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How to stay active when travelling

exercise travelling vacation
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Exercise gear on a suitcase

Finally, summer is here. Time to enjoy the sun, to take a break and travel.

When on vacation, we want to leave our everyday life behind. Let go. Relax. Enjoy. Experience something new. Or simply treat ourselves with something special, because we’re working hard the rest of the year and deserve it. Nothing wrong with that. Vacations are there to be enjoyed.

But if you’ve committed to losing weight, exercising more and generally living a healthier lifestyle, an upcoming vacation can also turn into a source of anxiety. Especially if it’s going great for you so far and you’ve just gotten used to your new lifestyle in everyday life.

So how can you enjoy your vacation without losing your progress?

First of all, give guilt no chance!

Plan ahead what you’re going to do. Decide in advance, if you’d rather stay active, give yourself a break or keep some minimum standards of activity and healthy eating.

Take a moment to think about this carefully. All of these options have their pros and cons.

Sometimes taking a complete break from exercise is necessary for your body and mind to recover properly. This is especially true, if you have built up a habit of exercising very much and consistently.

Not worrying about your food intake for the time of your trip gives you the freedom to try new dishes and flavours and to enjoy the foods you like most.

On the flip side, you might find it more difficult to start exercising again after an inactive vacation, and you might gain a little weight back.

If you keep your normal exercise and diet routine, you avoid these inconveniences, but you also risk feeling as if you had not been on vacation at all.

A middle ground could be to set some easily achievable mini goals. This approach requires some planning, but it also allows you more freedom to enjoy your vacation than just keeping everything as usual. This makes it a great way to counteract any potential guilt that may arise. After all, you’re still doing something to take care of yourself, right?

While you might not make it to the gym 4 times a week, you might still be able to hit a certain step goal each day. Or while you might not be willing or able to prep and cook all of your foods from scratch, you might still be able to eat a certain amount of fruits and veggies per day. Or to prioritize protein. Or whatever. There are thousands of options. Just get a little creative here. What is the minimum you can (and want to) do?

Whatever decision you end up with in the end is fine. Just make sure that it’s a conscious decision that matches what you value and need most right now.

Book a hotel with a gym

If you decide that you would still like to get a few workouts in during vacation, you might wonder how to do this in practise. When you’re travelling, you don’t have access to your usual gym and not all gyms offer day passes. So finding a local gym willing to sell you a day pass might not be possible.

If you don’t want to miss out on gym training at all during your vacation, it might be best to take that already into account when you’re planning your trip. Look out for a hotel with a gym. Hotel gyms might not be the best-equipped gyms, but they’re better than nothing and definitely allow you to get a decent workout in.

Do bodyweight exercises in your hotel room

Can’t get access to a hotel gym, but still want to do some strength training? Bodyweight exercises are your best bet! Your body is with you wherever you go anyway, and you don’t need any additional equipment.

You can also consider to take a rubber band with you on vacation. With a rubber band, you can add intensity to your bodyweight exercises. It also allows you to integrate further exercises into your routine that would otherwise require gym equipment like dumbbells or cables. A rubber band doesn’t weigh much and doesn’t take up much space, but it opens up many possibilities.

Start your day with some squats, lunges, glute bridges, push-ups, dips on a chair, planks and crunches. If you have a rubber band, rows, delt raises, pull aparts or biceps curls are great exercises for your hotel room routine, too. That way, you’ll already have gotten your work-out in before you go out and explore each morning. Win!

Actively explore your surroundings

Skip the sightseeing busses and go for a walk instead. Alternatively, in many places you can rent a bike, too.

You’ll get to explore your travel destination in your own time. That beautiful monument you’ve been waiting to see that long, only to pass it by within seconds on the bus? You can admire it as long as you like and take your photos without any hurry.

You can focus on the places that really interest you. You get to select what you want to see and what to skip. You’ll have an easier time avoiding tourist traps. You might even find some hidden treasures that you would have overlooked on the tourist bus. That cute little shop or the cosy café on the side street. Places the locals go to.

And this way of exploring helps you to stay active, almost effortlessly, without much extra planning for activity. But at the end of your day, when you return to your hotel full of new impressions, you’ll feel accomplished – you’ve really done something!

How about a short run?

All that applies to walking applies to running, too. This way you’ll explore your surroundings on a faster pace, but it’s still a great way to stay active. All you need to bring are your running shoes!

Head out in the morning when the sun goes up and the city awakes – once the rush hour starts, you’ll already have completed your workout and be sitting at a café sipping espresso and people watching. What could be a better way to start your day?

Time for a swim

Swimming is not only a great option if you’re heading to the beach. Look out for a swimming-pool at your travel destination. Sometimes even your hotel might have a pool.

Swimming can be very relaxing, which makes it a perfect activity for vacations. And a swimsuit takes up minimal space in your luggage.

Staying active while on vacation doesn’t have to be a lot of work and it certainly doesn’t have to become a burden that holds you back from enjoying your trip. Going on vacation also doesn’t have to mean undoing all of your precious progress of the previous weeks. All it requires is a little bit of forethought.

Whether you stay active during your vacation or not, the most important thing is that you enjoy yourself! Take the vacation as what it is: a break from your normal life routine, whatever form this break may take. Once the break is over, make sure it’s really over – and get right back on track.

Happy travelling!


Eager to transform your life and turn into the most confident, healthy, best version of yourself? Book your appointment with Walnut Coaching.

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