Exercise tips for your next vacation

Tourists riding down a street on Re Island, France. Personal trainer Annette Lang recommends renting a bike for an hour or two, if you are in an urban destination that has a bike-share programme, to explore the waterfront or other scenic parts of tow
Tourists riding down a street on Re Island, France. Personal trainer Annette Lang recommends renting a bike for an hour or two, if you are in an urban destination that has a bike-share programme, to explore the waterfront or other scenic parts of town.PHOTO: REUTERS

Think you won't have enough time to exercise on your next vacation? Not according to personal trainer Annette Lang. "You can actually maintain and even improve your fitness level when you're on the road," is her mantra. Here are some travel tips she offers her clients.

1. START YOUR DAY WITH A MINI WORKOUT

Take five minutes in the morning on each day of your vacation to do a high-intensity workout.

"You'll burn calories first thing and also feel energised for the rest of the day," said Annette Lang, a certified personal trainer based in New York.

Plenty of high-impact workouts that do not require equipment are available for you to follow online.

Do a quick web search or visit YouTube for ideas, or drop by your hotel's gym, if it has one.

Alternatively, try the following workouts from Lang:

•20 push-ups;

•20 squat jumps (where you go into a deep squat and jump up towards the sky as high as you can);

•20 burpees (where you jump up towards the sky, come down into a squat, kick your legs back behind you and then come back up). Repeat three or four times, or until you have been moving for at least five straight minutes.

2. CREATE A WALKING TOUR

Discovering your destination on foot is the ideal way to get an authentic sense of place and be active at the same time.

Lang loves to design her own walking tours whenever she is on vacation.

On her recent trip to San Francisco, she started her day at a popular breakfast joint, hit two museums, visited Fisherman's Wharf and ended the day at several bars.

All told, she logged more than 16km throughout the city and managed to take in plenty of sights at the same time.

3. EXPERIENCE YOUR ENVIRONMENT THROUGH ACTIVITY

Think about how you can include some activity on each day of your getaway, Lang said. If you are in an urban destination that has a bike-share programme, consider renting a bike for an hour or two, and take a ride along the waterfront or other scenic parts of town.

When visiting sites with scenic views like the observation deck of a building or cathedral roof, climb the stairs to the top, if that is an option. Even a few minutes of stair climbing will boost your heart rate.

And, if you are hiking or exploring a local park, throw in a little exercise by doing 10 step-ups to a bench followed by 10 push-ups, and repeat the set at the next three benches you pass by.

"This quick workout burst goes a long way in keeping you fit," Lang said.

4. DON'T JUST WAIT IN LINE

Whether it is to buy tickets for a popular attraction or a queue to board a tour bus, waiting in line can be inevitable. Instead of standing and waiting passively, however, Lang suggested using your time to do three exercises that your fellow bystanders will not notice:

•Calf raises, which strengthen the lower legs;

•Glute squeezes, where you tighten your glutes and hold as long as you can before releasing, to tone your backside

•Belly breathing, where you exhale as you pull your stomach in and keep inhaling and exhaling while pulling it in more, to boost core strength. You might garner some odd looks, but the result will be worth it.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Exercise tips for your next vacation'. Print Edition | Subscribe