6 tips for an active getaway you'll remember

Discover how you can get fit on vacation and business trips alike — without sacrificing any of the fun.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Hitting the road? Being out of your usual routine can make it easy to give in to overeating and under exercising. But whether you're traveling for work or play, it doesn't have to mean skipping workouts.

With the right approach, fitness can fit seamlessly into your travel plans. In fact, it can even enhance your time away. Use these tips from experts at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program to do it right.

Plan smart

Explore active entertainment. Nobody ever said lying on the beach was the only way to relax. When choosing a vacation destination, look into a spot where you can go hiking, zip lining or even country line dance the night away — whatever moves you.

Stay where it's walkable. When looking at hotel or vacation rentals, spend some time exploring online to see what's around. Consider whether there are sidewalks, bike lanes, mass transit options or amenities you'd enjoy within walking distance.

A trendy neighborhood that has attractions you can walk to may cost a bit more. But consider if you'll save money by walking instead of paying for taxis or parking.

At the airport

Dress for action. Don't let uncomfortable footwear — or clothing — keep you grounded. Wearing supportive shoes and packing a small roller bag (or checking your luggage) can free you up to roam during your layover, and rack up healthy steps.

Fun game: Try walking alongside the moving sidewalk, and "racing" the people on it.

Check out airport exercise facilities. Perfect for stretching your limbs between flights, a growing number of airports are now carving out space for in-terminal yoga rooms. Some even offer virtual golf.

If you have serious time to kill, it may be worth exploring options for a full gym workout. A few airports feature designated gyms and some airport hotels offer day passes for a small fee. Search online for "airport gyms" to find current offerings.

At your destination

Think beyond the hotel gym. Yes, you can get your usual workout in at a basic hotel gym. But consider if renting a bike to get around town or checking out a trendy HIIT class could be a better way to explore the new place.

Take advantage of the perks. Just like airports, some hotel chains now offer fitness-focused amenities. Depending on where you stay, you could get an in-room cardio machine, borrow some fitness gear or join a concierge-led run around the city.

Schedule time to move. Instead of taking time away from your vacation to exercise, make exercise part of your vacation. Plan at least one activity each day that gets you on your feet. Long walk on the beach? Yes, please.

Busy with business? Maximize efficiency. A simple set of resistance bands requires minimal suitcase space. Pair it with an app (search "7 minute workout") to find simple workouts you can do in your hotel room.

If your day is packed with meetings, look for opportunities to move. Stand at the back of the room where you can pace while listening. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Spend part of your lunch break on a walk. It all adds up, both at home and away.

Jan. 19, 2019 See more In-depth