Don’t forget to pack those tennis shoes and a sports bra before heading on vacation! Don’t think you’ll have time for a workout? Visiting relatives in the middle of nowhere? Simply don’t see how time for exercise with a jam-packed schedule of monuments to see, museums to pursue, and places to be? Even though you may not have easy access to a gym or your usual workout equipment, there are still tons of resources for collegiettes looking to stay fit and stick with their routines, even while you’re vacationing and on the go. Her Campus has you covered with easy, hassle-free ways to work out while still enjoying your trip.
DO let sightseeing and exploring double as your workout.
Incorporate your location into your workout. Danai Kadzere, a junior at Harvard College suggests, “If you're out exploring and having fun, chances are that you're getting in enough movement, whether it's walking, swimming in the ocean, or dancing the night away.”
If you’re exploring the Rockies in Colorado, skip the treadmill for a day and take a hike on the real thing instead. Exploring a new city with friends or family? Go on a biking or walking tour to explore your destination and get your heart pumping and calories burning all at once. Lucky enough to be on a gorgeous beach for the summer? Try some simple yoga in the sand, no mat required! (If you really prefer to have something underneath you, or the pose requires it, use a towel as a substitute.)
DON’T stress if you miss your workout.
You spent the time and money to get to your destination for a reason, so enjoy it! If you’re really upset about missing your gym time at some point in the week, think about making cuts elsewhere. Skip the soda or dessert at dinner, or set some other fitness-related goal you can achieve later in the day.
Danai explains her workout vs. vacation philosophy. “I just enjoy it!” she says about her approach to travel. “Stress isn't healthy and stressing out about not working out or eating rich foods isn't either. Relaxing will do a lot more for your health than being super ‘healthy’ will and you deserve it.”
DO use any and all downtime.
Sitting in the car or on the plane en route to your destination can be a great sneaky way to work out. Check out some simple exercises like the ones suggested by Simply Fitness that target things like your abs or butt muscles AND are easy to do on the go. Even something simple like squeezing a tennis ball while seated on a plane or in a car, or seated leg exercises can make a difference. Check out a ton of easy-to-do exercises here for some ideas to get you started.
If you’ll be standing in line to board a plane, get through security, see attractions or find yourself waiting around for other people you’re traveling with to get ready, use the downtime to sneak in a quick workout. Try doing some basic calf raises, a few easy stretches, tense and relax your muscles, or some of the moves suggested for car or plane travel. The Livestrong Foundation has some great ideas for easy, sneaky ways to kill time spent waiting in lines or on other travelers.
DON’T let your vacation be an excuse to get lazy.
Lisa Van Ahn, a Minneapolis-based internationally ranked fighter, athlete, and personal trainer in Minneapolis, knows just what to say to clients to keep them motivated, even during low-stress periods of time like a vacation. She says simply being in a smaller space than usual is no reason to totally ditch any hopes of getting a workout in. “You can rock it out in a 6x6 space with no equipment other than your beautiful body, a pair of tennys, and a 15 minute chunk of time,” she explains. “Using your body weight for strength training, plyometrics for cardiovascular endurance, and high intensity intervals with minimal rest you can get a kick your butt workout wherever your are ‘kicking’ it.”
Van Ahn suggested any of the following simple exercises that can be done virtually anywhere:
- 40 push ups
- 40 squats
- 40 mountain climbers
- 40 tricep dips
- 40 jump squats
- 40 bicycle abs
- 40 side lunges
- 40 double crunches
If you’re really looking to challenge yourself, Van Ahn recommends repeating any of the above moves again for 30, 20, and 10 reps.