After many months of not being able to travel easily for a fitness vacation, this summer, it may be possible to enjoy a change of scenery! The intention of the following information is not to target spa vacations (not that those are not an excellent option), but simply great locations to vacation where you may easily maintain your fitness level while having a great vacation. Therefore, ten guidelines are featured this week for you to follow when choosing a fitness vacation venue. As always, please consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Ten guidelines to shoot for when choosing a fantastic fitness vacation location:
• Varied terrain. This generally enables you to choose from a variety of fitness options. One day may include trekking up a hillside and another may feature snorkeling/diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, or windsurfing. However, keep in mind that we are targeting fitness activities, which means that the activity needs to take the place of a bona fide workout you perform at home. Fun is great, but maintaining your fitness level is the key.
• Access to fitness studios/health clubs/gyms which may provide you with a venue for weight training workouts or fitness classes, particularly on inclement weather days when you cannot easily perform your workout outdoors. Look for short-term guest passes and facilities with drop-in options for classes and personal training sessions and check out their websites ahead of time so you know what they offer and can plan ahead. Obviously, some higher-end resorts may have fitness facilities on-site but verify the guest policy in terms of cost and usage restrictions (including current restrictions which may require reservations to use the facilities).
• Concierge service or comprehensive information provided by the vacation location regarding the fitness level required for the offered hiking and cycling trails/paths so you may plan ahead according to your fitness level. You may also obtain this information from the local Chamber of Commerce or welcome center.
• This should include maps for safe and fitness-level appropriate walking/running paths provided by the vacation location.
• Easy access to your workout destinations from your vacation-home base. You do not want to spend all day traveling to the spot where you have planned to workout. A good rule of thumb is to plan one to two hours maximum, going and returning. Remember, you are on vacation!
• Easy access for renting equipment in advance such as kayaks, canoes, hiking gear, water skiing/wake/paddle boarding gear, and bicycles. This advanced planning is essential to your vacation workout success.
• Seek out workouts for most everyone you are traveling with so that they may stay fit while on vacation as well. We are all different, so, again, plan ahead and strive to keep everyone happy.
• Access to professional, certified, and qualified personal trainers, either where you are staying or at a studio/club nearby if you intend to use their services.
• Look for locations which offer workouts you have always wanted to try but have not had the time or access to where you live.
• Workout options that fit within your budget so you may save the bulk of your vacation funds for recreational fun. It usually is free or quite economical to walk/hike/bike in a national park or forest, so fitness vacations do not have to break the bank.