April is finally here and you may be counting down the days to a spring vacation or already planning a summer getaway. It’s always so good for the mind and body to take a break from work and go play. Many of my clients tell me they love to travel, but they have anxiety about gaining weight and missing their workouts while on vacation. Not to worry, though, you can go on vacay without packing your resistance bands and still get in plenty of activity. Just follow these three tips.
1. Walk as much as you can
It’s so easy to walk when you’re on a trip. Whether you’re headed to the beach, a big city, or the mountains, it’s easy to take a stroll. Beach walks are great for the hips, thighs, buttocks, and abs. City walking is one of the best ways to take in a new town or discover something different about a place you may have already visited. Mountain hikes are picturesque and beautiful and, depending on the incline, they can be a great way to help burn off vacation food. I ate my fair share of pasta, pizza, and gelato in Italy on my honeymoon years ago and I surprisingly didn’t gain a pound because of all the walking my husband and I did. And skip the moving walkways in the airport, too!
2. Try a local activity
If you’re heading to the beach, sign up for some snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, or surfing. At the beach you can swim, play in the waves, build sandcastles, and gather people together for some beach volleyball. In a city you can find a place to dance the night away, go on a museum tour, explore a park, or take the stairs. (My husband and I climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris one summer vacation!) In the mountains, you can hike, ski, snowshoe, or go horseback riding. I’m heading home to Idaho for spring break and my family will be doing some spring skiing. I never think of skiing as exercise, it’s just way too much fun. Find something that feels like play—and not like a workout—and you’ll spend more time doing it.
3. Cook in a few nights
Cooking can be a lot more active than sitting at a restaurant. As much fun as it is to eat out on vacation, it’s also great to explore the local farmer’s markets or gourmet grocery stores and prepare your own meal. Shopping, prepping, and cooking a meal requires energy. If you’re stuck in a hotel room, you can still go to a local shop and get your own wine, cheese, bread, and dips and prepare your own little in room picnic. You could also sign up for a cooking class wherever your destination is.
Kristin McGee is a leading yoga and Pilates instructor and healthy lifestyle expert based in New York City. She is an ACE certified personal trainer who regularly trains celebrity clients in New York and Los Angeles. She serves as Health’s contributing fitness editor and is frequently seen on national TV. Her latest in a large collection of fitness DVDs is YogaSlim. Follow her on Twitter @KristinMcGee and like her page on Facebook.
Related: The 10 Most Slimming Vacations