Spring is finally here! While many laid dormant over the winter months, they are now ready to travel again. If you are planning a spring break or have summer travel plans, your fitness goals don’t have to take a break. Pack your motivation and keep moving while on vacation so you can stay in shape while you travel.
Getting away from reality is good for the soul, and getting away from the usual workout routine is good for the body. However, a vacation can be the perfect time to exercise. By freeing yourself from your routine, you open your mind to new ways to move your body, have fun and keep your body fit while you’re on vacay.
If you want to maintain your cardio endurance while having fun, there are a variety of vacation activities that will give you a great workout without feeling like exercise. Some of the best workouts include:
- Walking on the beach. Walking in soft sand is a killer workout and burns more calories than walking on flat ground. Some experts suggest that you can burn twice as many calories walking in soft sand. Keep it safe by wearing shoes (you may get shin splints if you go barefoot for too long) and going for a few minutes at a time to get used to it. You’ll be surprised how hard it is.
- Beach volleyball. You can burn more than 150 calories an hour, depending on how hard you work and it’s a great way to meet other people at the beach while having fun.
- Surfing, swimming, and snorkeling. Surfing is a total body workout that will challenge every muscle in your body. Even if you just paddle out to the waves and fall off, you’ll get a great workout. Snorkeling is a bit more leisurely, but you can add intensity by swimming a little harder. If you’re at a beach that doesn’t have big waves, put on your snorkel gear and swim out and back for a few laps to get your blood moving.
- Leisurely bike rides. Long bike rides are a great way to see the area while getting in some low-intensity exercise. If you take your time and go all day, you’ll burn calories without even thinking about it.
- Hiking. Anytime you add elevation to your walks, you’ll burn more calories. If you carry a backpack, you’ll challenge yourself even more, all while enjoying a little nature. Check with your hotel concierge to see about hiking adventures nearby.
Finding fun cardio activities is easy when you’re on vacation. Lifting weights, however, presents more of a challenge. You usually don’t have much equipment and the thought of going to the hotel fitness room isn’t that appealing when you’re trying to have fun.
You don’t have to do much, however, to maintain your strength and muscle while you’re out of town. A quick workout with body weight exercises, resistance bands or full water bottles will keep you strong and fit until you get back home to your usual routine.
What Happens If You Don’t Exercise
Rest is great for the body and we all deserve a little down time, especially on vacation. If you decide to use your travel time to rest from working out entirely, you may wonder what happens to your body. How long can you go before you lose your pre-vacation fitness? How fast you lose endurance and/or muscle depends mostly on your genetics but below are some general guidelines:
- Aerobic power can decline 5-10 percent in three weeks.
- All your gains could be gone after about two months of inactivity
- The fitter you are, the faster you lose your fitness, which doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Taking a week off probably won’t make much of a difference but, any more than that, and it may be harder to get back to your previous levels; not to mention re-vamping your pre-vacation motivation level. Finding ways to stay as active as you can will keep you fit, help you avoid gaining weight and make the transition back to real life a little easier.
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