A break from the daily grind shouldn’t be a reason to put aside your commitment to fitness. Not only is staying active good for your health, but it can also combat the stress that can often accompany traveling. An added bonus? Physical activity helps keep your weight in check as you indulge on those extra vacation treats.
The good news is that being active when you travel is easier than you think. Whether you’re headed for a week of sightseeing in a foreign land or you’re relaxing on a nearby beach, you’re likely to engage in physical activity without even giving it a second thought. There’s no need to schedule a period of vigorous or sustained exercise each day for it to “count.” The important thing to keep in mind is that if you keep moving, you’ll be doing something good for your body and your mind.
Here are some tips for moving more when you travel:
- Heading on a road trip? Take frequent breaks. Get out of the car and walk around for a few minutes every couple of hours. This will keep your body from getting stiff and will re-energize you for the next leg of your journey.
- Navigating busy airports? Wear comfortable shoes and walk while waiting for your flight to board. Skip the moving sidewalks and use your own two feet to move between terminals. Or do some stretches before you board your plane. your body and relax your mind.
- Stuck on a long flight? During flights lasting more than 3 hours, the American Council on Exercise recommends you move at least every half hour. Sitting too long increases the risk of developing blood clots, especially in the legs. Although airlines discourage walking through the aisles unless you’re heading to the restroom, it’s still a good idea to stand by your seat, do some calf raises and roll your ankles. You can also take turns lifting your knees to your chest while seated to keep the blood flowing.
- Going on a cruise? There are tons of activities at your fingertips no matter where you’re headed. While on board, learn how to salsa in the lounge or join a basketball game on deck. In port, activity awaits, whether you choose to snorkel in pristine blue waters or stroll around the shops in town seeking bargains.
- Staying at a hotel? Visit the hotel’s gym, do a few laps in the pool or take advantage of some of the amenities hotel chains now offer guests to promote fitness. If you’re staying at a Hyatt, you can view workout videos right from the TV in your room. At Sheraton hotels, request a free Gym-in-a-Bag, with an exercise mat and other tools to keep you fit. Westin Hotels even let you borrow running shoes and apparel if you left yours at home.
- Looking to see the sights? Take a walking tour around the city to get an up-close glimpse of all that your destination has to offer while racking up the miles. Rent a bike to enjoy some local flair or take a hike to connect with nature.
- Interested in new experiences? Traveling is about experiencing things you don’t usually get to do at home. Enjoy the opportunities that are there for the taking at your destination. Ziplining, kayaking, paddleboarding, golf and horseback riding are more than just fun. They get your heart pumping and your body moving.
Even if you decide you don’t feel like sticking to your usual exercise routine while away, you’ll likely be getting in a lot more activity than you realize because people rarely plan vacations to sit around doing nothing all day long. Wherever you’re headed this summer, just remember to have fun while you’re on the move!