Escape and Stay in Shape

How to keep fit while you’re on vacation.

By: Dan Welden

Has the cold weather confined you to your tiny apartment? Although you may make brief trips to the gym to ogle buff guys, you find yourself desperately needing to escape the anxiety cloud looming over you. In the mornings, as you prepare to venture into the frozen wasteland of the city and try to wash away an expression of dread, the warm splash of water across your face floods your mind with thoughts of waves crashing on a sunny beach. So you pull out your phone and book the first flight to Puerto Vallarta.

Sure, that vacation sounds amazing, but you can’t neglect your workout routine as easily as your New York City responsibilities. Here are six ways to make sure you stay in shape on your great escape.

1. Research fitness facilities. When booking a hotel, remember that not all fitness centers are the same. Some may offer on-staff personal trainers and group fitness classes.

2. Utilize those beaches. Not only will you get a great tan, the sand creates a naturally unstable surface that can add a unique level of intensity to your exercises, such as one-leg toe-touches or one-leg standing calf-raises. Running on the beach can also be more challenging than running on a treadmill.

3. Walk everywhere. If the area is safe and the weather is nice, avoid public transit and taxis. By staying active for your entire vacation, you’ll also be exploring the city in a way that most tourists don’t. Tours are always nice, but consider participating in more active excursions like kayaking or hiking through the jungle.

4. Watch what you eat. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy yourself, but pay attention to what’s fried or creamy. You may want to indulge while on vacation, but you’ll regret those bad decisions later when you step on the scale. Plus, who wants to hit the bars or lay half-naked on the beach while feeling bloated and gassy? 

5. Drink wisely. Nothing makes me feel more relaxed than sucking down a frozen piña colada with my feet in the pool. However, that sugary goodness can stick around the waistline far longer than those memories you won’t be able to remember anyway. If you can handle shots, knock one back and then sip water or green tea.

6. Let loose. While dancing the night away, you’ll burn a ton of calories and forget about all the stress awaiting you back home.