If you’re like me, you’ve been working hard to get into your best shape for summer, looking forward to beach vacations and maybe even a trip abroad. But when we spend time away from our homes and our routines, we risk losing our fitness momentum. I never want the results of all those days of training to disappear from my body, but if I’m not careful, they can — and it happens fast! For me, preparing for vacation is about more than just hitting the gym — I also need to think in advance about how I’ll keep up my fitness and balance healthy eating with a few deserved indulgences. Here are my tips on how to stay in shape while on vacation.
Keep it structured
If you’re the type of person who enjoys finding a local gym or popular studio workout, decide before you leave for your trip when and where you’ll work out. If you’re going for a class, make sure you secure your spot in advance so you don’t have to stress about getting in on the fly. This works for anyone who feels like he or she needs time in a gym. I am not that person. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fitness-based vacation (I just did an awesome XPT training trip with Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton). However, if I’m exploring a place like Paris, you will not find me remotely close to any gym or studio. Period. If you’re like me, I recommend…
Incorporate fitness into your activities
When I travel, I love to walk around to see the sights — and rack up steps on my fitness tracker. Walking burns calories, keeps my metabolism revved up and, when coupled with a full day of drinking water, leaves me feeling great without having to hit the studio for a class. Whenever I’m walking up stairs, I always take them two at a time to engage my glutes more and give my quads an extra little pump. (Be sure to bring sneakers on your trip — you will definitely use them!)
You can squeeze in moments of fitness at unexpected times. Believe it or not, when I stretch in the shower for a couple extra minutes in the hot water, I get out feeling like I just did a yoga class. Try pumping out a few push-ups against the tile wall, then reaching up for a full body stretch. Or try my favorite neck stretch: Drop your chin to your chest, turn your head slowly to the right, then the left, then back to center and finally, raise your chin up even more slowly, taking a nice deep, connected inhale.
Or, if the place where I’m staying has a bathtub, I like to pick up some bath salts and stretch and soak for 30-40 minutes.
Be mindful of what you eat and how much you sleep
The bottom line here is that you still have to watch what you eat on vacation. Taking time off is not a license to go crazy with unhealthy food. You can enjoy all the wonders of the local culinary culture while still pacing yourself with treats and sweets.
Last but not least, sleep! I never feel better than when I get a great night’s sleep. Let your body rest and reinvigorate to be ready for the next day’s adventure.
Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle and the author of the book Two Turns From Zero. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music — all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.