Falling into a steady routine of regular physical activity and exercise takes some doing, but your body is a lot like an engine. Once you get it started and find your rhythm, it's not as hard to keep on going. Of course, it still takes some self-discipline and personal effort to stick to your schedule, but you have a routine. Whether you run before work or hit the gym after hours, it's a part of your daily schedule. So what happens when your regular schedule experiences the biggest possible interruption of them all a holiday Going away from home to spend some time unwinding is something we all crave, but it does raise questions about your workout routine. Will you make time on the road or at your hotel to exercise? Or should you just kick back and take a break from everything, working out included? These are tough questions. Unfortunately, there's no easy right or wrong answer; instead, there are good and bad sides to both perspectives. Below, we'll take a look at each of these viewpoints and break them down into their pros and cons. Which decision is right for you depends a great deal on your own situation. Therefore, it's important to consider every side of the situation and then decide how it should apply to you.



Viewpoint 1: You should take a break to relax while on holiday


You deserve a break, don't you? You work out hard all week long, in addition to everything else you must accomplish. It's tough to get out regularly and run, lift, or even hit the gym to use the equipment. Plus it can be hard to focus on exercise when you want to concentrate on enjoying yourself. While you shouldn't transition from being active to being completely sedentary on your holiday, it turns out that there are many advantages to altering your routine or even scaling back your workout. In other words, the potential exists for you to take a guilt-free "break" from exercise without sacrificing your fitness. How does that work? The key is mixing up your routine. Think about the normal structure of your workout regimen, including the muscle groups or core areas (e.g., cardio, endurance, strength, pulmonary health, etc.) you tend to focus on the most. Think about reducing the amount or intensity of your workout in these areas while you are on break.


Of course, you can also investigate different kinds of exercise to target the same areas but in a different way. Reducing the intensity of your workout is OK as long as you don't turn into a couch potato overnight! Don't forget: you might not have to take a formal "break" at all if you have planned an active holiday for yourself. Walking, biking and even hiking are all practical ways to get your exercise in while on vacation. In fact, you might prefer to take this route instead of trying to fit in your formal, structured workouts. Having a fun holiday doesn't have to mean being inactive; instead, you can plan many activities to allow you to feel good about what you accomplish away from home. Hiking has many benefits all on its own, for example. Exploring the great outdoors and refreshing your perspective while still working out is an excellent way to feel like you're getting a break ? without actually taking one. T

here's no need to stick to your morning run when you're going to be out walking all afternoon. Of course, there are disadvantages as well, especially to completely taking a break from exercise. Disrupting your workout schedule can make it mentally tougher to pick it back up when you return home after your holiday. While missing a few days won't hurt you too much, you'll start to notice the effects after about three weeks. Losing the gains you've made is frustrating. It can also be tempting to simply forego any exercise at all while vacationing, which we've noted is not good for continued fitness. While a recovery period is necessary for everybody, it's important to be careful to avoid letting that period become very long. So, to sum it up:


  • Can incorporate exercise into holiday plans with activities such as hiking
  • Provides the opportunity to try different, less strenuous exercise
  • Offers your body a chance to recover after a sustained period of intense workouts
  • Allows for the opportunity to return to the routine with fresh motivation


  • Could create difficulty in resuming normal routines after holiday
  • Extended inactivity can lead to lost gains and reduced endurance
  • Exercise undertaken while on holiday may not be as vigorous as normal




Viewpoint 2: You should keep working out even while you travel


So what about the opposite perspective the one where you should absolutely keep working out while travelling? This is a little different than simply switching to very low-intensity activities such as stretching and walking. In this scenario, you make an effort to keep up your usual level of exercise activity during your holiday. Perhaps you may even want to use the holiday as an opportunity to increase your workout or swap in some high impact activities. There are advantages and disadvantages to be found here as well. As mentioned previously, skipping out on your exercise can result in losses. Not only will inactivity erase your gains, but it will set you up for an uphill climb when it comes to getting back to your previous level of performance. For that reason alone it is wise to stick to your usual routine while you are travelling.

Add to that the fact that you probably aren't sticking to a proper diet while you're travelling and you have a recipe for sliding back towards being out of shape. Obviously, it makes sense to balance out all that indulgence with some vigorous exercise. Finding the time to fit that exercise in, however, isn't always easy. It can be quite a challenge to work out when you have days full of activities. Luckily, there are plenty of simple workout routines you can use to keep yourself limber while travelling. As we mentioned before, you can also transform some of the activities of your holiday into exercise. What if you head to the beach? Running on the sand adds resistance to your daily run and gives you an excellent cardio workout. There are many other exercise opportunities out there, too.


Using your time away as a chance to focus on yourself and your personal fitness can allow you to make bigger gains because your attention isn't divided. There is the potential that your holiday can see an impact from your exercising, though. You may not have as much time to do the things you like when you have to carve time for physical activity out of your schedule. That's why combining fun and fitness is such an essential practice. Now let's break it down:


  • Opportunity to zero in on your goals and build yourself up
  • Reaffirms good exercise habits
  • Offsets any potential impacts from poor diet while holidaying
  • Easy to combine exercise with outdoor vacation activities


  • Possibility of reducing time for fun holiday-related activities
  • No chance to give your body a rest
  • Could end up feeling exhausted when you want energy for exploring
  • Chance of mental fatigue from too much exercise without a break



Find the balance that works best for you


It's easy to see that there is no simple way to answer the question of "Should I work out on vacation or not?" There are strong points to both sides of the argument. At the end of the day, what's important is balancing your fitness needs with your mental desire for a relaxing holiday. With so many options for outdoor activities and even low-key exercise, it turns out that you don't really need to take a break at all. Changing your routine is often more than sufficient to give you the mental break from exercise you want. Nothing says you have to work out through the entirety of your holiday, either. There's certainly nothing wrong with taking a few days off to catch up on sleep, enjoy the local sights, and relax. Evaluate your fitness needs, consider your ability to self-motivate when it comes to physical activity, and judge for yourself. It's not hard to come up with a satisfying plan for holiday fitness!