How to Hit Your Step Goal on Vacation
Dec 20, 2023
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You should take a break this summer, but it's not your daily goal. While a week at the beach won't ruin your fitness goals, it might make your vacation less fun.
"On the one hand, one of the great benefits of traveling is tasting local food. If you're active, you can increase your appetite." Marilynn Preston, an ACE-certified fitness trainer and author of a new book, says it's all good: Personal Well-Being art (and science). "Also, physical activity doesn't drain your energy, it actually gives you more energy to go sightseeing, snorkeling, or whatever else is on your itinerary."
Since walking is the easiest way to exercise when you're out and about, here are 5 ways to get you going no matter where your summer vacation takes you.
5 ways to sneak in while on vacation
Pack your shoes. Comfortable shoes make it more likely that you'll spend more time on your feet, whether it's exploring the extra wing of a museum, or walking to a meal rather than a taxi. "Research shows that you can actually strengthen your legs by wearing less structured shoes, so you don't necessarily need a heavy pair of sneakers with a lot of arch support," Preston said.
Take a five-minute break. It's easy to convince yourself not to travel long distances on vacation. However, it's hard to find a plausible explanation for being too lazy to walk five minutes to a hotel or a coffee shop near the terminal. Those minutes are usually enough to start a longer jaunt, Preston said. "When you walk, your body quickly starts releasing endorphins that make you want to keep going."
Dating. "You're much more likely to go out for a walk when someone else holds you accountable," Preston said. If you're on a cruise ship, sign up for an excursion. Alone in a new city? Sign up for a walking tour. Traveling with a girlfriend? Make an appointment to meet them in the hotel lobby and leave together in the morning.
Climb new heights. From up high you'll get some of the best views of your destination - not to mention the best way to get there by walking uphill. Follow a steep city street or mountain road to a scenic observation deck, or climb the stairs inside a historic lighthouse, tower or statue.
Embrace the dark side. "There are several benefits of walking at night," Preston said. “On the one hand, you see your location in a whole new light. If it’s hot during the day, it’s more enjoyable to take a walk after the sun goes down when the temperature is cooler. Walking at night can keep you from eating, drinking, and having fun in a bar or restaurant all night.” Please Be vigilant and stay visible.