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Fitness Articles  ›  Seasonal & Holiday Tips

Exercise for Different Vacations

Make Fitness Part of Your Travel Plans

-- By Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer
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You may have read our article on easy exercises for when you are on vacation, but there is more to it than that. There are so many different vacations out there; exercise cannot be the same for each one. Would you exercise the same way on the beach as you would in the Smokey Mountains? Probably not, so here is some help for vacations at different places with different people.

Going to the beach seems to be a favorite of many. We know it’s so easy to just lie in the sand all day, sip margaritas, and forget about physical activity, but there is plenty of exercise you can do. First, there is the ocean. Swimming is possible, but fighting the waves, either with your body, boogie board or surf board, is great for working your core and your balance. If you go with family, especially kids, then playing games on the beach is great. Bring a baseball and glove, a football, a Frisbee, or anything else you can use to play a game. Clear out some room on the sand and enjoy.

Cruise ships are also great because most come equipped with a weight room. While these may not be as extensive as the gym you are used to at home, you can get the same complete workout as you would anyway. Take advantage of this. Also, cruise ships have pools, where you can do water exercises. To read about water workouts, click here.

Some vacations are exercise trips and no additional fitness routines are really needed. Good examples are skiing, hiking and whitewater rafting. Not only are these strenuous activities, but you usually spend all day doing them. You are getting all the exercise you need.

Another couple of vacations are either visiting a big city, like New York City or Chicago, or going to visit family or friends. A great way to exercise and take advantage of your surroundings is walking or running. Not only are you getting in good aerobic exercise, but you are taking in the sites of the city. If you are visiting family, maybe hop on a couple of bikes and let your host show you around the town.

Finally, how about getting to your vacation destination and back? Some of us spend an entire day either driving of flying to our destinations. Some of us even spend a couple of days getting there. Here are a few exercises you can try in the car or the plane, or at a rest stop:

  • Stretching
  • Use a stress/squeeze ball
  • Crunches, how depending on your seating arrangement
  • At a rest stop: pushups, jumping jacks, jumping jump rope, or sprints (should stretch beforehand)
  • Calf raises, even if you are sitting
  • Try using ankle weights or an exercise band.
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About The Author

Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.

Member Comments

  • DENAP70
    I love taking super long walks on the beach every day during vacation. The unstable walking surface adds to the workout. I pick a point really far away and keep walking till I reach it. I enjoy the view along the way. - 3/22/2012 8:44:54 AM
  • when visiting an area see if they have any walking tours. Those can be fun as well as burn up calories. Oh and if you are driving, I like to do stretching exercises and walking breaks at the rest stops. Some rest stops have beautiful areas to walk in. - 9/25/2011 9:51:34 AM
  • On vacation in London I walked/jogged around Kensington Park every morning, but not enough to make up for the fish and chips and lavish brekfasts. - 6/9/2011 7:24:23 PM
  • PEGSTOLZ
    I like to walk briskly on the beach in the early a.m., swim and play in the surf, play catch with lacrosse sticks/ball, and this vacation, I hope to have a little bit of gym time and/or kayak time; I plan to take my resistance band too. - 6/8/2011 8:46:22 PM
  • Vacationing in Outer Banks in Sept. and am doing a triathlon while there. Always wanted to do a destination triathlon...Can't wait! - 6/8/2011 6:25:51 PM
  • CHINCHAYOJA
    I think the best workout for vacations is walking. I'm going to an amusement park this weekend. I know that even though I'll be off the all natural and organic diet I'm on, I'll be able to maintain my weight at least with lots of walking and sight seeing. - 6/8/2011 4:26:25 PM
  • BMARIEAT50
    One way I make sure to get my workout in during vacations is to take a walking tour of the city. The tours typically last 1-3 hours. It's a great way to see the city sites, get in an extended workout at the same time and most of all, have a great time. - 6/8/2011 12:01:19 PM
  • Article was just in time as I am leaving for a cruise this week! - 6/8/2011 8:58:20 AM
  • I'm going on a cruise in May and in addition to regular pools they have single person pools in the spa area that allow you to swim against the current (like a swim spa). There you can exercise without other people being in the way. They also have a running track on one of the top decks and a fitness room with ellipticals and treadmills plus weights! I'll be using this daily. - 1/15/2011 7:04:30 PM
  • For a fun working vacation activity, try gem mining. We all did a lot of sluicing and it is a LOT of work. My boys and husband tried digging and "creeking", also. They decided that sluicing was the best use of time, energy, and funds. We all had a GREAT time, got a lot of exercise and got some gems to take home as well.

    A word of advice: if you intend to do gem mining, do a lot of research first, about the mines in the area where you are going, what gems that are available at each mine, what specific raw gems should look like, and who in that area (or in your own area) is qualified to identify and cut gems.

    Have fun! - 6/26/2010 5:21:07 PM
  • When I do road trips, I really should make time to do sprints at a rest stop. I bet I would feel better and more energized when I get to my destination. As for the beach, that's easy! I can't imagine doing nothing but laying around all day. My family doesn't vacation in big cities, they pick smaller areas, so I love to rent a bike and tool around, too. - 6/8/2010 1:43:21 PM
  • Vacation? What's THAT? - 6/8/2010 11:02:09 AM
  • I never leave home for an extended amount of time without my "rubber bands". If I'm going some where by car, I always put my bike on it's rack and take it with me. It's so much fun to find new places to ride. I can do my strength training and cardio anywhere with no trouble! It's definately a lifestyle change you must get into to be successful. Vacations have always been about eating all the time and just relaxing, but these two activities can pack on the lbs. Planning ahead is the real key here. - 6/8/2010 8:59:01 AM
  • Great timing for the article. We are planning a beach vacation later this year and also a trip to New York City. Lots of opportunity for walking! - 6/8/2010 5:20:59 AM
  • NJ_HOU
    Stretch out strap allows you to control your stretches and there is a video as well as a fold out laminate instruction guide that comes with the device. I got one because that is what you use in physical therapy and they are great. You can use this anywhere ! it is sort of the texture of a dog lease but has many loops to put your hand or foot in to help you on your exercise. I also have one at the office for those times where i have a 'break' after or before lunch since it is already over 95 here so walking at lunch is pretty much OUT for me - 6/6/2010 12:52:02 PM
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