Couple with beautiful bright sweet Italian ice-cream with different flavors in the hands on the square in Rome , ItalyWe all look forward to our summer vacation but maintaining our workout routine while we travel can be difficult, especially when combined with the temptations of great local food.

First, do not set yourself up for failure or disappointment. You do not have to completely abandon your progress, but we need to be realistic and realize our routine will be different away from home. There’s a reason we look forward to these vacations and we should not deprive ourselves of local goodies and great restaurants, rather remember that it’s all about moderation.

You are not alone if you feel the need to burn some calories while you vacation. About 53 percent of Americans believe it is “very or somewhat important” to exercise while they are traveling while only about 10 percent do not work out, according to a study by Expedia. Walking and exploring a new city were the exercises of choice for those who wanted to continue to work out, according to the study.

Some tips for staying fit on vacation include:

  • Pack those walking shoes. When you are able, walk to restaurants or sites instead of taking a bus, taxi, personal vehicle or ride-sharing.
  • Try to do as much physical activity as possible outside or in your hotel room. Both of these locations eliminate the need to wear a mask which can obviously be quite cumbersome during vigorous workouts.
  • Take a walking tour and look for other opportunities to get in some steps to combine exercise and site seeing.
  • Take a swim, hike, bike, walk or even jog. Some of those will give you great views of your destination.
  • Search for hotels with a gym or a local gym. If vaccinated and going to a gym, it’s strongly recommended to social distance and sanitize all machines.
  • There are exercises you can knock out in your room before you head out for your adventures. Along with pushups, squats, lunges and sit-ups, you can take along a resistance band to add other exercises like curls without taking up much space in your luggage. Utilize workout apps or YouTube videos that can provide a personal trainer virtually inside the comfort of your hotel room.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Pack some healthy snacks. This could limit the temptation to overindulge.
  • Take your own water bottle. Even in an airport, you can carry a water bottle and fill it after passing through security. Some airports even have designated filling stations for your bottles. You stay hydrated and save a few dollars. (This obviously depends on the water quality where you are traveling). Try to avoid community water fountains.
  • Eat some vegetables.
  • You want the most out of your trip, but make sure you are sleeping.
  • If not vaccinated, we recommend wearing a mask in addition to above guidelines.

These are a few easy steps to enjoy your vacation without the guilt.
Happy travels!

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Article by: Katherine Pohlgeers M.D.

Katherine M. Pohlgeers, M.D., was first introduced to Louisville in 2001 after accepting a basketball scholarship to Bellarmine University. After completing her Master’s in Science in Physiology and BioPhysics, she remained in Louisville for medical school and her residency in family medicine. She ultimately completed her training in Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at UofL and decided to stay as a sports medicine faculty member and a physician with UofL Physicians – Family Medicine. Some of her medical interests include platelet-rich plasma treatments for arthritis and tendinopathy, traumatic brain injuries, and compartment syndrome.

All posts by Katherine Pohlgeers M.D.
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