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Most people go on vacation to relax, and end up eating too much, drinking too much, and lounging around too much. By the time they’re ready to go home, their clothes are little snug and they feel out of shape.
Instead of carrying around an extra pound or two and guilt for having a good time, why not pack your running clothes? You’ll stay in shape and have a vacation to remember.
Here are some benefits to running while on vacation
- No tour bus required
You’ll get to see your vacation destination in a completely different manner. When you’re on foot, you will experience the area in a more personal way, finding all kinds of hidden gems. You can check out places to go explore in-depth later, or if your trip is already planned out, you’ll get to visit sites that aren’t on the agenda.
- You’ll be even more relaxed
Go for your run first thing in the morning for a great way to start your day. That way you won’t be thinking about it while you’re supposed to be having fun doing other activities, and you won’t fret over missing your run later in the evening when it’s time to go to bed.
- You’ll prove to yourself that you can stick to your running schedule
Map your run ahead of time, or if you’re staying at a hotel, ask the front desk. Many of your larger hotels have maps of safe running routes. You could also stop at a local running store. They can show you great places to run, and they may even have a running group you could join for a few days. Don’t worry so much if you don’t get all your mileage in—you don’t want to sacrifice time spent with family and friends!
If you do decide to get out and see the area while running, remember to always put your safety first. Tell people where you are going and how long you expect to be gone, and carry your cell phone and identification. After all, you don’t want your dream vacation to turn into a nightmare.
There are times when you are on vacation that you won’t be able to run. For example, if the weather is too hot, too cold, or too windy, or if there isn’t anywhere you feel safe running at five o’clock in the morning, here are some alternative ideas:
- Go to a gym
Most hotels have a gym that you can use either for free or for a small fee, or they are associated with a gym that is nearby. Run on the treadmill, swim in the pool, run in the pool, ride the exercise bike, get on the elliptical, or lift weights. Be flexible about your workout, especially if there are other people using the equipment as well.
- Cross train outdoors
Rent a bike, go hiking, walk everywhere you can, go rowing, sailing or surfing. If it’s winter, go downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding or snow-shoeing. These activities will keep you moving and may challenge some different muscles that are underused. And they are fun, so you won’t even feel like you’re working out!
Another great idea is to give your vacation a running purpose by planning your vacation around a race. If your family wants to go to Disneyland, check out the races that are held at the theme park or close by. No matter where you want to go in the world, you can probably find a race to run, and then arrange your trip so you’re there that weekend. If your race is planned, your family and friends won’t squawk so much about your training runs while you’re there, and they’ll be at the finish line to cheer you on.
When you’re getting ready for your vacation, work your runs into your schedule and pack your running gear. It will be great for your mind and your body!