Exercising on vacation

Thanksgiving is coming up, and a couple weeks after that, winter break starts. Holidays are usually a glorious time of music, laughter, friends, family, relaxation and delicious food. But when all the glitter fades and it’s time to go back to school, you might have a harder time buttoning your pants.

Luckily, this is an easy scenario to avoid. All you have to do is dedicate a little time to working out. If you’re going home or to visit a relative, this should be slightly easier. You know your surroundings and the options you have while you’re there. Is there a local gym you can frequent? Or do you prefer running through your neighborhood? If you live in the South or there is an indoor pool close by, you can try swimming. This is a good opportunity to change up your routine and try something new. Getting your family or friends involved will give you more motivation and it can be a great bonding experience. Those who sweat together, stay together.

Cory Jones, a 21-year-old chemical engineering major at the University of Florida, says he works out more when he’s home. “Winter break is when I finally have time,” Jones said. And since college students usually don’t have much time at home, he hangs out with his friends and exercises at the same time. “We play games like pick-up frisbee, and a lot of them do tae kwon do with me too.” Exercise doesn’t always have to mean solitary gym time.

If you plan on going on a trip, things become a little trickier. After all, you’re in an unfamiliar place. In this case, I suggest working out with a buddy. It can be more fun, but it’s also safer for the both of you to stick together. If you’re staying in a hotel with a gym, take advantage. Head there as soon as you wake up or right before bed and just spend 30-45 minutes on the treadmill or the elliptical.

If there isn’t a gym in your hotel or you’re not staying in a hotel, a run can be a great way to experience the local life. Again, stay with a buddy, but take a short jog around the area where you’re staying and take in your surroundings. It’s much nicer than rushing past everything in a car because you’re in a hurry to get somewhere. If you’re staying by the beach and it’s not too cold, you can run on the sand or go swimming.

Exercising on vacation doesn’t have to be a chore. Make it an experience to share with the people around you and enjoy yourself. You don’t have to work out every single day at a certain time for exactly one hour–the idea is to maintain the hard work that you put in throughout the semester. So the next time you start packing your bags to leave school behind for a little while, throw in your favorite exercise clothes so they’re there when you need them!