Summer time is synonymous with vacations. With kids out of school, it is prime time for families to travel, and is a traditional time for people without young kids to go on trips because of nice weather conditions.
Though we often find ourselves rested and rejuvenated after a relaxing vacation, we at times find that perhaps we gained a few pounds and lost a bit of endurance when we try to get back to our exercise routines. I mean, who can blame you? It is vacation after all!
However, it is important to note that even a week’s time of rest can result in increased joint pain, lethargy, and edema in lower extremities due to increased levels of inactivity and poor eating habits. To help keep you feeling good throughout the dog days of summer, here are tips for staying active while on vacation.
Beach Vacations: walk up and down the beach once every hour, walk to go out and site see/to eat rather than take transportation, participate in resort exercise classes, utilize the gym at the resort/hotel, make it a goal to get outside and move at least once per day.
Walk to go out to sight-see or to eat rather than take transportation.
When heading out to enjoy the local sights and cuisine, walk to the destination rather than take public transportation. Simply incorporating walking throughout your day will help with circulation, muscle strength, and joint flexibility. You will also save money not taking a cab or an Uber to go everywhere! Tip: Going on a walk after a meal will aid in digestion and prevent that sluggish feeling that follows a big meal so you can continue to enjoy your evening!
Enjoying a beach or poolside vacation?
Make an effort to get up and walk a couple of times throughout the day if you are on vacation primarily to relax and unwind. Ideally, getting up once every hour is great, but if you are enjoying a long nap by the poolside then just make an effort to get up out of that chair a couple of times per day. Bonus if you actually get yourself up to get a beverage with a little umbrella in it yourself, rather than having the poolside waitresses/waiters get it for you (though there is nothing wrong with that)!
Exercise in the water.
If you are enjoying a vacation by the water, you can do some simple exercises in the pool! The water itself provides light resistance that is good for building muscle without significant strain on your joints. Plus, the buoyancy of the water relieves pressure throughout your joints, which will prevent increased joint pain from resulting. Some simple exercises you can try include forward/backwards walking, lunges, squats, arm punches (under water), and of course swimming!
Engage in local tourist attractions involving activity.
From heavier more intense activities such as water skiing and hiking to gentler exercises such as paddle boats and walks through a local park, wherever you are vacationing there are likely local attractions to spend some time outdoors. If you’re somewhere in the mountains or surrounded by forests, look for local hiking trails to walk on and enjoy the natural landscape. If you are vacationing near water, then there are likely several options for participating in water sports such as snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking. Aside from floating in the pool, water sports are a great way to stay active while taking in all your vacation destination has to offer. Bonus points if you visit a local site that also provides education and history on the local culture!
Exercise Classes at Resorts/Fitness Gyms at Hotels
In today’s world, most hotels and resorts have a fitness center on location. From treadmills to weight-lifting equipment to stationary bicycles, there is usually a variety of equipment available to use and help you stay on track with your fitness goals. Many all-inclusive resorts offer exercise classes taught by resort staff. Water aerobics, yoga, and Zumba are fun ways to stay active on vacation while having fun and getting to know new people at the same time!