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As we’re already more than halfway through the year, hopefully you have a great vacation planned, or already went on one this year and are thinking about how to use the rest of your time off. While your vacation should be about taking a break from the daily grind, relaxing, and catching up with family and friends, we know that you didn’t spend hours in the gym all year long just to sit on your duff and look good in your swimsuit for one week on the beach. To make sure you don’t lose your lean muscle gains, go soft, or gain weight on vacation, here are a few tips to keep in mind while planning your time off so you stay fit and healthy while traveling:
1. Choose a hotel or resort with fitness options.
It’s rare that a hotel doesn’t have a gym available, but a great gym or fitness facility that you’re excited to use will make you more likely to work out on vacation. Look for a place that has a sick modern facility with the latest fitness equipment, like the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, or a beautiful yoga studio like the Yoga Journey room at the Wyndham Boca Raton, Fla., where locals frequently take classes at the hotel’s studio or outdoors at a local park. Some hotel chains, like The Westin, provide services like a running route and borrowing of clothes and sneakers so you can pack lighter.
2. Schedule a few fitness sessions in advance.
You know how good it feels to have your butt kicked by a new fitness instructor or trainer? Channel that same experience when you travel by scheduling a session or two with a local personal trainer while you’re on vacation. You can contact the hotel’s concierge or spa and inquire about one-on-one services or partnerships they have with local gyms. We’re fans of the Acqualina Spa by ESPA’s selection of services and tried out a private yoga session on the beach in Miami recently. (Nothing says relaxation like a few sun salutations under rustling palm trees while looking out on the beautiful ocean–see video below!) The Acqualina resort has a ton of health and wellness services available, including health coaching, mat Pilates, running training, or a boot camp workout. Even if your hotel doesn’t offer these services at their facility, chances are, if you call ahead they’ll be able to recommend personal trainers in the area who will train you in a local park or beach, or you can inquire about gyms that offer day and week passes if you’re looking for specific classes. If you don’t want to spend the money on a trainer, schedule a few workout sessions into your smartphone calendar so you know you’ve got your cardio and weightlifting workouts covered. (Have reminders pop up on your phone the night before your scheduled so you don’t forget!)
3. Book a fitness-specific trip.
If you want to come back from your destination fitter and healthier than before, plan a trip at a destination that will challenge you and give you access to top-notch trainers. You can go to a one-stop all-inclusive active resort like Red Mountain Resort in Utah, which has tons of fitness classes in addition to outdoor adventures like canyoneering, hiking and rock climbing. Or a beach resort that will help you address health, fitness, weight loss or adventure goals, like The Body Holiday in St. Lucia, which has all-inclusive programs that put fitness, nutrition and a lifestyle goals at the forefront of your vacation experience. A new fitness and travel company, Ketanga Fitness Retreats, organizes active vacations that are led by some of the biggest names in fitness. Ketanga’s trips are in beautiful destinations and have a variety of fitness initiatives, like a fitness retreat and competition in Barbados, running programs in Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, even a boxing and salsa boot camp in Puerto Rico. Check out our “The Fit Girl’s Summer Getaway Guide” feature on page 77 of the July/August issue of Muscle & Fitness Hers for more fitness destination ideas.
4. Pamper yourself.
While you’re scheduling in these vacation workouts, give yourself a reward incentive for sticking with your workouts, like a massage or spa session. After a recent trip Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, Fla., we scheduled a relaxing massage as a reward for running the beach in the mornings and sticking to our workout routine. Getting massages can not only help reduce muscle soreness and aid recovery for athletes, but science says it’s likely to improve your mood and reduce anxiety, all of which are fantastic reasons for you to indulge in one or more on your vacation. If you don’t want to shell out money for a spa service, take advantage of all relaxing options your resort offers, like hot tubs, steam rooms, and any relaxation rooms that might be available to hotel guests.