Dear Billy and Hudson,
I am going away several times during the summer and every year the same thing happens to my workout routine: It completely disappears! I don’t know how to combine my vacations with exercise. Do you have any tips?

A lot of our clients tell us they pack their workout clothes with good intentions of either hitting a gym or running every day on the beach. For the most part, however, they just never get around to doing anything more strenuous than a quick stroll.

But that’s OK. Sometimes it’s good to have a rest from exercise and let your body recuperate. Other times, you’re exercising without realizing it, for instance when you’re doing lots of walking or swimming, or trying new activities such as cycling, kayaking or hiking. These all count and make a good change for your body.

If you’re going away for weeks at a time and you really find yourself not undertaking any physical activity, then you should bear in mind how quickly you can lose your fitness: Aerobic power declines between five and 10 percent in three weeks; aerobic fitness disappears even faster than muscular strength; after four to six weeks of no physical activity, any previous fitness improvements will have been completely lost.

If you want to keep exercising while you’re away, try the following:

  • Make a date. Even on vacation most of us have some kind of routine. See if you can find 20 minutes (that’s all it takes) each day to do some planned exercise or an early morning swim or run.
  • Think about taking up (or trying again) a new fun sport such as horse riding or tennis.
  • Take a list of exercises that will help maintain your muscular strength and keep reminding yourself they’ll only take 10 to 20 minutes to do them in your room.

To help, here’s our list of the six best exercises to do on vacation (you don’t need anything to do them except some willpower):


  • Tricep dips
  • Alternating lunges
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Side planks
  • Mountain climbers

Billy Katz and Hudson Ellis
are the co-owners of Simply Fit gyms.
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