You deserve a vacation. Of this we are certain.
Now, if that vacation consists entirely of lying on your back reading a book, well … no judgment here. Though, we do suggest trying to incorporate at least some activity into your vacation so you don’t feel like an overfed slug upon your return to normal civilization.
If you’re up for it, you can take things to the next level, booking trips where fitness factors into daily activities. It’ll leave you feeling healthy, refreshed, energized — and more than likely, you’ll have a lot of fun along the way.
So, for some inspiration, we’ve got nine ways to turn your next vacation into a workout. Or part of it, at least. We’d hate to interfere with your well-earned relaxing-with-a-book time.
Skiing provides a serious leg workout and gets your heart pumping. A 150-pound adult can burn up to 400 calories per hour of skiing and equally important: It’s fun. So whether you’re new to the sport or barreling down the mountain like an Olympian, skiing is a great way to sneak some exercise into a vacation.
If you’re more a beach person, take a surfing lesson. You’ll be engaging your legs, core and entire body as you shred those waves. Or maybe just your arms as you paddle around. Either way: You’ll be infusing exercise into your day between lounge sessions.
All over the world, there are gorgeous places to hike. Steep mountains, tree-lined trails and desert landscapes. So go explore them. If you like a good walk, choose a vacation spot with easy access to hiking trails. The effort often leaves you breathless, but sometimes, so will the views. Win-win.
Playing tennis in the middle of the afternoon is a luxurious way to spend your time. This resort-friendly activity is also a great way to get some exercise. Plenty of hotels have tennis courts, but if you’re especially into the sport, look for hotels that make it a priority, with dedicated tennis clubs, pros and lessons.
It counts more if you skip the golf cart, walk those 18 holes and carry your own bag. Studies have shown that a medium-sized man can burn a whopping 1,400 calories during a round of golf. If you’ve got a wicked slice, find yourself walking in diagonal lines onto adjacent fairways, and taking 100+ shots per round, don’t feel bad — you’re just burning more calories.
In this, the internet’s heyday, it’s easier than ever to find hotels with exactly the amenities you want. So if you want a great gym, just pull up your favorite booking site to browse properties and read reviews. Weights and treadmills are the norm, but some gyms feature yoga classes, spin studios, private trainers and more.
Take it to the next level by booking a vacation centered around fitness. There are retreats all over the world that specialize in yoga, wellness and eco adventures. And, always a bonus: such retreats typically occur in gorgeous locales, so the views won’t disappoint.
Do a little research and you’ll find cities where running and biking are a way of life. You can join that life, even if it’s just for a visit. Between bouts of playing tourist, you’ll be able to embark on scenic runs and rides, which are two of the best ways to acclimate yourself with a new city.
Make the above even easier by mapping out some routes before you arrive. MapMyRun and MapMyRide will let you do exactly that. Sift through popular routes as recommended by other users, create your own or let the Route Genius make one for you. Just input your hotel or other starting destination, plus your desired mileage, and it will suggest a custom route for you. It’s like your own fitness concierge but one you can keep in your pocket.