Summer is here and that means your summer vacation is probably right around the corner. While vacation presents the perfect opportunity to rest, relax and let go, it can also lead to a departure from your healthy diet and exercise habits. However, this does not always have to be the case (at least as far as exercise is concerned)!
Hailee Wingfield, MA, CISSN, ACSM EP-C, GFI, AHC, a fitness specialist with WakeMed’s Healthworks Fitness & Wellness Center, gives us helpful advice on how to exercise and stay fit while traveling far from home.
1. Use Your Body Weight – Never underestimate the power of your own body weight. You can do squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and dips in your hotel room. No equipment is needed!
2. Pack Resistance Bands/Tubing – Resistance bands and tubes can be purchased at pretty much any sporting goods store and can easily be rolled up and packed in your suitcase. Buy the kind that has handles, and choose the resistance level that is right for you. Use them in your hotel room to do bicep curls, squats and other resistance training exercises.
3. Cardio in Place – Bring your jump rope, and jump rope in your room. If your room is not large enough, pretend to jump rope, jog in place or do jumping jacks. These are all great cardiovascular activities.
4. Use the Hotel Fitness Center – Before booking your trip, do your research, and ensure that you choose a hotel, motel or resort that offers a gym or fitness center. Remember that not all of them do! By doing your research ahead of time, you will be setting yourself up for success.
5. Use the Pool – If your hotel or resort offers a pool, use it for relaxation and exercise. Swim laps or do water aerobics.
6. Use Your Surroundings – If you have traveled to the beach, walk or jog in the sand, and enjoy the ocean view in the meantime. Or have fun while you exercise by playing sports – volleyball, soccer, football – on the beach with your family and friends. If you have traveled to the mountains, use the hiking trails, and hike together as a family or group of friends.
7. Pack the Necessary Supplies – It’s easy to not exercise if you forget to pack your weather-appropriate athletic clothing, tennis shoes, socks and water bottle. Make sure to put these items at the top of your packing list! Also, be sure to throw in your armband for your iPod or iPhone if you enjoy listening to music while you exercise.
Finally, there are many resorts across North Carolina and the United States that specialize in offering getaways that are centered around fitness and wellness. If you know you want to go on vacation, but are not yet sure where to go, do an internet search on “wellness retreats” and see if this might be a fit for you!