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We already discussed exercising before and after going on a long-distance flight. But, how about your exercise routine when we arrive at the destination?

It’s tempting to discover a new destination, enjoy the cuisine, and take a break from physical activities. However, there could be risks from stopping exercise while abroad.

Without physical activities, you could be at risk of cramps, unwanted weight gain, and weak muscles. 

This blog will help you stay fit during the vacation so you can go home without feeling guilty or cramming on exercises to burn extra calories.

Why should you work out on vacation?

Physical activities while on vacation bring a lot of benefits to the body and mind. A study showed that participants who went on a vacation improved their well-being, sleep quality, heart rate, and autonomic regulation. Adding exercises to their routine also decreased stress and improved recovery profile.

Moderate to low-intensity exercises are recommended because they can be performed by anyone at any age, according to the same study.

Another study found that while vacation sojourn helped with wellbeing, physical activity is also counted as a distinguishing factor to a person’s wellness while taking a vacation.

A study about overseas students indicated that yoga, freehand exercises, home aerobic exercises, and walking or running have the most effect on mental health such as anxiety and stress.  

What is the best workout to do when traveling?

Image shows group yoga training.

According to studies, low to medium-intensity exercises can help you stay in shape during your vacation.

GulfPhysio physiotherapist Kieran Sheridan said low-impact cardio exercises are easier on the muscles and joints. However, he warned that it doesn’t rule out the possibility of a vigorous workout from these low-impact physical activities. 

“Workouts like yoga and pilates can also be difficult. Whether it is swimming or spinning, it can be done at a relaxed pace or high speed,” said Sheridan.

How can I stay in shape on vacation without a gym?

MSD Moves Band

The gym may offer different variations of exercises because of the equipment and space. However, when you’re on vacation, going to the gym may charge you extra money and may impede your budget for other activities you planned in your itinerary.

Here’s the good news, you don’t need a gym because you can do these simple exercises in a hotel room, park, or hotel balcony.

Aerobic Exercises

Sheridan advised trying aerobic exercises to improve heart rate and allow you to breathe harder. When you do these exercises regularly, your heart and lungs will get stronger as a result. 

Brisk Walking

One example of an aerobic exercise is brisk walking. Doing this for 30 minutes almost every day can help reduce anxiety, decrease the risk of diabetes, and lower the chances of cardiovascular issues. Brisk walking also helps a person to sleep faster, which may be helpful for those battling insomnia.

When you’re on vacation, Sheridan recommends doing this exercise inside the hotel or looking for a nearby park. 

“It is also very accessible. You don’t need a gym or equipment while you walk. You just need comfortable shoes,” said Sheridan.

Stretching exercises

Another easy workout perfect for vacation is stretching exercises. These are very effective for improving muscle performance and reducing risks of injury. It is also easy and beneficial for anyone whether you are an athlete or someone who is looking to run. Stretching before any physical activity can improve your performance because it offers a full range of motion, body alertness, and improved mental stability.

For example, cobra stretch can be a helpful stretching exercise. To perform this, lie on your stomach and place both hands flat beneath the shoulders. Tuck the elbows in by the sides and gently raise your head and chest. While doing this, keep the hips and groin on the bed. Relax the neck and shoulders then hold the stretch for 10 seconds and gently lower back down. Do this again 8 to 10 times. 

This is easy, accessible, and affordable. You can do this inside the hotel room or before you go out for a morning walk.

Bodyweight exercises

Image shows couple doing squats.
Squat exercise

It is very effective and accessible when working out while on vacation. It can be performed while having a day on the beach, inside the hotel room, or in the park. Body exercises use the weight as resistance. For example, squats, lunges, and planks. 

Sheridan said bodyweight exercises are also effective and customizable in terms of fitness level and space.

Some bodyweight exercises you can try are:


Do this in three sets of 10 to 15 reps. It is pretty straightforward but if the basic push-ups are difficult to do, you can do push-ups through a wall or by doing them on your knees.


Image shows couple doing squats.
Squat exercise

Doing this exercise effectively strengthens the bones and improves brain function. However, incorrect squats can cause injuries and throw you off balance.

Here’s how to correctly do it:

First, stand with your feet apart and toes forward. The knees should be over the second and third toes. Lower the buttocks toward the floor by moving the hips and bending the knees. Allow the glutes to push back and out behind the body like sitting on an invisible chair. 

Keep the chest up and head and neck in a neutral position. Lower to a depth which allows you to maintain proper form. Push into the feet to return the body back and away from the floor. Move the hips forward and return to the starting pose.

You can do this in three sets of 10 -15 reps. You can modify it by adding a jump after each squat.


This exercise can help activate multiple muscles and improve flexibility. To perform this, step forward with one leg into a long stride and lower into a lunge. Start bending both knees and keep the posture properly while ensuring the knees won’t travel over the toes. Drive through the front heel to return to standing. Repeat this by stopping forward with the opposite leg. Do this in 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps for each leg. You can also modify it by doing reverse lunges or walking lunges.

What are the best exercises for hot weather?

Aqua aerobics, healthy water sport, indoor swimming pool, recreational leisure

If the temptation of skipping a workout is not enough, the extreme hot weather can overwhelm you. This is also one reason that can demotivate you from working out. 

Luckily, Sheridan advised doing indoor exercises or swimming to reduce the chances of heat stroke and dehydration when working out. He recommends doing simple exercises that can work a sweat but will help regulate the temperature.

These workouts, except for swimming, can also be done inside the hotel room, which can also help avoid the heat because of the air-conditioned room.


If you’re on vacation, you might want to check out some recreational parks, beaches or water parks that can be a room for your exercise. Swimming has tons of benefits such as alleviating stress, enhancing coordination and posture, and improving flexibility. 

According to Sheridan, swimming is also a perfect exercise on a hot day. Just make sure to stretch the muscles before doing this low-impact exercise to avoid cramps. 

“Swimming is a basic full-body workout because it helps with muscle strength and cardio. It is also easy on the joints and allows anyone to do it,” said Sheridan.

One example of a swimming routine is breaststroke. To perform this, push the hand straight through the water and wave the hands back to the hips going all the way around. This stroke will help move the forearms, chest, and upper back. It can also be done at any pace.

Hand towel exercises

Figure 8 – Towel calf stretch

When there is a lack of equipment in the hotel room for exercise, you can use a simple towel from your room as a way to stay in shape.

One example is an extended horizontal pulse. You can grab both ends of the towel and hold it out. Relax the shoulders down and back and be away from the ears. Slightly bend the elbows. Extend the arms and pulse slightly up and down. Start with small movements and do larger ones later on as you warm up. Pulse for 60 seconds and do this again three times.

10-minute workouts

In a hurry to catch the next item on your itinerary, 10-minute exercises are quick and easy routines you can integrate before you head to the shower in your hotel room. One example is a single-leg kick. 

To perform this, lace the hands together prop yourself up onto the forearms and reach the legs long behind you. Lift your leg and squeeze the heel into the backside 3 times, then switch sides and repeat.

How do you stay fit while traveling?

Aside from exercising, there is more to staying healthy than just doing outdoor activities. Sheridan advised eating healthy and setting goals for fitness.

Know your limits

Doing exercises will not be easy so make sure to choose physical exercises that will motivate you. Set goals like brisk walking every morning or night, whichever is available for you. 

Try to choose easy exercises instead of tiring ones because they could be difficult to maintain and you could be tempted to not do the exercise anyway.

Make it fun

Now you set your goals and limits, you need to find a way to entertain yourself while working out to ensure that you maintain physical activities. 

You can walk while looking at the scenery or exercise while in groups. You can also sign up for workout classes to meet new people and motivate you to exercise.

Plan meals but don’t overindulge

Eating new cuisine is always part of everyone’s trip when visiting a new country. The problem is, how can you avoid gaining unwanted weight? To do this, you can plan your meals by integrating balanced nutrients such as getting a salad instead of meat. You can also choose Airbnb or hotels that offer kitchen equipment where you can cook your own meals or prepare healthy smoothies. 

By doing this, you will avoid splurging on unhealthy meals. You should also tone down drinking alcohol and sugary drinks.

Drink more fluids

A person in front of a light blue background is drinking distilled water from a glass bottle

Decreasing alcohol and sugar drink limits are helpful but you need to stay hydrated. Drinking water is essential especially when the country you are visiting is humid. Best to bring bottled water or a tumbler during your trip so you can have an on-the-go drink while on your trips. 

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