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Tips for Staying Fit During Your Summer Vacation

Posted Jun 12 2012 6:00am

Summer is often when we hit our favorite vacation spot for a much-needed time of relaxation. For most of us, this is also the time to indulge, or  – perhaps more accurately – overindulge. We eat what we want, when we want it. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t stick to our normal exercise routine. We are, after all, on vacation.

Surely, lounging by the pool instead of lacing up your sneakers is bad for you. Continuing your exercise routine helps you maintain strength and speed, and just keeps you in good form. However, Natalie Smith, a personal trainer at LifeBridge Health & Fitness , advises you to “take a vacation from your normal physical fitness routine.”

Now, before you get too excited, she doesn’t exactly mean to lie on the beach, do nothing and eat a tub full of french fries.

“When people go on vacation, they can get off of their regular routine,” Natalie says. “And that’s OK, because that is what vacation is for. But even when you are on vacation, you can find ways to stay healthy.”

Natalie will be the first to admit that even she didn’t follow her normal workout routine on her recent trip to Florida. “I didn’t workout every day,” she adds with a rueful smile. But that didn’t stop her from staying active.

She took advantage of the beautiful beach setting to enjoy an outdoor yoga class at dawn. She also went kayaking with her family. And, of course, she spent a lot of time swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.

These activities are not a part of her normal, everyday life. (Although starting your day with a swim in the gorgeous Gulf would be far superior to a Starbucks run.) But with a tropical beach within mere minutes from her, she discovered new ways to stay healthy, even while enjoying her vacation.

“That’s what you can do while you are on vacation. Discover new ways to stay fit,” she advises. “It might be kayaking like I did. Or maybe it is rock climbing or hiking. These are fun things you can do with your family.” She also recommends that people check out the activities that are available in their destination before they even depart.

Of course, staying active is one thing; taking three scoops of ice cream when you really only need one is another. It’s almost a certainty that at some point on your vacation, you’ll have an extra helping (or two) of something too tasty to pass up. Natalie says that this doesn’t have to be a cause for concern. With some planning, you don’t have to let a little overindulgence ruin your vacation.

“Try to keep healthy snacks around your hotel room and when traveling,” she says. “If you dine out, try to order baked, broiled or grilled foods you like.”

Watch this video of Natalie offering tips on how you can stay fit during the summer:

Though we often call our vacations our “R&R” (rest and relaxation) time, it’s tempting to want to jam-pack our days with new experiences. Sometimes sleep becomes an afterthought. “Remember, you are on vacation, you want to relax,” she says. “So allow yourself plenty of time for rest.”

Feel free to live the dream on your summer vacation. Use the opportunity to diverge from your routine and put a little play back into your workout. You’ll return feeling fit, and have a few ways to make exercise more fun.

-Noel Lloyd

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