Focus on Fitness: 10 easy steps to stay in shape during your vacation

I love to workout, but during the summer my family takes vacations for weeks at a time.  How can I stay in shape during these times away from my workouts?

—Stephanie Scott, Rossmoor

Each time I prepare for a vacation, I pack my workout clothes, resistance bands and other workout gear wondering: Will I really exercise on vacation? Isn’t the point to take a break from real life?

August is the most popular month for vacationers to get away, but jet setters and road trippers don’t have to lose that summer six-pack just because they’re away from the gym.

Getting away from reality is good for the soul, and getting away from the usual workout routine is good for the body.

However, a vacation can be the perfect time to exercise.

By freeing yourself from your routine, you open your mind to new ways to move your body, have fun and keep your body fit while you’re on vacation.

Finding fun cardio activities is easy when you’re on vacation.

Lifting weights, however, presents more of a challenge.

You usually don’t have much equipment and the thought of going to the hotel fitness room isn’t that appealing when you’re trying to have fun.

Choose the right hotel, with the right facilities, in the right location.

Doing the research and booking your hotel in advance, as well as organizing a fitness program and knowing some simple exercises will go a long way to ensure you don’t return from vacation feeling guilty you’ve let your fitness levels drop.

You don’t have to do much, however, to maintain your strength and muscle while you’re out of town.

A quick workout with body weight exercises, resistance bands or full water bottles will keep you strong and fit until you get back home to your usual routine.

With a little preparation and just a few minutes a day You will return from vacation feeling revitalized, energized and refreshed.

Follow these top 10 tips on how to keep fit while on vacation.

1. Choose a hotel with a gym. There are helpful workout programs on the Internet or join a fitness class if they are offered.

2. Go swimming. At your hotel pool, at the beach, or even a lake. Remember this is pure recreation; a little swim is better than none.

3. Walking or Jogging is a great way to explore the surroundings near your hotel. Look at your map and see if you can walk to your destination.

4. Be a kid.  Be playful and curious about new activities. If you have kids join them in their activities instead of just looking on.

5. A game of tennis or golf can also act as a bonding session with a friend or partner and is great exercise for the body. Make sure the hotel has these facilities available.

6. Keep hydrated.  Drink plenty of water.

Soda, juice, and alcohol dehydrate the body and tend to make you feel tired and you will be less likely to do anything active.

7. Use the stairs. Don’t be lazy; there are stairs in every hotel.

8. Eat quality meals while on vacation. It is easy to over indulge when on vacation, try to make healthy choices.

9. Relax in peace and quiet.  Ease your mind and get away from any distractions and noise.

10. Don’t forget to stretch. Stretching will help you feel more limber and relaxed, while refreshing your body.

Stretching is a great way to start the day.

Happy vacation and remember—have fun. Get fit!

Bryce Turner is co-owner of Beach Fitness at 148 Main E and F in Seal Beach.

He has a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy/exercise science and welcomes your questions on fitness.

Do you have a question for Bryce and this column?

He can be reached for questions at (562) 493-8426 or send e-mail to