Health Nut: Working out on Vacation

By Kelly Turner

Photo at right: Don’t return home from vacation wearing elastic waist pants. Pack your bag with a few pieces of exercise equipment. ©Chach Photography


Traveling is all about packing a bag and setting out on an adventure with no itinerary, no appointments and no schedule. Vacations are a time to relax and take a time out from your daily responsibilities. In the spirit of that, your workouts are usually the first to go.

It’s a shame really. Most often people complain they don’t have enough time to work out during their busy days, so it seems crazy that while on vacation your workouts would fall by the wayside.

Don’t end your trip on a low-note by returning home bloated, sluggish and wearing elastic waist pants. Get in your workouts, even while traveling. How? It depends on how much fun you want to have while doing it.

If you enjoy a structured workout, wake up an hour early and get it in. Always write out your workouts before you hit the road so you know exactly what to do and just get it done. Resistance bands are a great piece of equipment for traveling. They weigh next to nothing and are versatile enough to create resistance for almost any exercise.

Want to know my favorite exercise accessory for travel? Your own sweet bod. You can’t forget it at home, you always have it with you and it has everything you need to kick its own butt. Body weight exercises like squats, crunches, and pushups can be done anywhere.

However, if sets and reps aren’t your thing, at least not while on vacation, don’t worry about it. You can still get in enough physical activity to keep you on track without taking any time away from your trip.

When your days are free of work and responsibilities, and you are in a new location for the sole purpose of recreation, take advantage of active pursuits. Rent a bike and ride around town. Plan a day hike, complete with tons of healthy snacks, to conquer the area’s local highest peak. Walk around town and window shop or take a guided walking tour. Go for a run on the local trails and take pictures. Warm weather vacations are the perfect time to try new water sports and cold weather vacations are prime time to test out your snow-sport skills.

Doesn’t that sound like more fun than doing crunches on a grimy hotel carpet?

Kelly Turner is a professional fitness writer from Seattle. Her no-nonsense, practical advice has been featured on,, Yahoo! Shine, and she has a regular fitness column in The Seattle Times. Follow her on Twitter @KellyTurnerFit.