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5 Ways I Stay Fit During Vacation

Have you ever come back from vacation feeling like you sabotaged your health and fitness goals in one fell swoop? Yeah, me too. I absolutely love taking vacations outside of Alaska. Getting away from the daily grind helps me gain perspective, rest, and enjoy new experiences. But I also love being fit. So, I’ve learned how to make vacation work for me, not against me, in terms of health and fitness. Here are 5 Ways I Stay Fit on Vacation. 

1. Plan ahead

Ok, so here’s a confession, planning might be my middle name. Packing for a vacation is no exception - I make a packing list before I even open up my suitcase. On said packing list is gear I will need to continue being active while away. This past trip to Maui I made sure to bring my trail running shoes and hydration vest because I knew I wanted to do plenty of hikes and trail runs. If I have extra room sometimes I’ll bring small weights and resistance bands, or squish a travel yoga mat into my suitcase for a more cushy surface for ab workouts or HIIT. The point is, I bring equipment that will make it easy for me to be active while on vacation. 

2. Try something new

One reason I love traveling is because being in a new place means new experiences, including fitness. I love trying out new ways of moving my body, whether that be a new sport or a class offered at a local gym. I’ve discovered many new activities I love while on vacation. I first tried stand up paddle-surfing in Maui, which resulted in every muscle being sore the next day, (I caught a grand total of one wave) but hey, it was a great workout! I took my first reformer Pilates class while on a trip to Seattle visiting a friend. It was a great change of pace from my usual running routine and it kicked my butt! This past trip to Maui we discovered our condo had a pickleball court, so in the evenings you’d find us with paddles in our hands and competition in our hearts. The rumors are true, pickleball is indeed addicting! 

3. Eat local, fresh, whole foods

For me, local food and travel are inseparable. Trying out and savoring local flavors - especially whole unprocessed foods - is one of our favorite parts about being on vacation. It leaves both our taste buds and our bodies feeling good. This past trip to Maui we filled up on mahi mahi, ahi poke, pineapple, papaya, and mango. As far as I know, we won’t be catching mahi mahi or growing pineapple anytime soon in Alaska, so we enjoyed every last bite! 

4. Walk whenever possible

Walking is a low impact, fat burning activity - and I hardly ever do it! Whenever we are traveling I remember how much I love walking and how good it feels. In Italy we walked an average of 10 miles a day - which explains how you can lose weight after eating pasta and gelato every day! This past trip to Maui we decided to walk more, which totally brought a slower paced vibe to the trip and we loved it. We walked to get our coffee, walked to get dinner, and walked on the beach. It took longer to get to our destination and I loved that it didn’t matter because we were on island time.

5. Explore local trails

Being in the mountains is my happy place. Before a trip, I research local hikes and trails online or get recommendations from friends. The more adventurous the better! For me, exploring off the beaten path is a fun way to get to know an area and move my body- and also a great way to get lost…One of my favorite such memories is on the North Shore of Oahu. My friend and I set out for a trail run, during which we got undeniably lost. With the help of a local we found our way out of the trail maze and, conveniently, popped out next to FoodLand, where we guzzled coconut water. One trail adventure is worth a hundred memories on the beaten path! 

I love that when we vacation well, we come back as better versions of ourselves. We’re ready to dive back into our everyday lives with renewed energy and purpose. Staying fit on vacation helps propel us back into our daily lives with a healthy momentum so we can show up for what we were made to do. 

A lot of the examples in this article are from our travels in Maui. Traveling to a warm destination in the winter is part of how we live well in Alaska. If you’d like to learn more about how to thrive during winter, read my blog post, “5 Tools I Use to Thrive in a Dark Northern Climate”.

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