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Exercising on vacation while still enjoying your vacation

How can you fit in exercise on vacation without ruining your vacation? I share tips in this post!

One of my favorite parts of traveling to new places is getting to run somewhere new. I love exploring a new location by foot since I usually see things I wouldn’t necessarily see while doing normal tourist things! While I love planning my vacation runs, I know for many people, it doesn’t always sound pleasant to workout while you’re supposed to be relaxing.

How to exercise on vacation

Hopefully this post gives you some ideas of how you might exercise on vacation and still enjoy your vacation. And while many of us aren’t taking the vacations we had planned due to COVID, there are still road trips and staycations to be had. And you can stay active on those too.

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation | runner in chautaqua park boulder colorado

 

Tips for Exercising on Vacation

1. Recognize non-traditional exercise

If you’re visiting a place that’s walkable, walk! Remember that you’ll likely walk a lot more just from sightseeing than you do in your day to day life! We walked all over Dublin and never thought of it as exercise.

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

I didn’t work out once when I went to the Terranea Resort, but I loved the daily morning walks with Tommy!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

And exploring a new town or city is so much more fun by foot — or bike! You’ll see a city in a way that you’d never see by car. You can usually rent bikes in large cities, and some small ones too.

afoodiestaysfit bike tour boulder

If you like golfing, play 9 or 18 holes with your loved ones. You’ll definitely get a workout if you walk rather than use a cart!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

And remember that you may be active in ways you don’t even realize get your heart rate going. Even playing with nieces and nephews count! (This is a photo from 10 years ago when I first shared tips for staying active on vacation! Those boys have changed a LOT since then!! So have I, ha!)

working out while traveling

2. Exercise with others

Tommy and I sometimes run together while we’re on vacation. This was one of my favorite memories from our trip to Palm Beach last year. Trust me, it isn’t his favorite thing in the world. But it’s a fun way to spend time together and he (usually) thanks me afterwards. (If you want to improve your running, get on the waitlist for my running course that is re-opening for enrollment next week!)

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

That run in Palm Beach kicked off something bigger. Later that year, he later ran the BolderBoulder 10K and the American Fork Half Marathon!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

When I travel to a place where friends live or am meeting friends there, I always try to fit in a run with them. (Assuming at least one of them is a runner!) I had a great time exploring Boulder, Colorado, with Jonathan and Amanda last year.

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

When I visit my family in Utah, at least one hike is always on the agenda!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

I’ve even gone to a running camp! This vacation is designed entirely around running and I LOVED it. Hopefully these camps return next year!!

Zap Endurance Running camp

Note: while working out with others on vacation is awesome, I’m also big advocate for taking solo vacations. Those vacations often make for my best runs. No schedule to stick to, no one to meet, just me. (This will be harder to pull off when we have a baby but I’m hoping I can eventually get back into that tradition!)

3. Recognize how good exercising makes you feelย 

Traveling, especially long distances, can be really taxing on your body. One of the best things I do for myself is stretching and going on a walk when I get to my destination. After sitting in a car or on an airplane, I just need to move.

And once I’m settled into my vacation spot, I look forward to exploring the area each with a morning run or walk! Think of it as something you get to do, rather than something you have to do.

afoodiestaysfit running in boulder

Another perk? Exercise can help with the travel gut woes. When I’m traveling somewhere new, I often have a little bit of a hard time adjusting to the food and my digestive system gets upset. I LOVE to eat local food and try new things, but that doesn’t always bode well. Staying active seems to improve that! I didn’t get an upset stomach once while I was in Ireland and I ate a LOT of food!!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

4. Try something new

This can be especially fun when you’re somewhere with new-to-you workout classes! I love visiting yoga studios or CrossFit. If you don’t have a climbing gym or cycle studio in your town, visit one during your trip. Or hey, goat yoga anyone?

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

If you like hiking, try a new trail each day!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

hiking

fire tower boone nc

 

5. Relax!

And if you don’t workout, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s MORE than okay to rest. A rest day may be just what you need to help you crush your workouts when you get home. Remember that recovery is an important part of effective training, so maybe hit up the spa for a massage instead!

hit up the spa for a massage

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashley
    at

    Such a cute little vacation recap and great ideas about working out or just being active while away from home. I know what you mean about trying to spend as much time as possible with the family. Vacations at home always go waaay too fast and there are always too many people to visit + catch up with. Glad you had fun though..you are adorable!! Love all of your outfits. I want to see your shoes + hat too!! xoxo

  • Reply
    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    at

    Thank you for posting my post : ) I’d be happy to do it again!

    I try to exercise on vacation, but it’s usually not a priority. This past vacation it didn’t make it in my agenda. Oh well, the trip was fun nevertheless!
    .-= Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]´s last blog ..Vegan for a Day + GIVEAWAY! =-.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    at

    Wow, you were hard at work all vacation!!! LOL. Looks like you had a wonderful time! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Just a Typical Tuesday =-.

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    at

    I’m so much more active on vacations than I am at home. At home I’m sitting at my desk from 7 to 6:30. On vacation, I like to see as much of a city/country as I can with the time I have. So I’ll get up early and explore all day. When my friends and I went to Rome, I think we walked 15 miles a day exploring the city and sights!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries
    at

    Love this post because I love to see pics ๐Ÿ™‚ Your family is precious and I’m so glad you had fun. Welcome back!

  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    at

    i try to by either actually working out, swimming in the ocean, skiing, or just walking everywhere i can!
    .-= Heather (Heather’s Dish)´s last blog ..I Just Havenโ€™t Met You Yet =-.

  • Reply
    Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather
    at

    So true that you probably move way more than you normally would. I have a desk job too and love it when I can spend all day walking around on vacations. Looks like you had a great time!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    at

    What great pics! Such cute little kiddos ๐Ÿ™‚

    When me and hubs go on vacay, there is NO WAY I can even begin to convince him to skip a workout. That man will go for a run after a late night out, while I’m still in bed in half a coma. Because of that, if I’m in the frame of mind, I usually will hit the gym with him and at the very least get in a bit of cardio. Sometimes I even bring my yoga DVDs and squeeze that in. I feel like a slacker if I don’t ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries
    at

    I agree, the trampoline is definitely exercise!! Adorable picture of you and your niece. Looks like you had a wonderful trip!
    .-= Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries´s last blog ..almond joyful =-.

  • Reply
    Tina
    at

    I agree with all of these tips! I don’t ever stress myself to keep up with traditional workouts during vacation. I rest more from focused exercise, but I know I a more active with all the activity I do on vacation. It all balances out and it’s good for the body and the mind. Glad you had a great time!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter
    at

    This is definitely how I exercise when I’m on vacation. When I was in AZ with my parents I went on a hike, went to my mom’s zumba classes, went to the biggest mall I have ever been to and conquered it and rode bikes too. I was only having fun and I didn’t gain any weight even though there were scones, red velvet cake and lots of bread!
    .-= Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter´s last blog ..Shopping and Saving Part 1 =-.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    at

    My vacations usually have some activities planned that include exercise. Hiking, sight seeing. I use the hotel gym if I need to.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Pesto Delish Dish =-.

  • Reply
    highonhealthy
    at

    I do exercise while on vacation but I usually tone it down a bit. Most of the time I’m exercising because without it, my day feels off. It helps lift my mood. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the tips! They were great.
    .-= highonhealthy´s last blog ..I swear Iโ€™m not blonde. =-.

  • Reply
    Samantha @ Foodedu
    at

    I like to exercise on vacation, but I don’t make it a priority. All the tips you suggested are excellent–all the moving and sight seeing probably adds up to a lot of exercise itself!
    .-= Samantha @ Foodedu´s last blog ..Looking for "Crystal" =-.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Health on the Run
    at

    This is a great post!! When you’re on vacation, you shouldn’t stress about missing a few workouts. In the long run, you’re going to regret skipping out on time with your family (or exploring whatever area you’re visit), than skipping out on a workout….or 7. And you make a really good point that just moving more than you are used to is a form of exercise. Also, I love that you can run with your mom! I used to run with my parents a lot (before both of them had to stop running for different reasons) and I loved having that time to catch up with them.

    Looks like you had a really great trip! I love all the pictures…your niece and nephews are SO cute…and I really like both dresses you’re wearing! ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Lauren @ Health on the Run´s last blog ..Donโ€™t Judge a Food By Its Health Claim =-.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    at

    Aww how cute are your nephews?! And I love your hair! Glad you had a nice trip and stayed active without actually having to work out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Gracie @ Girl Meets Health
    at

    I LOVE your take on exercising while on vacation. I especially agree with the fact that we’re generally more active while on vacation that we would be on a normal day anyway. Like you, I work at a desk all day. So lately – instead of trying to burn “x” amount of calories – I just try to GET MOVING! Our ancestors didn’t think “oh my gosh I didn’t burn enough calories today,” they just enjoyed life…and being active was part of that! Okay, now I’m going off on a tangent ๐Ÿ˜› But the further I go on my “healthy lifestyle” journey, the more laid back my view of exercise becomes…so I naturally love this post !
    .-= Gracie @ Girl Meets Health´s last blog ..slow it down. =-.

  • Reply
    Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker
    at

    CUTE dress! And I do exercise on vacation. Usually I take it easier and enjoy myself more with different activities (like kayaking and biking). ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker´s last blog ..Grilled EVERYTHING =-.

  • Reply
    andi
    at

    wonderful thoughts and tips! one of my gems is to not be afraid to cut it short–we exercised most days on our honeymoon, but halved what we normally did. and ditto above, super cute dress! ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= andi´s last blog ..hey hey, married lady. =-.

  • Reply
    Nichole
    at

    Clearly you waxed me on working out while on vacation, lol. I had the best of intentions. Mornings I managed to swim and run, but the afternoon I managed to swim…up to the pool bar. Ahh…when in Rome or wherever. Sneaking it in is important though. Pics are awesome!

  • Reply
    claire
    at

    I am just catching up now but love all the ways you talked about to keep active while on vacation. I do a TON of walking on vacation usually and try to fit in a little running when possible for some quick cardio. I ran only one mile while in philly over the weekend when I had ten extra minutes to go down to the gym. I didn’t care though since I walked miles each day. Relaxation is definitely more important to yourself and those you are with though.

    Sounds like a fun trip!
    .-= claire´s last blog ..quick & sweet =-.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    at

    These are all such great tips! My husband and I love to go on a morning run while on vacation to get our bearings and explore the new city. We’ve done it everywhere from Austin to Washington DC to Paris!

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