You don’t have to lose your fitness just because you go on vacation or have a more relaxed agenda over the summer. In fact, summertime may be the ticket to get you out of a fitness rut and trying something new.
- Explore exercise tourism. Before you hit your summer destination, do a little research. Find places to rent bikes or go for scenic hikes. Challenge your family and friends to count your steps or miles while on vacation. Larger cities have audio walking tours or scavenger hunts available through phone apps. You can get exercise and learn about your destination. Let’s Roam is a city scavenger hunt app you can do with a partner or a large group. GeoTourist features user-generated walking tours. Or let serendipity play a role. On my first trip to San Francisco with my husband, we saw a sign for the Bridge to Bridge 12K run and signed up on the spot. We ran from the Bay Bridge through historic Fisherman’s Wharf and along what has been dubbed “America’s Most Beautiful Run” all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio Park. It was a fantastic way to get to know the city, and to this day, it is one of our favorite vacation “brags.” The race T-shirt turned out to be the perfect souvenir.
- Try a new activity. You don’t have to have a 2 handicap to enjoy a round of “pitch and putt.” Leave the golf cart behind and walk the course with your pre-teens. Or, if the weather is an issue, take the family bowling or to a rock-climbing gym. Ropes courses are very popular—and quite a workout–and they are available in different parts of the country. An added bonus is the bird’s eye view of the landscape. Love the water? Kayaking is a great way to spend an afternoon, whether in a bay, a lake, or on a river.
- Make fitness portable. It doesn’t take up much space to throw some exercise bands in your luggage. Before you go, ask your YMCA fitness instructors or floor coaches to give you a few exercises to try or simply type “resistance bands, vacation, exercises” as keywords into Pinterest and see what pops up. If you are driving to your destination, take your yoga mat with you. Chris Sims, Yoga Flow instructor at Brandywine YMCA encourages his classes to take a few minutes on the mat each day. “Don’t lose your practice over the summer. You don’t need an hour. Find twelve minutes. Eight minutes, even, and sharpen up your sun salutations. Incorporate some warrior poses.”
- Check out another branch of the YMCA. For those of you who migrate from Wilmington area south to Delaware’s beaches, remember that members can flash their membership card at the Sussex Family YMCA in Rehoboth (20080 Church Street). This is especially noteworthy if you are going to be at the beach for more than a week or if you need something to do on a rainy day. Check out their online page for schedules and classes. Leaving the state? Members can also visit most Y’s across the country at no extra charge!
So, the next time you pack your suitcase, leave your excuses at home. Vacation is a wonderful opportunity to reignite your fitness routine and have fun in the process.
Contributed by: Jill Althouse-Wood