A vacation is your chance to relax, explore somewhere new, and discover this wide world of ours, but if you’re on a fitness journey, it’s also a time when you could accidentally take a step backward. It can mean a week of no gym, no fitness routine, or trying out the delicious local specialties.

Whether you’re training with a specific goal in mind (like a marathon) or just looking to improve your fitness, this could break your momentum or change up the healthy habits you’ve been developing. Is it possible to avoid this backslide and still have a good time on your trip?

Build In Exercise Plans

No matter where you are or what you’re doing, there are ways you can build in time for a little exercise into your trip schedule. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but some time is better than none These workouts will be more intended to maintain your current fitness and momentum, so you aren’t set back from the good work you’ve been putting in. The upside of this is that in 30 minutes or less, you can exercise without blocking up too much time that could be spent exploring a new destination or lounging by the pool. No matter what type of trip you’re taking, this plan is possible. Even the most relaxed locations, like an all-inclusive resort, usually have a gym for guests.

Since trips can quickly fill up with activities, it’s worthwhile to plan out how often you want to exercise and when. You could choose to get up early and exercise each morning, before other vacationers are awake. Alternatively, you could plan to exercise for an hour before dinner. Be flexible with your time and work around your trip schedule. Remember, you’re on vacation to enjoy it, not to exercise. If your workouts fit nicely into your schedule, it’s a bonus, not the focus.

Working Out to Explore

That said, you don’t have to do a HIIT routine to exercise on vacation. You can easily build a workout into your schedule that won’t feel like a workout. One of the best ways to enjoy your vacation in a new location is to fully immerse yourself and explore. Unless you’re traveling in a car or bus, you’ll also be exercising. Explore your destination on foot or by bike. The average person can burn anywhere from 53 to 160 calories while walking a mile at an average, leisurely pace. Biking burns even more in the same timeframe.

If you do this throughout the day, the miles quickly add up, sneaking in a workout while getting an intimate feel for where you’re staying. Let’s say you’re the only morning person in your family, and you’re staying in Paris. Take a morning walk along the Seine to get a croissant and espresso each day. It’s beautiful, memorable, and will help maintain your fitness. Not a morning person and staying in Rome? Try a traditional passagiata after dinner to soak in la dolce vita. If you’re visiting somewhere known for hiking, find a trail to enjoy! Tailor your exploration time to where you’re staying to get the most out of your immersion and your fitness.

Walking Tours: History, Culture, and Fitness?

One way you can build in exercise plans while exploring and maintaining flexibility is to sign up for walking tours of the city or area you’re staying. This combines walking exercise with a more guided exploration and can get you into areas you may not normally have access to. For example, your Rome trip could include a walking tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum that gets you onto the Forum and into normally restricted areas of the Colosseum, like the Underground. For a more vigorous walking day, a walking tour of historic Central London may include several miles of walking, depending on how much the tour visits. You can pick tours based on your interests and your fitness. The only downside is that many of these tours cost money, though there are free and less expensive options.

Enjoy the Rest Time

It’s important to remember that you’re on vacation. It’s completely acceptable to take that time to relax and rest up. In fact, it’s likely a good idea to do so if you’ve been on a fitness journey and pushing yourself, because recovery is a key part of fitness. It’s when your body heals from the exertions of exercise and allows your muscles to adapt to the new level of fitness. Without it, you become less reflexive, more tired, and more prone to injuring yourself. This is why we don’t suggest trying to improve your fitness on vacation but maintaining it. Give yourself a well-earned break. If you do a little exercise to maintain your healthy fitness, that’s a great bonus.

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Vacations can be exciting or relaxing with packed schedules or lots of free time. If you want to squeeze a little exercise in, either as a form of relaxing “me time” or to maintain your fitness, the opportunities are there. Whether you’re setting aside time specifically for exercise or finding clever ways to incorporate it into your plans, you don’t have to sacrifice vacation time for your fitness.