Staying Active On a Beach Vacation

Last week I was fortunate enough to spend eight glorious days in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with my best friend and workout partner, Jess.  They were brave enough to let me tag along on their family vacation.  Vacation can be an intimidating thing for people looking to lose weight.  Days of beach vacations are often spent lounging around in the sand  during the day with big meals full of calories at night.  Not ideal for weight loss efforts.

I started vacation a little nervous about backsliding and completely making a pig of myself in terms of eating and not getting exercise in.  But once we got there, I knew that exercise would not be a problem.  Each morning, I woke up around 7:30 and hit the local neighborhoods and beach access ramps for some mileage.  I walked the majority of the time, but on shorter runs, I would alternate running with walking.  Jess joined me on a few mornings, but others we did our own thing since she is a speedster and I can’t keep up.  We also rented beach cruisers and would ride them during the day for short spurts and then ended each and every day with a 5 mile loop around the golf course we were staying at.

Some morning miles on the endless shores of Hilton Head Island

Some morning miles on the endless shores of Hilton Head Island

Here’s a rundown of the activity of our week:

Sunday: 6 morning beach miles alone/evening 5 mile bike ride
Monday: 6 morning miles with Jess/bike ride/evening 5 mile bike ride.
Tuesday: 3 mile walk with Jess/evening 5 mile bike ride
Wednesday: 6 mile walk/ evening 5 mile bike ride
Thursday: 3 miles/ evening 5 mile bike ride
Friday:  8 mile morning bike ride/ evening bike ride
Saturday: No workout (other than packing)

bike riding on the golf course

bike riding on the golf course

Not the greatest of workouts and it was all mostly just walking/running plus our daily bike rides, but getting up and getting a fantastic sweat in each morning really made a difference with food cravings during the day.  That kick-start to the day was well worth a morning alarm.

Since we were able to stay in a house, I ended up packing lots of food to eat during the day so eating out would not be a temptation.  Every day, I would wake up and have peanut butter toast and lunch would usually consist of a turkey sandwich with fruit on the side and some baked chips.  Not horrible for a vacation, right?  Of course we did eat out for dinner each night, but I never felt overly stuffed or bloated since we ate lighter throughout the day and did a morning workout.  It is all about finding that balance.

Jess's on left; mine on right.

Jess’s on left; mine on right.

I will say that each night after our bike rides we went to the best frozen yogurt place I’ve ever been to.  Yo Addiction just opened up on the island about a month ago and is so fantastic. The yogurt was delicious and the toppings were on point.  They gave us a vacation card that got us 20-30 percent off our entire purchase each night so that kept us coming back.  Fro-Yo isn’t THE most healthy thing in the world, but it beats going out for fatty ice cream each night.  I loved ending each day with a big ole bowl of fro-yo.

Truly an addiction

Truly an addiction

Staying active on vacation was much easier than I thought it would be.  Getting up never bothered me and I always felt like I was pushing myself harder than I would back home because I knew I wanted to enjoy my restaurant meal each night.  Plus the humidity really really made me sweat hard.  It also helped having a friend there to wake up with and get you out the door.  Vacations can be intimidating, but thanks to a little morning exercise, healthy(ish) meals during the day, and an evening bike ride after dinner, I left feeling skinnier than I did at the beginning of the week.  morning miles

How do you stay active on vacation?


6 thoughts on “Staying Active On a Beach Vacation

  1. I love this post!!! We are going to the beach this summer as well. I always run in the mornings (usually 5 very slow miles), then have fun for the rest of the day. We go with my husband’s family who we only get to see once a year, so I like to have the running done early so that we can maximize our time with them.

  2. Way to go! I stay active on vacation through running in the morning and doing some things that you can do anywhere like planks and push ups. I also bring resistance bands with me for some strength training. On healthy eating, I definitely try to buy food at the grocery store so I can eat healthier, and we even cook dinner, too!

    • Getting up in the morning definitely helps!! So does the idea of random workout moves like planks-you don’t even have to work up a huge sweat to do those. I really found that not eating out the entire time helped a lot. Glad you stay active on vacay too 🙂

  3. so proud of you for sticking with it!! I’m actually posting about this soon, but the travel for work (even though not vacation) and eating out was getting to me! balance is key-you’re on track!

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