Holiday Workout: Maintain Your Gains On Vacation

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At the time of writing this article we are almost a month into summer. You know…summer, that time when we not only want that shredded summer body, but we also want to enjoy everything that encompasses this time of year:

  • The beach
  • The pool
  • BBQs
  • Being able to wear a tank top at all hours of the day

Let us not forget our favorite 2 aspects of summer: sunshine and vacations.

Related: Build a Dream Body With These 33 Undeniable Fitness Truths

Summer vacations are a time to drink, eat, relax, and enjoy traveling to a location you’ve never been before. Unfortunately, these vacations can also negatively impact your nutrition and exercise routine.

But, there are ways to keep your nutrition on track without sacrificing your vacation fun. Here’s how to maintain your fun and relaxation while also maintaining your gains.

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Vacation Workout & Nutrition: Maintain Your Gains on Holiday

Vacation Nutrition – Tips to Trim Unwanted Calories

Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. This is going to be your toughest hurdle while on vacation, but it’s not impossible. If you are not going to exercise at all while on vacation you really need to focus on controlling your macronutrients. While it’s important to always control your diet, the bar is raised while on vacation.

If you’re going on a road trip, pack the car with healthy snacks and meals so you’re not tempted to grab that Slim Jim and soda when you stop for gas. If you’re staying at a hotel, find a local market to stock your room with food so your hands stay away from grabbing a mini-bar candy bar.

And remember, restaurants are always willing to accommodate your needs. Ask them to grill (not fry) your chicken or fish. Ask the server about how they prepare their vegetables and what they cook them in.

It’s not difficult to keep your diet on point. Enjoy your vacation while keeping nutrition from falling off the deep end.

Fit Couple Hiking

Go Hiking, Burn Calories and See the Sights

Hiking during your vacation is a great way to get outside, explore the area where you’re staying and burn some calories. Depending on the pace and the intensity of the hike, a one hour hike can burn anywhere from 300-600 calories.

Going on one or two hikes during your vacation will get your heart rate up, activate the muscles in your lower body, and allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of your vacation destination.

Swimming Before You Start the Day

If you’re staying at a hotel or resort there’s a 100% chance you have access to a swimming pool. So, wake up before the kids, throw your board shorts on, and head down to the pool.

Swimming laps at a moderate pace for 15-30 minutes can burn approximately 200-500 calories. And, swimming gets your whole body involved. Your shoulders, lats, quads, hamstrings, and arms will all be activated during your swim session.

15-30 minutes of swimming each morning isn’t going to take away from your vacation, and you can enjoy a couple extra pieces of sausage with breakfast without feeling guilty.

Sprint to Battle “Vacation Fat”

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If running is your forte, sprints are a great high intensity exercise to perform on vacation to help you maintain your gains. And, if you’re vacationing somewhere near a beach, performing sprints in the sand is really going to ramp up the intensity and caloric burn.

Sprints are going to help battle that lurking vacation fat, and when performed in a HIIT fashion, can burn some serious calories. This is another gain-maintainer that will only take 15-20 minutes out of your day in paradise.

HIIT Circuit Training, Anywhere and Any Time

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the easiest ways to stay on track with your gains. A 15-20 minute full body weight circuit can be performed anywhere and help you maintain your strength and mass.

With 3-4 simple body weight exercises, and low rest periods, you can get your heart rate up and burn those vacation calories. Below is an example of a simple body weight circuit you can perform to exercise your upper and lower body.

  • 10 Burpees
  • 30 Second Rest
  • 10 Lunges
  • 30 Second Rest
  • 10 Pushups
  • 30 Second Rest
  • 10 Body Weight Squats
  • 30 Second Rest
  • Perform the circuit 3-4 times

Water Sports – Surf, Kayak or Paddle Board

Another exercise option if vacationing in a beach location is to get out and explore the water sport activities available to you. Take a surfing class or rent a kayak or paddle board.

Water sports like surfing or paddle boarding are going to activate a variety of muscles throughout your body. An hour paddle boarding sessions can burn approximately 300-700 calories depending on the intensity of the paddling.

Like hiking, water sports are a great exercise to do as a group while enjoying the environment of your vacation spot.

Crush a Hotel Gym Workout

If your hotel has a well-equipped gym, obviously the best way to maintain your gains is to perform a routine of your normal resistance exercises with the equipment provided. But, don’t let the gym become your home while on vacation. You’re on vacation, remember!

Enjoy yourself and keep your workout short. Keep your rest periods short, perform 3 sets of 3-4 exercises, and get out of there in 30-45 minutes. Do enough to maintain your gains, but not enough to distract you from your days in paradise.

Go on Holiday Without Making Your Gains Pay

None of these exercises or nutritional tips are impossible. They are all simple reminders of how you can still keep your body physically engaged and not let it distract from vacation.

Go on a hike, rent some paddle boards for the kids, or hit the hotel gym before the sun rises. Because, if you do, I promise you’ll feel better about the pork and macaroni salad you are going to scarf down at tonight’s luau.

Your gains don’t have to stay at home; they can enjoy the vacation too.

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Name: Brently Rousset

Bio: Born, raised, and currently residing in beautiful San Diego, CA, I've been around some form of fitness almost my entire life. My mom was an aerobics teacher at the local gym when I was in elementary school through middle school. My dad had a full home gym in the garage and raced mountain bikes professionally through my high school years. My parents engrained the importance of health and fitness into me from a young age. I started playing soccer in my elementary days only to leave it behind for my true loves of basketball and surfing.