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Part Two: Exercising on Vacation

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I feel a little hypocritical answering the emails that ask how I stay motivated to exercise while on vacation. It’s not always easy for me to stick with my exercise routine, either.

The cardio part, no problem! I’m excited to get out there and explore the scenery. But the weight-lifting… that’s another story. I don’t like weight-lifting even when I’m at home. So when there’s a beach or new city outside, it’s even harder to make time for bulking up those arms of mine. Sometimes I skip a planned session. But you know what? Life does not fall apart!

I promise you: If you skip exercise one day in order to make room for more exciting vacation activities, the exercise’ll still be there the next day. Cut yourself some slack and, when you get a chance, pick up where you left off. Part of healthy living is enjoying life; you need to remember your mental health, too. Stressing out that you’re not exercising as often as you normally do will only serve to inhibit your ultimate goal of being healthy and living a long, quality life.

That being said, I know a lot of you struggle with the cardio part as much as I struggle with the weights. But no one says you have to do the same form of exercise as you normally do. Bike-riding, tennis, beach-walking, swimming, hiking… all count as exercise. Running might just be the best type of vacation exercise, because you don’t need to bring any special equipment aside from sneakers, and because it affords you a chance to take in your surroundings. For those of you looking for ways to fit running into your vacation schedule, I have four words:

Learn to like worms.

If you’re an early bird, you can get your exercise in and still have the rest of the day to relax and spend time with family or friends. Win-win.

Hmmm a post without a photo. We need to remedy this… Sweaty, no make-up, headphones on, and squinting. How’s that for being real?


But wait… what happens when you click to enlarge the photo?


Haha so maybe I’m not that brave.. yet. 😉

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. I haven’t been on holiday for years…but if I did, I would probably keep some kind of workout up to a degree (a quick morning run or something) – but other than that, I’d make walking about all day my workout 🙂

  2. abby says:

    katie, i so appreciate how BRAVE it is for you to be more real on your blog, and i’m really loving these new posts even more than before, which is saying something because your blog has always been my favorite and one of the few i actually comment on. but i think you’re adorable, even without makeup!
    oh, and your cousin has a great name ;).

  3. Jenny says:

    Walk when you can, take the stairs, and do sporty activities!

  4. Leslie says:

    You are too cute! This post is hilarious, especially the part about the worms. I agree that if you get it done in the morning, you feel so much better for the whole day. That goes for any day, not just vacations.

  5. anonymous says:

    thanks for your honesty.
    i struggle with finding time and energy to exercise on vacation, but i find that walking around and seeing the sights is a good exercise and doesn’t even feel like it! 🙂

  6. It can be difficult to find a lap pool to swim in on vacation, but I try anyway! I also seek out the treadmill. And if that doesn’t work, I enjoy good ol’ walks. 🙂

  7. Ilana says:

    Hahaha I freaking love you. My “exercising on vacation” philosophy is the same as my “healthy eating on vacation philosophy.” If you want to, go for it, if you don’t, don’t! One week “off the wagon” will NOT make a difference in the long run – in fact, I’ve found taking a break makes me MORE motivated to start again when I get back. I’ve even taken three week breaks from serious working out and guess what?? Nothing bad happened! (GASP!) What kind of vacation is it if you’re letting yourself stress that you’re not working out? Not a very good one in my opinion.

    Obviously I’m not a stick-to-a-permanent-routine person. I believe very strongly in the ability to be flexible and adapt to whatever situation you find yourself in, because you gotta bend or else you break!

    PS – if that’s you sweaty, post-run, no-makeup, um… girlie you don’t need to wear makeup! You’re SO gorgeous!

  8. Im terrible! No, I dont! I have enough trouble fitting my yoga into a daily schedule let alone when Im on vacaton! Which Ive never understood because I loooooove yoga!

  9. Sarahishealthy says:

    Great photo, Katie! You look energized ;).
    I’m very big on the alternative sources of exercise when on vacation. Walking through NYC as exercise? Yes please!

  10. Katie says:

    Hahaha, “learn to like worms” – I love that line!! And I couldn’t agree more. Getting up early to exercise helps me feel like I’m not going to miss anything with family/friends. Plus, it sets me up for a nice tasty breakfast to enjoy. 🙂

  11. Inspired says:

    I’m packing my running shoes for my next vacation coming up. It’s definitely a great way to see the scenery without a tour guide! Save money :).

  12. Meg says:

    Girl are you kidding me?!?! You don’t need makeup 🙂

    Love the post – it’s so true that exercise is necessary, yes, but not obsessive or everyday – we all should LIVE instead of worrying about getting hours and hours of exercise, or skipping out on vacation adventures just to exercise.

  13. Valerie says:

    You look gorgeous and strong! This is a great post. But one more exercise form you wouldn’t know about: Running after kids! You’ll learn someday ;).

  14. i love how open you are! 🙂 great post.
    when i’m on vacation, i love checking out the hotel gyms, if i’m there. i love love LOVE weight training, so it’s pretty legit. if i’m somewhere cool (last summer i was in vancouver and alaska… the epitome of cool summer weather) i’ll run outside. if i’m at the beach, i might run in the sand or jog in the evening/early morning. otherwise… i’m a lazy bum. 😛 i def cut myself slack when i’m on vacation though! 🙂

  15. Laura says:

    It is just so difficult to sstick to an exercise routine on holiday! but anyway, holidays are all for enjoying yourself, so if there’s no time for exercise or just don’t fancy it, that makes a holiday a holiday! you still look stunning even in your extra “real” picture xx

  16. Julie says:

    I admit I can’t stop exercising whilst I’m on holidays. I would love to run on the morning, but I’m quite scared of being annoyed by someone. Aren’t you scared at 6 in the morning while no one is around ?

  17. Katie! I was just on vacation and it truly is hard to keep up the exercise routine. For me it was solely because there was literally no time. We got up quite early, got ready, were out the door and out all day and into the evening. Luckily, we walked miles and miles and miles so that does contribute to exercise. We were only gone for 4 days but if we were gone longer and there was no wedding involved, we would have definitely incorporated exercise for sure.

  18. Busted! I totally tried to click to enlarge cause I thought, I wanna see what Katie looks like without makeup! You are far braver than me…I’m rarely leave my house without my face on, and I’d be way scared to a post of myself sans makeup. 🙂 From the tiny photo that I can see, you look great without makeup!!

    As for vacation exercise, I don’t do that either. Occasionally, if a hotel has a gym and I’ve totally binged the night before, I might do a little cardio. But I see vacations as a chance to eat too much and be lazy. 🙂

  19. Serena,
    I definitely am not an expert on the subject, but I once wrote a little about how you could start out. I know there are many different ways to start, though :).


  20. Julie,
    It’s almost always already light outside when I go out, and I live in suburbia, so I’m never running through remote locations. If I were, then yes, I would be worried!

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