Here at QiVantage, we are huge proponents of taking vacations. After all, people who go on vacation are happier, more productive and have healthier relationships. (The Washington Post) It’s also a great way to get away and experience somewhere you’ve never been all while leaving the stress of life at home! Regardless of how excited you might be for your upcoming vacation, as a serious athlete the thought of missing a training session or falling behind on your progress can be daunting and even add stress to your vacation planning. No need to worry! We have good news. There are plenty of things you can do on vacation that will help you stick to your training regimen and still have a great vacation. So whether you’re currently planning a summer vacation or you’ve had one on the books for months, here are our top six tips for successfully training on vacation. (Psst…don’t miss our bonus tip at the bottom!)
1. Schedule your sessions like you schedule sightseeing
This step is crucial to successfully training during any vacation. When planning your trip, you might decide that you’d check out the vineyard in the next town on Tuesday and hit some of the major sites on Wednesday so why aren’t you also scheduling your workouts? If you pencil your workouts into your overall vacation schedule, you’re more likely to follow through with them and less likely to “forget” or even skip one because there was something that sounded like more fun.
2. Get up early
When you’re on vacation, especially if you’re in a new place or traveling with others, you really want to experience all the place has to offer and spend as much time with your travel companions as possible, right? Which can make prioritizing your training schedule even more difficult. That’s why we recommend skipping sleeping in and opting instead for a workout first thing in the morning. We know…it sounds like torture now, but trust us, you will be glad you did when you realize that you are not skipping any workouts and you still have time to do everything you planned during your trip.
3. Incorporate cross-training
We’ve already talked a little bit about how cross-training can help make you a better athlete but it can also be an incredibly beneficial training technique to use when you’re on vacation, especially if you’re an athlete who participates in a sport that requires a lot of specific equipment. As a hockey player, for example, you’re going to have a much harder time with hockey-specific training than, say, a runner would have with running-specific training that can be done anywhere. That’s where cross-training comes in! Before you leave for your trip, do a little research to figure out what types of training you will be able to do during your vacation. If the hotel has a weight room, then incorporate some weight training. If there’s a swimming pool nearby, swim some laps in the morning. When all else fails, find a trail or sidewalk you can run along. Who knows, you might be able to get a workout and sightseeing in at the same time!
4. Book a hotel with a gym
If you’re a regular gym-goer, it can be scary to try to plan a whole week (or whatever length of vacation you’re taking) worth of workouts when you don’t have access to your regular gym! To ease the shock of working out somewhere else, you should think about booking a hotel that has a gym so you don’t have to find one close to your hotel and worry about the added expense. Sure, hotel gyms aren’t nearly as comprehensive as your neighborhood gym but it’s better than nothing. You might have to cut back your regular weight training regimen, but at least you’ll still get a session in.
Want to know what hotels have the best gyms? Check out this list from MensHealth, this one from Outside Online, or this one from Travel + Leisure.
5. Pack your nutrition
We aren’t suggesting you pack your own meals, unless you’re into that of course. We’re talking about your regular pre- and post-workout drinks, snacks, shakes, etc. Making sure you’re prepared for your workouts and recovering properly from them from a nutritional perspective will help you keep yourself energized not only for your training sessions, but also for the rest of your vacation fun!
6. Don’t beat yourself up
Chances are that when you’re on vacation you aren’t going to hit every workout you’ve scheduled for yourself. That’s ok! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you choose to skip something. After all, vacations are partially about getting away from the stress of sticking to a rigorous schedule. So go easy on yourself!
Bonus Tip: Take a “fitcation”
This tip is probably not for the casual athletes amongst us. That’s why we’re listing it as a bonus tip instead of one of the tips above. But if you’re really into being fit at all times, this just might be the perfect option for you. Tons of big-brand hotels are jumping on the fitness bandwagon and offering options for “fitcations.” Whether you’re considering spa treatments, cross-training programs, specialty training cuisine or something else entirely, chances are you can find a hotel or travel program that offers it. You can book specialty packages that complement your training program or even book an entire vacation around a specific sport. Think kayak adventure, running tour, yoga retreat or hiking/camping trip.
So whether you want to plan your entire trip around a sport, or just be sure to incorporate some training days into your overall vacation, these tips can help you stay focused and healthy without compromising the fun of a vacation.
A vacation is no excuse to slack on your training. And it’s no excuse to slack on your muscle recovery either! The last thing you want to deal with on vacation is an injury or so much muscle soreness that you want to skip sightseeing! Check out our FREE Day-to-Day Muscle Recovery Checklist and you won’t miss a beat even when you’re working out on vacation.
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