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How to Incorporate Exercise on your next Vacation

Being the exercise enthusiast that I am, incorporating exercise into a vacation plan has not only become a routine procedure, but it is also a priority of mine. Exercise and vacations are synonymous with me. I look forward to vacations, in part, because they allow me more time to follow this passion – this healthy, stress reducing, confidence boosting, improved mind-body relationship, habit-forming activity. And over the years, I have noticed that exercise has become more accessible and popular to the vacationer and the traveler alike.

If your vacation destination includes large bodies of water, than that immediately becomes the perfect backdrop for exercise. Walking, jogging, or running along a sandy beach is a safer alternative than pounding the pavement, for those so inclined, as a sandy beach offers more cushioning to protect your joints from the rigors of running. And running on sand offers a better workout, as sand or soft ground “gives,” meaning the surface will actually “collapse” with each foot strike, requiring that much more effort to the runner or walker to produce the next stride. Multiply this effort by several minutes, kilometers or miles, and the net result is a slightly more difficult workout, which, ironically, is kinder and gentler to the body. And how can one ignore the view that a beachfront property or resort can offer?

Continuing on this theme, swimming, surfing, wind surfing and canoeing are all excellent exercise choices, which do not require gym memberships, or waiting for available exercise equipment to be freed-up, and are relatively inexpensive exercise options.

Hotels today have become extremely creative and accommodating to the exercise inclined vacationer. Many hotels offer cable TV, complete with fitness channels, exercise DVD’s (including the DVD player, of course!) for weight lifting, running, yoga, Pilates and other popular exercise options. Other hotels have exercise dedicated rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, bicycles for rent, and more. Hotels chains, such as Westin, include in-room exercise equipment for a nominal fee. Other hotels, such as Manhattan’s Affina Dumont, will arrange for specific exercise equipment to be delivered to your door. Very intriguing room service, if you ask me!

If setting sail on a cruise ship is to your liking, than consider the fitness amenities the QE II, the granddaddy of cruise ships, has to offer: 3 swimming pools, 2 on-deck Jacuzzis, 4 dance floors, fitness center, golf driving range and putting green, health spa, paddle and table tennis, and shuffleboard. The list is seemingly endless! It would, in all probability, be difficult NOT to become fit on a cruise liner such as this, if it weren’t for the profusion of food and drink available.

If your preference is a vacation in the mountains, than you have a myriad of exercise options, including skiing, hiking, biking, swimming, rock climbing, canoeing, hunting and sight seeing. There is enough of a variance to please a group large or small, from demanding toddlers, to senior citizens.

Whatever your exercise preferences are, including them into you vacation plans is not only a simplistic endeavor to accomplish, but it promises to yield a more enjoyable, healthier and social vacation. If you’re not athletically inclined, or are attempting to lose weight or get into shape, than you may characterize the planning and inclusion of exercise into your vacation as “work.” But I, on the other hand, would prefer to consider it a working vacation.