately unless you gorge on alcohol and junk food. It takes about two weeks of inactivity before you lose muscle mass if you have an active lifestyle.
Besides, everyone needs a break from exercise every now and then. Thorough recovery should be a crucial part of everyone’s fitness routine. Your body might be due for an extended rest period, so don’t feel guilty about relaxing on vacation. Here are some signs that your body might need a long break:
- High resting heart rate
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Low overall energy levels
- Lack of focus
- Increasingly negative feelings about exercise
Even professional athletes take extended breaks from their sports during the offseason. Your workout and dietary requirements aren’t nearly as strict as theirs. If they can take a long vacation without jeopardizing their fitness, you can, too.
Keep Your Priorities Straight
Anyone who strictly adheres to a diet and exercise routine should be proud of their accomplishments. However, there are times when your healthy commitment turns into an unhealthy obsession. Vacation is one of those times. You should try to maintain your workout routine, but don’t let it take priority over your vacation. This is the time to take a break for your mind, body and soul.Spending time with family and exploring your vacation destination is more important than your workouts. You don’t want to miss out on having fun and building memories. Get in some quick exercises if you can, but it's not the end of the world if the proper facilities and equipment aren’t available. Your gym and Gorilla Bow will be waiting for you when you get back home.