Vacations can be a time to escape from the routine, relax, and avoid your usual everyday chores. You can spend more time on yourself, doing things that you enjoy. This includes working out! However, although most of us have the most noble intentions, how many times have you packed your sneakers and taken up valuable suitcase real-estate only to not so much as glance at them once you get to your destination? In the past, I have.
Now that working out and doing activity every single day has become second-nature to me, it’s only fitting that I get some activity in even while on vacation. Last week I went to Los Angeles for a little long-weekend getaway and I managed to workout every single day. That, for me, was an accomplishment. I had a packed schedule, trying to fit every must-see LA site into 3 quick days, and still managed to make time for myself as well.
If there is ever a time to keep up with your workouts, it’s on vacation! Of course vacation comes along with eating out at restaurants, and alcohol, and a little extra indulgence, so it’s even more important to keep exercising to cancel out the inevitable additional calories.
I stayed at the gorgeous W Hollywood Hotel, which happens to have quite an amazing gym, called “Sweat.” There’s an open gym area with yoga mats, exercise balls, a punching bag and free weights, which I took full advantage of. I pulled up the Tone It Up videos on my phone and did the routines in this space.
The night that I arrived in LA, I did a quick 3-mile treadmill run. The treadmills faced a full-length window with views of the Hollywood hills. Yeah, not a bad view.
Besides being in the gym, I also worked activity into my sightseeing adventures. LA is known for it’s famous Runyon Canyon hiking trails, where all the celebrities hike with their dogs and trainers. So, we headed there early one morning before the trails got crowded. Unfortunately, no star spottings, but the views were amazing, and it was so refreshing to be out in nature. The hills are steep and my glutes got a great workout.
View from the top of Runyon Canyon, you can just make out the LA skyline in the distance:
Besides hitting the gym and hiking the canyon, I also found some time to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu one evening to watch an amazing sunset on the water…
…visited The Getty Museum and was delighted to find that they had a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit on display. The view from The Getty is breathtaking as well…
…drove through Beverly Hills and did some window shopping and had lunch on Rodeo Drive…
So, how did I motivate myself to workout while on vacation? Try the following:
- Research, research, research! Especially if you are going someplace that you have never been. I live in Florida and have never been to LA so I was completely clueless in regards to the popularity of hiking the canyons. Who would have thought that there would be hiking trails in the middle of a huge city!? Not me. Luckily, I searched Yelp.com for “Outdoor Activities” in the LA area. Try it! When I traveled to Puerto Rico two years ago I stumbled across bioluminescent bay kayaking the same way.
- Find out which amenities your hotel/rental home has before you leave. I thoroughly researched my hotel’s gym and knew that they offered treadmills so I could run on those, and I knew they had an exercise area with space to do your own workouts with free weights, so I printed out some Tone It Up routines to take with me and do in the open area [I actually forgot to pack the printouts, so I improvised and pulled them up on my phone once I got there].
- If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, or you’re visiting a friend or family member’s house, pack your own jump rope and/or resistance band. Then, Google workouts for these two pieces of equipment, and do them in your room.
- Search MapMyRun.com for running routes wherever you are traveling. Other runners did the dirty work of finding a good route, just go ahead and follow it! Make sure to bring all your usual necessities, like an armband to hold your phone, and your headphones.
- Research public bike rental availability. Last spring Beth and I went to Paris and although it was too cold [for us] to enjoy the city by bike, we had looked into the bike rentals beforehand and knew it was an option. How great is it that Paris has automatic “bike stations” around the city where you pick up a bike, pay a few euro, and return it at another bike station? More cities should implement this!
- Let your best friend/boyfriend/family/whoever you are traveling with know in advance that you plan on being active for at least an hour a day. This gives them a heads up that you’ll need some time to yourself each day and they can plan accordingly, or choose to join you. It’s easiest to get a gym workout in in the morning so you get it out of the way first thing before you get distracted. My travel partners know what to expect of me now. When in Paris, Beth joined me on a run to the Eiffel Tower [she wasn't a runner at the time, but is becoming one more and more each day!], on a trip to New Orleans last year my friend Lindsey decided to take a nap whenever I felt the need to shoot over to the gym for a quick treadmill run, and my friend Jessica joined me for 2 of my workouts in LA, and got her hair blown out instead on our last day. [Side note: amazing blow-dry bar in Hollywood: Blo]
- If there is a pool wherever you are staying, take advantage of this and do some laps to change up your routine! If there is an ocean or lake, do the same.
- Be sure to check the weather in your destination city before you leave so that you can bring the appropriate clothing needed.
- Beach nearby? Look into surfing lessons. In the mountains? Snowboard, ski, or take some lessons if you’re new to the sport. All of these activities are fun and a good workout at the same time. Take advantage of your new surroundings!