Exercise is a key factor in managing stress, maintaining vitality, and staying young. Even though working out on vacation isn’t always easy, getting in a workout while traveling or visiting a relative doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether it is a weekend trip to Maine or a two-week cruise to Florida, here are six useful tips to make working out easy on vacation

1. Plan Ahead Of Time

Just as a vacation would be planned out ahead of time, a workout plan should be prepared in advance, too. Planning involves both mentally preparing an “exercise mindset” and bringing workout equipment to allow success.

Set big picture and specific goals for your workout regimen. Big picture goals are goals to keep in the back of your mind, goals that are assessed at the end of the trip. Specific goals are daily reminders that help achieve the desired big picture. For example, a good big picture goal would be to make fitness part of the daily routine, and this big picture goal can be paired with the specific goal of taking a 10-minute walk after each meal.

Physically preparing is equally important. If possible bring portable equipment on your trip. For example, jump ropes, mini muscle rollers, yoga mats, or lightweight dumbells are easy items to bring on your trip.

2. Walk When You Can

Walking is a great way to sneak in a workout during vacation. Invest in a pedometer or a step tracking phone application, and count how many steps are taken. A good goal to maintain is 10,000 steps. 10,000 steps may be difficult while on vacation so around 7,000 to 9,000 should be fine. Use this as a specific goal. A couple ways to achieve this would be to walk instead of taking a cab or even take the stairs instead of an elevator.

3. Incorporate the Workout Into the Vacation

Incorporating active events into the itinerary, makes the vacation a sneaky workout. Many cities offer bike rentals – rent out a bike and explore the city. If the vacation is to a mountain town or more suburban area, take a hike on a new path. Swimming at the beach or enjoying the hotel gym and pool are also good ways to sneak in a workout. For the especially adventurous vacationers, kayaking, mountain biking, and skiing are great workouts as well. Golf is another great option – especially if you walk instead of using a golf cart!

4. Set a Time to Meet Minimum Exercise Goals

Break out that jump rope prepared from earlier. This is a tip for when incorporating a workout in the itinerary is just not possible. Set a time each day for a 15-minute workout. Workouts can consist of yoga, abdominal circuits, planks, and even stretching. Setting a time is important because it holds the exerciser accountable for working out each day.

5. Practice the Routine at Home

This tip works with planning ahead and setting a specific time each day. Time is the most valuable commodity on vacation. Spending 15 or 30 minutes working out should be as efficient as possible. This is why practicing exactly how the workout is going to go is important.

6. Do Not Overdo It

Although sneaking in a workout during vacation is highly rewarding, don’t forget that it is still vacation. Planning on getting 50-70% of the daily normal exercise is perfectly fine.

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