Get Out to Get Fit!

The amazing thing about the weather finally getting nicer can also be the most detrimental to your workout routine. We often opt for spending the majority of our time outside on a beautiful sunny day or laying beachside during the much needed vacation in lieu of a sweaty cardio session and grueling free weight repetitions in a low-lit, stinky gym indoors. And I don’t blame you, but we have to keep up the good work and stay healthy, even in the spring and summer. If you’re worried about staying on top of your exercise routine, don’t sweat it! These are my helpful tips and tricks that will make it a breeze to squeeze in your fitness routine while still enjoying your vacation, as well as the best ways to optimize your exercise routine outdoors.

Bring Your Activity Outside

So, what about all of the days the beautiful weather makes us feel guilty if we don’t spend time outdoors? Thankfully this isn’t actually a problem! There are endless options for exercising outdoors: biking, swimming, skating, volleyball, soccer, kayaking…really the list could go on for the rest of this post so I think I’ll stop there. However, when you want to optimize your outdoor workout, there are some activities that are better than others. Let’s break them down so we can slim you down.

Outdoor Activities

Running: Leading the pack, running is your go-to outdoor exercise to burn the most calories. It’s also a great way to explore your city; running at a 7-mile per hour pace for 1 hour burns nearly 700 calories! However, if you are running on the beach or concrete it can be extremely hard on your knees and lower-back so take that into consideration if you have any injuries. Try finding a local outdoor track to relieve the stress on your joints.

Swimming: If you’re catching rays poolside - jump in! Did you know swimming at 50-yards-per minute can burn over 500 calories in one hour? Don’t forget about kickboards and water aerobics either! These are great ways to tone your legs to get long, lean muscles, so swim your way to slim.

Biking: While the weather is nice (unfortunately it’ll be cold again before we know it), grab that bike out of your storage unit and start biking to and from work. Biking at 12-14 miles per hour for an hour burns up to 560 calories, and it’s a great way to avoid the gym and save time, leaving more time to spend with your friends and family at that great new restaurant with outdoor seating you’ve been dying to try!

In-line Skating: I know it feels like forever since you slapped on those blades and went for a skate, but it’ll let you burn calories while rediscovering your youth! This fun workout is shockingly effective- skating at 12-14 miles per hour can burn around 500 calories. Just don’t forget your helmet and knee-pads if it’s been a while since you’ve been on 8 wheels.

Volleyball: Often overlooked, volleyball is a fun group activity that is so enjoyable you won’t even realize how many calories you’ve worked off. An hour long game can burn about 480 calories and leave you sore in muscles you didn’t realize existed!

Kayaking: For the adventure-seeker this is the perfect way to enjoy mother nature and work on your core and arms. Burning more than 350 calories per hour and trying something new...Where do I sign up?

Soccer: Try organizing a pick up soccer game with your friends. Since soccer is primarily a running sport, you can burn more than 600 calories per hour if you are continuously moving.

And when you’re looking for something to compliment your workout, or just want to do something active outside, try taking an outdoor yoga class, doing yard work, horseback riding or even washing your car. All of these activities burn at least 200 calories in an hour! 

Exercise on the Road

Traveling can be extremely detrimental to your exercise routine - not only do you not want to exercise while on vacation but it messes up your schedule, making it difficult to get back on track once you’ve returned home. Plus, the resorts’ infamous local fish tacos, bottomless strawberry daiquiris, and decadent molten flourless chocolate cake quite literally weigh down your motivation to take that early morning run on the beach you promised yourself you would do every day. Working out while on vacation is a struggle in itself, so let’s start by making realistic goals - ditch the 7am run on the beach and pick one of my favorite ways to stay in shape while traveling and to return home healthier than when you left.

  1. Pack your 6-pack: There is no reason not to bring your favorite workout with you; exercise DVDs are the easiest way to stay fit on vacation and they take up almost no space in your suitcase so your cute new wedges will still fit in your overstuffed bag! It’s also extremely easy to throw in lightweight exercise equipment like a yoga mat or resistance bands. If you are bringing your computer along for the trip, you can always find free workout videos on sites like YouTube to follow. 
  2. See the sites: While a 7 am run may not be on the agenda, that doesn’t mean you need to cut into your site seeing time to get an afternoon workout in. I love to use Map My Run ( to find local running trails that are scenic; ditch the car and get a workout in and explore the area by running, hiking, rock climbing or riding bikes.
  3. Do as the locals do: No matter if you’re traveling near or far there is always something cultural that you can do for exercise. Do a little research ahead of time or once at your hotel inquire about exercise activities. It could be anything from a unique form of martial arts or dance to a great boot camp class. This is a great way to spend quality time with your family too; it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget!
  4. No equipment? No problem: The easiest cop-out for not exercising on vacation is the lack of facilities available at the resort. Get your cardio in by doing something outside and try my top 10 in house moves that will keep you toned without needing any equipment. Try doing each exercise for about 30 seconds for two-to-three sets for best results.
      • Burpees/Squat Thrusts
      • Push Ups
      • Wall sits
      • Plank
      • Tuck Jump
      • Supermans
      • Plies
      • Mountain Climbers
      • Sumo Squats
      • Roundhouse Kicks

    So now you know ... get out and get healthy!


    Heather Bauer, RD CDN
    Heather Bauer, RD CDN


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