Travel active

Susan Dawson-Cook

Many people tell me their workouts were going great until they took an extended trip and fell out of the habit of regular exercise. If you want to return from your next vacation without losing conditioning or packing on additional pounds, all you need to do is plan ahead for activity and take the right clothes.

My husband and I often go the active vacation route. Last year it was a swim meet in California and a bike tour in Switzerland. This year it’s an ocean swimming trip to the Greek Isles. Active trips are fun because you get to choose a preferred activity, hang out with people who share your love for it, and you feel great every day because of the fresh air and activity. There’s no better way to see the Greek Islands than from a wave in the sea or the deck of a sailboat. If you’re less active and enjoy more of a relaxed holiday, you can still see all of Greece’s attractions by renting a vehicle from a company such as for example. However, the best view of the Swiss Alps can be found on a bike seat with the wind whistling through your hair! Whether you like biking, hiking, swimming or walking tours, there are companies ready to arrange an itinerary for you no matter what state or country you plan to visit.

If you’re visiting family, go online and search for a YMCA or fitness facility nearby. Almost every facility sells guest passes to visitors. While my husband and I were in Seattle visiting our new granddaughter recently, we trained with a Masters swimming team and on some nearby walking trails. The weather turned out to be wonderful, but even if it had rained the whole week, we would have had the indoor pool workouts to fall back on.

Most regular exercisers have learned they are more likely to stick with it if they have a plan for the week. “Monday I’m going to stretch class at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday I’m running for 30 minutes with my next door neighbor. Wednesday and Friday I’m going to walk the loop and then head to the gym to lift weights.” Vacations are no different. If you organize the times and places you will exercise ahead of time, you will be likely to follow through. If you say, “Maybe I’ll work out sometime,” it will never happen.

Whether you are planning an active vacation, buying guest passes for a local gym or using bands packed in your suitcase to strengthen and taking daily walks around a neighborhood, you can succeed with on the go workouts. Just make sure you’ve established a when, where and what and you’ll get home from your trip as fit as when you left.

Susan is an author, Masters Swimmer and fitness professional. Her SaddleBrooke employer is Vital Moves (850-4089).