How to exercise on vacation without ruining vacation


How can you fit in exercise on vacation without ruining your vacation? I share tips in this post!

One of my favorite parts of traveling to new places is getting to run somewhere new. I love exploring a new location by foot since I usually see things I wouldn’t necessarily see while doing normal tourist things! While I love planning my vacation runs, I know for many people, it doesn’t always sound pleasant to workout while you’re supposed to be relaxing.

Hopefully this post gives you some ideas of how you might exercise on vacation and still enjoy your vacation. And while many of us aren’t taking the vacations we had planned due to COVID, there are still road trips and staycations to be had. And you can stay active on those too.

runner in chautaqua park boulder colorado


Tips for Exercising on Vacation

1. Recognize non-traditional exercise

If you’re visiting a place that’s walkable, walk! Remember that you’ll likely walk a lot more just from sightseeing than you do in your day to day life! We walked all over Dublin and never thought of it as exercise.

I didn’t work out once when I went to the Terranea Resort, but I loved the daily morning walks with Tommy!

And exploring a new town or city is so much more fun by foot — or bike! You’ll see a city in a way that you’d never see by car. You can usually rent bikes in large cities, and some small ones too.

afoodiestaysfit bike tour boulder

If you like golfing, play 9 or 18 holes with your loved ones. You’ll definitely get a workout if you walk rather than use a cart!

And remember that you may be active in ways you don’t even realize get your heart rate going. Even playing with nieces and nephews count! (This is a photo from 10 years ago when I first shared tips for staying active on vacation! Those boys have changed a LOT since then!! So have I, ha!)

working out while traveling

2. Exercise with others

Tommy and I sometimes run together while we’re on vacation. This was one of my favorite memories from our trip to Palm Beach last year. Trust me, it isn’t his favorite thing in the world. But it’s a fun way to spend time together and he (usually) thanks me afterwards. (If you want to improve your running, get on the waitlist for my running course that is re-opening for enrollment next week!)

recovery run

That run in Palm Beach kicked off something bigger. Later that year, he later ran the BolderBoulder 10K and the American Fork Half Marathon!

teri hutcheon tommy adams

When I travel to a place where friends live or am meeting friends there, I always try to fit in a run with them. (Assuming at least one of them is a runner!) I had a great time exploring Boulder, Colorado, with Jonathan and Amanda last year.

running in boulder co

When I visit my family in Utah, at least one hike is always on the agenda!

I’ve even gone to a running camp! This vacation is designed entirely around running and I LOVED it. Hopefully these camps return next year!!

Zap Endurance Running camp

Note: while working out with others on vacation is awesome, I’m also big advocate for taking solo vacations. Those vacations often make for my best runs. No schedule to stick to, no one to meet, just me. (This will be harder to pull off when we have a baby but I’m hoping I can eventually get back into that tradition!)

3. Recognize how good exercising makes you feel 

Traveling, especially long distances, can be really taxing on your body. One of the best things I do for myself is stretching and going on a walk when I get to my destination. After sitting in a car or on an airplane, I just need to move.

And once I’m settled into my vacation spot, I look forward to exploring the area each with a morning run or walk! Think of it as something you get to do, rather than something you have to do.

afoodiestaysfit running in boulder

Another perk? Exercise can help with the travel gut woes. When I’m traveling somewhere new, I often have a little bit of a hard time adjusting to the food and my digestive system gets upset. I LOVE to eat local food and try new things, but that doesn’t always bode well. Staying active seems to improve that! I didn’t get an upset stomach once while I was in Ireland and I ate a LOT of food!!

4. Try something new

This can be especially fun when you’re somewhere with new-to-you workout classes! I love visiting yoga studios or CrossFit. If you don’t have a climbing gym or cycle studio in your town, visit one during your trip. Or hey, goat yoga anyone?

If you like hiking, try a new trail each day!

fire tower boone nc


5. Relax!

And if you don’t workout, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s MORE than okay to rest. A rest day may be just what you need to help you crush your workouts when you get home. Remember that recovery is an important part of effective training, so maybe hit up the spa for a massage instead!


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