How would you like to completely disconnect yourself from all the things of our everyday lives for a nice vacation? Who wouldn’t right? But there is a new trend in the vacation world and it’s pretty amazing! Vacations were once a time for doing “nothing” and that’s all well and good, but now vacations are getting more with the times and incorporating physical adventures like fitness classes, bike rides, rock climbing, paddle boarding and more. These vacations that embrace our gifts and needs to move aren’t your momma’s vacation, their “fitcations!”

A “fitcation” is a vacation that incorporates fitness in some sense of the word. It can be as little as one physical event planned or the whole trip revolving around new things to do. Before you roll your eyes (or maybe roll them again) think about it! Imagine the experiences you are missing out on by just staying on the couch or if you are lucky, lying on a beach somewhere. Now imagine hiking up to new heights to see breath taking views, riding a bike on unchartered territory or even taking yoga on the beach before you retire to your beach chair?

Get outside. Just go! Even if it’s rainy you will always feel better after some fresh air. If you are in a beach town, walk the beach, cycle a bike path, see if there are any local walking paths to try. If you are near the mountains hit up a trail! There is nothing like looking down from a mountain and seeing that amazing view and you will never feel more accomplished than after a good hike. Winter is also a great time for fitcations! Try a ski or snowboard lesson, even skating. Don’t be afraid to try new things and ask for help.

Visit a gym. If you haven’t been using your local gym because you aren’t sure what it’s about or what goes on, try it in a new town. You won’t know anyone so it’s a great time to check out what Zumba® or Spinning® is. If you love it, now you can go to your own hometown studio with more confidence. If you love your local classes but want to see some variety or you just can’t bear the thought of missing your Piyo® Live class look into local gyms where you are staying. It’s always great to see new instructors and many of your favorite classes are also taught around the world! You can also ask your fitness instructor before you leave if they know anyone or can you hook you up where you are going. You’d be surprised how small of a world it is for fitness instructors – they know people everywhere!

Stay local. Yes you read that right. Doing something new and physical in your hometown can make you really appreciate your surroundings! If you have never kayaked in Vermont, many towns and state parks let you do it for free or for a nominal fee, so give it a try. Visit your local library and ask for a pass to try new adventures. They often have passes to state parks and other excursions. Walk in new places, try new routes, you may just find a jewel in your own hometown that you didn’t know was there.

Fitcations don’t mean you can’t rest, but we think you will rest a whole lot better if you do something physical first! Plan to be active at least every 2 days, especially if you are often active while not on vacation. It can be as simple as stretching in the sun or taking a run along the coast. But move. That movement will also produce feel good chemicals in the brain to make your overall experience a guaranteed success. Once you’ve got yourself moving and grooving, take time to rest, read and relax. Do what you please and know that you earned it.

Taking a fitcation isn’t only a great way to level out the extra calories we all eat on vacation but it’s a great way to build new lasting traditions and memories. Start small by adding in walks to your daily routine, take in the scenery and the smells. If you want to go to the next level look for adventure, rent that kayak or climb that trail you see. Bikes are usually pretty cheap to rent to and can get you around a town pretty fast! If you are booking a cruise or resort vacation, look into an excursion that might require a little physical activity. As always you can choose to go dancing too – that counts! Listen to new music and let your body flow; that’s a great way to have a fitcation! At the end of the day, we always feel more satisfied when we have put some good energy into something, especially when we use our own bodies to do it! So what are you waiting for? Take a fitcation, you deserve it!


Mary Hoadley-Director Of The Wellness Center