Sometimes you need a holiday from your holiday. Travel can be stressful, some types of it especially so. Family holidays have drama built in, for example, no matter how nice your family is. So here’s your getaway tip: go to the gym every morning.
Sure, you could view your holiday as a time to take a break from your workout schedule. That’s allowed. But a year or two ago I started making time to work out on any trip I took for work, and I found that instead of feeling like I had more work to do, the morning’s workout was a comfortable routine and a confidence-builder of sorts: whatever might await me in the rest of the day, I’d already accomplished something before breakfast.
Last week, I decided to apply the same logic on a family holiday. And instead of making do with a crappy hotel gym, I bought a week’s pass to a gym where I could do the barbell lifts I usually do back home. I spent an hour there every morning, and somehow the entire holiday went so much more smoothly than it ever had.
At first I felt like I had to apologise for my holiday workouts — but then several people told me about doing the same thing. “I booked a couple Pilates classes when I was in London last month and I was so happy I did,” our Managing Editor Virginia Smith told me. “They got me to a neighbourhood I otherwise wouldn’t have seen much, and made me feel much better physically and mentally.”
How to make your escape
First, figure out what kind of exercise you want to do, and where you can do it. Any city will have a selection of yoga studios, cycling studios, standard-issue gyms, and more. If you're part of a global gym, you might even have some local options.
If you’re into powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting, often the easiest way to get your workout in is to look for a nearby CrossFit box. Check their schedule for “open gym” time when classes aren’t in session, and you’ll be able to load up a barbell and do whatever you like with it.
If seeing new neighbourhoods is what you’re really after, consider a run or bike ride — or even just a walk! — in your location, assuming it’s safe. (Some hotels will recommend running routes if you ask at the front desk.) In truth, if you’re not up for exercise but just need a little alone time, tell your family you’re going to do “yoga” and then just find a quiet place to sit on a mat.