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5 Ways to Stay on Track and Exercise on Vacation

woman's lower legs walking away on the beach
Here's how to enjoy a restorative vacation without losing track of your fitness goals.

by Lindsay Tigar

Sometimes, the only thing that can help you concentrate at work (or the gym) is knowing you'll be relaxing on a beautiful beach in just a few weeks.

While enjoying a nice getaway is one of the ultimate rewards for completing everything on your to-do list, finding the time to exercise on vacation can occasionally be difficult. Well-deserved downtime can help you de-stress — but you don't want your hard work in the gym to go to waste. Consider these five seamless ways to enjoy a restorative vacation, without losing track of your fitness goals.

1. Make a Game Plan

Before you print your boarding pass or start scouting out restaurants, it's important to set expectations. You should set guidelines not only about what you hope to gain from your getaway, but how, and how often, you want to work out.

Don't worry about maintaining your same gusto; you're on vacation, after all! Since you'll be busy exploring a new city or country, you can meet smaller demands, like going for a jog two out of the five mornings you'll be there, or hitting the beach for a sunset walk.

2. Pack Your Workout Clothes — and Shoes!

If you want to exercise on vacation, you must make room in your suitcase for your go-to fitness apparel. This includes workout clothes you feel comfortable in, supportive footwear and, if your airline's baggage weight restrictions allow, resistance bands or other travel-friendly gear.

3. Choose Your Hotel Wisely

Depending on your budget, your must-haves for booking accommodations at your home-away-from-home might include free breakfast, comfy beds, strong Wi-Fi and complimentary parking. But what about an on-site gym? Or workout classes?

Hotels often attempt to make transitioning from your at-home life to your out-of-office life easier by using fitness as a perk. Before you hit "book," see what exercise options are available at your destination.

4. Say "Yes" to Outdoor Recreation

If you're spending your vacation on your feet, sightseeing in Europe, it's probably safe to skip your evening workout. Beach getaways, on the other hand, often include a little more downtime.

Break up your morning dip in the pool and evening margarita happy hour by opting for some seaside adventures. From kayaking to snorkeling, paddleboarding to hiking, this isn't just an effective way to exercise on vacation, it's a fun way to experience a new place.

5. Enlist Your Travel Buddies

Whether you're going in on a beach house or exploring a foreign city, when it comes to making the most of your vacation, there's strength in numbers. The same goes for working out while on the road. Making your exercise routine a team challenge can help ensure you're successful.

Try squeezing in a fitness session before setting out to the beach, or scheduling one into your daily plans. Short hike to a picnic lunch with a spectacular view, anyone? Whatever your adventurous crew prefers, you can support one another every step of the way.

And don't forget to celebrate with gelato because, hey, you are on vacation!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.