How to Stay Fit on Vacation

The hot pool at Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole
The hot pool at Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole
The hot pool at Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole

I’m on Spring Break in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, although “Spring Break” may be stretching it. Instead of late-night boozing, sleeping in and days filled with lounging and little else, I’m early to bed, early to rise, and my days are spent doing healthy activities. It’s easy in Jackson Hole. All I have to do is look out my Hotel Terra window and the snow-covered mountains and blue skies beckon me to ski… or snowboard… or snowshoe – all major calorie-burners that not only nullify the extra portions I’ve been pounding (I had some tdf Buffalo Sliders at Spur), they supercharge my metabolism. Unfortunately, not all vacations are built around activity like Jackson Hole, but that doesn’t mean you have to go home weighing more than when you arrived. Even “lazy” beach vacations, food-filled cruises and big-city adventures can include calorie-burning – all you have to do is follow this simple guide.

1) Pick a hotel with an inspiring gym – Hotel gyms are no longer just glorified closets with some workout equipment. Hotel Terra boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center complete with stationary bikes that let you virtually race in the Tour de France and every piece of muscle-building equipment you can imagine, plus extra room for stretching and yoga.  The space is light and lively and overlooks a mountain vista, which always makes working out seem less like work.

2) Pack your runners – No matter where you travel, you can run. Take Jackson Hole: there’s a trail about a stone’s throw away from my hotel that winds through an elk-filled national park. So not only do you get your run on, you get to take in the spectacular scenery while you’re at it.

3) Get your workout in early – This a tried, tested and true rule for me on vacation. The earlier I get in my sweat session, the less likely I am to get sidetracked by beachside cocktails, or Pu-Pu platters or nap time… where was I again?

4) Take the stairs – Don’t underestimate the power of stairs. Burning seven calories a minute may not sound like much, but all those ups and downs can add up – and you don’t have to wait around for the elevator.

5) Schedule fit time – Once that vacation-state-of-mind-go-with-the-flow mindset takes over, squeezing in a workout can feel like hiking Mount Everest. The fix: treat fit time like you would an appointment and slot it into your schedule. I usually type it right into my calendar, reminder alert and all.

6) Plan a drop in – I crave yoga on vacation. The flying, the jet lag, the not-so healthy eating all make me yen for a soulful stretch session. So before I take a trip, I’ll Google local studios and book myself into a class or two. Most boutique gyms have reasonable drop-in rates and you may even find a fun class like Hoopnotica (a fat-burning hula hoop workout). Think of it like fitness sight seeing.

7) Plan a post-exercise reward – Yes, the workout is a reward in and of itself (think boosted energy, less vacation stress and a taut tummy in your bikini). But knowing there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can make me run a little faster or lift a little heavier. My favorite post-workout prize: an oh-so heavenly spa treatment, like the Sugar Plum & Spice Facial at Chill Spa or a much-deserved soak in Hotel Terra’s hot pool (gorgeous!).

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