What kind of exercise should you do on vacation? Should you exercise on vacation? 

Answers to these questions, and others, if you read on. I’m always asked about my thoughts on vacation and exercise. 

In general, I think exercise and vacation are a great mix. However, I don’t think exercise should dominate a vacation. If you’re the kind of person who loves to exercise and yet cannot train as frequently as you’d like because of family and work demands, than vacation can offer a great opportunity to get some quality exercise. 

Exercise can add to the enjoyment that you get from a vacation, especially if you have the luxury of taking 2 or more weeks off from work. Vacation can also provide the opportunity to engage in forms of exercise that aren’t possible during your usual routine.

I love to vacation at the beach and I take advantage of the unique workout options afforded by the sand.  I love to sprint on the beach.  I’ve also seen what can happen when you combine the beach, sprints and a Kettlebell.  Can something be beautiful and horrific at the same time? Here’s a quick story. 

Two summers ago my family had a house 3 houses from the ocean at the Jersey shore.  While my three boys and wife were lazing around the house during the early morning I headed up to the beach with my 50-pound Kettlebell.  I had stepped off a 40-yard stretch of beach and was doing some warm up activities when a couple of younger guys – they were over 20 years my junior – asked me what I was doing. 

I told them about my plan to do a 40-yard sprint sandwiched between 2 sets of 20 two-handed Kettlebell swings, and then a final set of 10 Kettlebell military presses. I was going to do 6 rotations of these exercises and take about 2 minutes rest between.  These daring young men in the board shorts asked if they could join me.  I said sure.  Spreading my brand of fitness 2 dudes at a time. 

Anyway, they staggered off in the middle of their third time through the sprints and swings, never able to do more than 5 reps in the military press and taking on a most unique skin tone of green. It was a great workout and a great way to start a vacationing day.  At least for me it was. 

So what was I saying? Oh yea… I’m on vacation this week and while I will exercise – I did sprints this morning – I am also going to stay out of the gym, won’t lift weights and didn’t bring any of my Kettlebells with me.  I’ve been working pretty hard at home and am taking the opportunity of my time away from the gym to stay away from the gym.

For me, that’s what I need. What I’m trying to get at after 475 words is that vacation is a great time to take a break from your usual routine.  If you are always in the gym – either because it’s your vocation or avocation – use vacation to take a break. 

Do different things. Don’t let exercise dominate your vacation or decide to start an exercise program while on vacation; that’s a losing proposition like trying to start a diet at the holidays.  And the worst situation would be to let not being able to workout ruin your vacation.

Enjoy your vacation and enjoy your exercise.


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