by Gillian Hood Gabrielson


Summer is finally here! It’s time for those family trips to start. But this doesn’t mean your exercise program should stop! In fact, traveling gives you an opportunity to get some variety in your workouts.

The key is planning, of course. Some destinations make this easy for you. In Las Vegas, you can ride a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill while playing a slot machine! Recently many hotels have included exercise equipment in their guest rooms along with a videotaped workout.

There are many ways to get a workout in, no matter your destination. Call ahead to your hotel to see if they have an exercise facility. If they do, find out what equipment they have so you can be prepared. Bring your walking shoes with you and sight-see while working out. Take advantage of the pool to swim laps. If swimming isn’t your thing, try deep water running. All you need is a light weight water belt that should easily fit in your suitcase. Strap it on, jump in, and cool off while getting exercise! For strength training, a simple resistance band or tube will take little room while packing. With this basic tool, you can workout each muscle group in 10 to 15 minutes. (For equipment sources or to develop a strength program, please call or email our office).

Traveling is also a great time to try something new in your exercise program. In fact, your regular workouts can pay off while on vacation. You can take advantage of some new activities that are more fun than just regular exercise like hiking, rock climbing, swimming in the ocean and/or snorkeling, and outdoor bicycling. With the fitness and strength you have gained in your workouts you will find these activities more enjoyable and feel that sense of accomplishment in seeing other results from your exercise program.

Here are some other ideas to blend vacation and exercise:
• Hitting the beach? Walking in the sand is great cardiovascular exercise and it strengthens your feet and ankles. Dry sand will be harder to walk in than wet.
• Rent the family bicycles and see the city or country by bike.
• Arrange a walking tour. Many cities have organized tours.
• Cruising? Jog around the deck while catching the sunrise or sunset.

Wherever you are off to this summer, plan ahead for exercise. You’ll be happy you did when you return home!

Gillian Hood-Gabrielson, MS, ACSM, is the president of Healthier Outcomes, a nationwide coaching practice specializing in intuitive eating and fitness coaching. For more information and to receive our free report, “6 Steps to Guilt-Free Eating” visit Gillian can be reached at 866-650-6464.