Exercising on vacation while still enjoying your vacation

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How can you fit in exercise on your trip without ruining your vacation? I share tips in this post!

One of my favorite parts of traveling to new places is getting to run somewhere new. I love exploring a new location by foot since I usually see things I wouldn’t necessarily see while doing normal tourist things! While I love planning my vacation runs, I know for many people, it doesn’t always sound pleasant to workout while you’re supposed to be relaxing.

Hopefully this post gives you some ideas of how you might exercise on vacation and still enjoy your vacation. We don’t have any concrete travel plans this year, but we’re hoping to get something planned later this summer or fall. I’m a little nervous about traveling with a baby, but I got lots of pro tips to make it easier!

Okay, let’s get into this post!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation | runner in chautaqua park boulder colorado

How to Exercise on Vacation While Still Enjoying Your Vacation

Tips for Exercising on Vacation

Recognize non-traditional exercise

If you’re visiting a place that’s walkable, walk! Remember that you’ll likely walk a lot more just from sightseeing than you do in your day to day life. We walked all over Dublin and never thought of it as exercise, but it totally was!

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

When we went to California a few years ago, I didn’t work out once at the Terranea Resort, but I loved the daily morning walks with Tommy!

morning nature walk

And, exploring a new town or city is so much more fun by foot — or bike! You’ll see a city in a way that you’d never see by car. You can usually rent bikes in large cities, and some small ones too.

afoodiestaysfit bike tour boulder

If you like golfing, play 9 or 18 holes with your loved ones. You’ll definitely get a workout if you walk rather than use a cart and it’s a fun way to spend time with family, like we did with my brother in law in California. (Cute golfing clothes are totally optional but totally fun.)

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

We played golf at the Primland Resort on our babymoon!

golf at the Primland Resort

And remember that you may be active in ways you don’t even realize get your heart rate going. Even playing with nieces and nephews count! (This is a photo from over 10 years ago when I first shared tips for staying active on vacation! Those boys have changed a LOT since then!! So have I, ha!)

Teri exercising with nephews

Exercise with others

Tommy and I sometimes run together while we’re on vacation. This was one of my favorite memories from our trip to Palm Beach a few years ago. Trust me, running isn’t his favorite thing in the world. But it’s a fun way to spend time together and he (usually) thanks me afterwards. (If you want to improve your running or start from scratch, join my online running course!)

How to Exercise on Vacation While Still Enjoying Your Vacation

That run in Palm Beach kicked off something bigger. Later that year, he later ran the BolderBoulder 10K and the American Fork Half Marathon!

How to Exercise on Vacation While Still Enjoying Your Vacation

When I travel to a place where friends live or am meeting friends there, I always try to fit in a run with them. (Assuming at least one of them is a runner!) I had a great time exploring Boulder, Colorado, with Jonathan and Amanda when I was there for the BolderBoulder 10K.

How to Exercise on Vacation While Still Enjoying Your Vacation

When I visit my family in Utah, at least one hike is always on the agenda!

exercise tips for travel

How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation

I’ve even gone to a running camp! This vacation is designed entirely around running and I LOVED it.

Zap Endurance Running camp

Note: while working out with others on vacation is awesome, I’m also big advocate for taking solo vacations. Those vacations often make for my best runs. No schedule to stick to, no one to meet, just me. (This will be harder to pull off now that I have a babyΒ but I’m hoping I can eventually get back into that tradition!)

Recognize how good exercising makes you feelΒ 

Traveling, especially long distances, can be really taxing on your body. One of the best things I do for myself is stretching and going on a walk when I get to my destination. After sitting in a car or on an airplane, I just need to move.

And once I’m settled into my vacation spot, I look forward to exploring the area each with a morning run or walk!.Think of it as something you get to do, rather than something you have to do.

Pro-tip on the topic of travel: HIRE A TRAVEL AGENT for your trips. It was the best decision we made for our honeymoon and trip to Dublin. I cannot speaking highly enough about ours. Read more here.

And another side note: I always pack in a carry-on, even for a week long trip. See how I do that here.

afoodiestaysfit running in boulder

Another perk? Exercise can help with the travel gut woes. When I’m traveling somewhere new, I often have a little bit of a hard time adjusting to the food and my digestive system gets upset. I LOVE to eat local food and try new things, but that doesn’t always bode well. Staying active seems to improve that! I didn’t get an upset stomach once while I was in Ireland and I ate a LOT of food!!

Teri indulging in food

Try something new

This can be especially fun when you’re somewhere with new-to-you workout classes! I love visiting yoga studios or CrossFit. If you don’t have a climbing gym or cycle studio in your town, visit one during your trip. Or hey, goat yoga anyone? That was a first for me when I went to Ojai for a Beautycounter work trip!

goat yoga

If you like hiking, try a new trail each day! I love exploring new trails when we visit Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I can’t wait to take Thomas, my eight month old, on these trails this summer!

Boone and Blowing Rock trails

hiking Boone and Blowing Rock trails

fire tower boone nc


And if you don’t workout, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s MORE than okay to rest. A rest day may be just what you need to help you crush your workouts when you get home. Remember that recovery is an important part of effective training, so maybe hit up the spa for a massage instead!

hit up the spa for a massage

What are your favorite things to do when you travel? Do you rest or do you workout?

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    23 responses to “Exercising on vacation while still enjoying your vacation”

    1. Such a cute little vacation recap and great ideas about working out or just being active while away from home. I know what you mean about trying to spend as much time as possible with the family. Vacations at home always go waaay too fast and there are always too many people to visit + catch up with. Glad you had fun are adorable!! Love all of your outfits. I want to see your shoes + hat too!! xoxo

    2. I’m so much more active on vacations than I am at home. At home I’m sitting at my desk from 7 to 6:30. On vacation, I like to see as much of a city/country as I can with the time I have. So I’ll get up early and explore all day. When my friends and I went to Rome, I think we walked 15 miles a day exploring the city and sights!

    3. What great pics! Such cute little kiddos πŸ™‚

      When me and hubs go on vacay, there is NO WAY I can even begin to convince him to skip a workout. That man will go for a run after a late night out, while I’m still in bed in half a coma. Because of that, if I’m in the frame of mind, I usually will hit the gym with him and at the very least get in a bit of cardio. Sometimes I even bring my yoga DVDs and squeeze that in. I feel like a slacker if I don’t πŸ™‚

    4. I agree with all of these tips! I don’t ever stress myself to keep up with traditional workouts during vacation. I rest more from focused exercise, but I know I a more active with all the activity I do on vacation. It all balances out and it’s good for the body and the mind. Glad you had a great time!

    5. This is definitely how I exercise when I’m on vacation. When I was in AZ with my parents I went on a hike, went to my mom’s zumba classes, went to the biggest mall I have ever been to and conquered it and rode bikes too. I was only having fun and I didn’t gain any weight even though there were scones, red velvet cake and lots of bread!
      .-= Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter´s last blog ..Shopping and Saving Part 1 =-.

    6. I do exercise while on vacation but I usually tone it down a bit. Most of the time I’m exercising because without it, my day feels off. It helps lift my mood. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the tips! They were great.
      .-= highonhealthy´s last blog ..I swear I’m not blonde. =-.

    7. This is a great post!! When you’re on vacation, you shouldn’t stress about missing a few workouts. In the long run, you’re going to regret skipping out on time with your family (or exploring whatever area you’re visit), than skipping out on a workout….or 7. And you make a really good point that just moving more than you are used to is a form of exercise. Also, I love that you can run with your mom! I used to run with my parents a lot (before both of them had to stop running for different reasons) and I loved having that time to catch up with them.

      Looks like you had a really great trip! I love all the pictures…your niece and nephews are SO cute…and I really like both dresses you’re wearing! πŸ™‚
      .-= Lauren @ Health on the Run´s last blog ..Don’t Judge a Food By Its Health Claim =-.

    8. Aww how cute are your nephews?! And I love your hair! Glad you had a nice trip and stayed active without actually having to work out! πŸ™‚

    9. I LOVE your take on exercising while on vacation. I especially agree with the fact that we’re generally more active while on vacation that we would be on a normal day anyway. Like you, I work at a desk all day. So lately – instead of trying to burn “x” amount of calories – I just try to GET MOVING! Our ancestors didn’t think “oh my gosh I didn’t burn enough calories today,” they just enjoyed life…and being active was part of that! Okay, now I’m going off on a tangent πŸ˜› But the further I go on my “healthy lifestyle” journey, the more laid back my view of exercise becomes…so I naturally love this post !
      .-= Gracie @ Girl Meets Health´s last blog ..slow it down. =-.

    10. wonderful thoughts and tips! one of my gems is to not be afraid to cut it short–we exercised most days on our honeymoon, but halved what we normally did. and ditto above, super cute dress! πŸ™‚
      .-= andi´s last blog ..hey hey, married lady. =-.

    11. Clearly you waxed me on working out while on vacation, lol. I had the best of intentions. Mornings I managed to swim and run, but the afternoon I managed to swim…up to the pool bar. Ahh…when in Rome or wherever. Sneaking it in is important though. Pics are awesome!

    12. I am just catching up now but love all the ways you talked about to keep active while on vacation. I do a TON of walking on vacation usually and try to fit in a little running when possible for some quick cardio. I ran only one mile while in philly over the weekend when I had ten extra minutes to go down to the gym. I didn’t care though since I walked miles each day. Relaxation is definitely more important to yourself and those you are with though.

      Sounds like a fun trip!
      .-= claire´s last blog ..quick & sweet =-.

    13. These are all such great tips! My husband and I love to go on a morning run while on vacation to get our bearings and explore the new city. We’ve done it everywhere from Austin to Washington DC to Paris!

    14. I love all these great tips! When traveling I also don’t get to do my regular workout routine, but I love walking. Because, yes, you’ll get to see and experience the place differently when you’re just walking. It’s not just a great exercise but it also adds a different feel to the traveling experience. Enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing these tips πŸ™‚

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