Make Fitness Part of Your Travel Plans
  -- By Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer

You may have read our article on easy exercises for when you are on vacation, but there is more to it than that. There are so many different vacations out there; exercise cannot be the same for each one. Would you exercise the same way on the beach as you would in the Smokey Mountains? Probably not, so here is some help for vacations at different places with different people.

Going to the beach seems to be a favorite of many. We know it’s so easy to just lie in the sand all day, sip margaritas, and forget about physical activity, but there is plenty of exercise you can do. First, there is the ocean. Swimming is possible, but fighting the waves, either with your body, boogie board or surf board, is great for working your core and your balance. If you go with family, especially kids, then playing games on the beach is great. Bring a baseball and glove, a football, a Frisbee, or anything else you can use to play a game. Clear out some room on the sand and enjoy.

Cruise ships are also great because most come equipped with a weight room. While these may not be as extensive as the gym you are used to at home, you can get the same complete workout as you would anyway. Take advantage of this. Also, cruise ships have pools, where you can do water exercises.

Some vacations are exercise trips and no additional fitness routines are really needed. Good examples are skiing, hiking and whitewater rafting. Not only are these strenuous activities, but you usually spend all day doing them. You are getting all the exercise you need.

Another couple of vacations are either visiting a big city, like New York City or Chicago, or going to visit family or friends. A great way to exercise and take advantage of your surroundings is walking or running. Not only are you getting in good aerobic exercise, but you are taking in the sites of the city. If you are visiting family, maybe hop on a couple of bikes and let your host show you around the town.

Finally, how about getting to your vacation destination and back? Some of us spend an entire day either driving of flying to our destinations. Some of us even spend a couple of days getting there. Here are a few exercises you can try in the car or the plane, or at a rest stop:

  • Stretching
  • Use a stress/squeeze ball
  • Crunches, how depending on your seating arrangement
  • At a rest stop: pushups, jumping jacks, jumping jump rope, or sprints (should stretch beforehand)
  • Calf raises, even if you are sitting
  • Try using ankle weights or an exercise band.


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