Everyone deserves a vacation! But when you’re already on a journey to prevent diabetes, traveling can disrupt your routine, especially when it comes to exercise.
We asked diabetes prevention program participants and Danielle Repko, an American Council on Exercise-certified health coach with OhioHealth Group, how they stay active when they’re away from home. This is what they said.
- Do your research. “Before you leave, search for activities that will keep you active while helping you get the best experience from the place you’re visiting,” says Repko. “Things like hikes, walking tours, climbing walls, swimming and kayaking are great.”
- See what your hotel offers. “We specifically choose hotels with pools and fitness centers,” says one diabetes prevention program participant. “I like to scope out the fitness center and have fun trying out new equipment.” Many hotels, resorts and cruises also have tennis, volleyball or basketball courts, and may offer planned activities for guests, like yoga or dance classes.
- Pack portable equipment. Resistance bands, sliders or even a small pair of dumbbells don’t take up much space in your luggage and can be used in small, private spaces like your hotel room. And don’t forget that exercises done with the most portable equipment of all – your body! – are very effective. Try doing lunges down the hallway, or climbing stairs. “I also like to download workouts to my phone to try,” says Repko.
- Just walk! “Walking doesn’t have to be a structured activity,” says Repko. “Just do it as much as you can.” If you’re driving to your destination, get out of the car when you stop and walk around, even if only for a few minutes to stretch your legs. Once you’ve reached your destination, map out a one-mile walk from your hotel to get a lay of the land, or try restaurants within walking distance.
- Involve your friends and family. Choose activities that your travel companions can do with you so you don’t feel like exercise is keeping you from enjoying your trip. And consider asking a friend back home to call or send text reminders to stick to the plans you said you’d keep.
Repko says the most important thing you can do is make a plan before you leave. “But, it’s okay if you change it when you get there,” she says. “Vacation is about escaping your regular routine and trying new things, so its okay for your workouts to be different than what you do at home. Have fun with it!”