Young woman hiking on mountain

Working out while on vacation

Keeping up your fitness routine while on vacation can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you stay active at home and away!

Planning a vacation? 

Josée Lavigueur

Josée Lavigueur

Whether you’re heading to a warmer climate, to the mountains, to the cottage or just staying home, any vacation is good for recharging your batteries and spending some quality time, with a loved one, family, friends, or just by yourself.

If you don’t exercise during this downtime, it’s not a big problem. One or two weeks without exercise won’t be disastrous. All your skills will quickly come back to you once you pick up the routine again. But if you don’t want to stop, rest assured there are lots of ways to keep fit nowadays, no matter where you are!

If one of your goals is to maintain the level of fitness you’ve developed in the previous months, just do some cardio and strength training three to four times per week.

Basically, it’s about doing a short exercise program that requires little or no equipment.

The only accessory I recommend is the exercise band. It’s a stretchy rubber tube with a handle at each end. You can find them in sports stores.

Also keep in mind that an increasing number of hotels are offering innovative services that allow you the opportunity to train. According to a study conducted by Room Key, which surveyed about 1,023 American travellers in June 2014, nearly half of respondents said they planned their trips based on the sports activities offered at their destination. Additionally, 57% reported that they chose one hotel over another hotel based on the fitness amenities and equipment available or on specific outdoor activities located near the hotel.

With the new higher standards being set by hotels as they adapt to this demand, you no longer need to wait in line in cramped hotel fitness rooms:

  • Many chains will now lend you athletic apparel, running shoes and other accessories (such as Morgans Hotel Group and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts).
  • Some hotels are partnering with fitness experts to design programs available online or on demand on your hotel room TV: Sheraton Hotels & Resorts with EXOSTM ; W Hotels offer a program with four workouts tailored to meet the needs of a specific type of customer, which can be viewed on screen.
  • The Tryp, Hilton and Westin hotel chains offer rooms with equipment for cardiovascular training.
  • The EVEN Hotel chain provides rooms with a stability ball, yoga mat, and 19 TV channels offering fitness routines, as well as a book showing even more exercise options.

People walk a lot on vacation. Is it comparable to a workout? No, walking is not considered a cardiovascular workout because it doesn’t meet the principle of continuous training. However, you are expending energy, which is worth something, and most importantly walking has significant effects on health in general.

Here are some activities to do on vacation that could be comparable to a type of cardiovascular workout. Thirty minutes on a treadmill at the gym can be equivalent to:

  • Walking briskly on a trail or in the city. It must be done without stopping for an hour, and you should be slightly out of breath;
  • Swimming in the hotel pool, or running in the shallow section of the pool for 45 minutes;
  • Hiking at a good clip in the mountains for 30 to 45 minutes.

Of course, these suggestions are only approximations.

Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of exercise to stimulate your circulation during long airplane flights or long stretches of driving.

Avoid “economy class syndrome,” which is the formation of clots in blood vessels or in a heart cavity, called deep vein thrombosis. Here are some preventive tips:

  1. Get up occasionally to stretch and walk a little. While sitting, flex and extend your ankles about fifteen times. This will stimulate blood flow to your heart.
  2. Don’t keep your legs crossed and make sure the edge of the seat does not compress blood vessels in your thighs.
Related:   Walk your way to better health
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