How to Stay Fit on Vacation (Without the Gym)

How to Stay Fit on Vacation (Without the Gym)

The workout you'll actually WANT to do while you're away!

Many travelers see their vacation as a break from the routine, a time to relax, and an excuse to indulge in unhealthy foods. But for the fitness fiends among us, switching time zones is no reason to break away from our healthy lifestyle habits. Staying fit on vacation is not only doable, it can be rewarding. You just have to commit.

We consulted our friend Nancy Mizinski, founder of Glow Fitness on Turks and Caicos, who has years of experience training travelers and locals alike. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Nancy has been a Turks and Caicos resident since 2010, and she opened her studio two years ago with the help of some loyal clients. She now specializes in Group Fitness, Private Yoga, Thai Yoga Massage, and Group Bootcamps. You can choose the privacy of your villa for your workout, head to Nancy’s studio in Turtle Cove, or if you prefer, break a sweat right on the beach. Here’s Nancy’s guide to staying fit on vacation… and having fun while you do it.

Book a Trainer

Once you’ve booked your vacation, the next thing you should do is book your trainer. Though it may not seem like something you need to do well in advance, it will go a long way towards keeping you committed. Booking your trainer before the vacation keeps you accountable in case you’re the kind of person that might get there and decide working out was a bad idea to begin with. By booking early, you’ve already made a pledge to stay fit on vacation, and all subsequent planning can support that decision.

“If you want to push hard, I will push you hard. It’s hard to force people to do what they don’t want to do. People that want to stay healthy come in with a different mindset.”
Nancy Mizinski Glow Fitness

Nancy’s the one that turned us onto the idea of booking your sessions before leaving on your vacation. “Have a plan in place before you travel. If you know you’re going to be traveling for two weeks you can say ‘Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I’m going to do this workout routine’, and just have a commitment to yourself that this is what you’re going to do ahead of time.”

The goal is to eliminate as many excuses as possible, and you can continue to do so by packing appropriately. Bring your workout clothes with you. If you’ve chosen a warm-weather location like Turks and Caicos, this won’t be difficult. All you’ll need is a pair of shorts (or two) and a few shirts – or even better, just work out in your bathing suit. Now that’s a workout we can all get behind!

Eat Smart

Working out should always be accompanied by healthy eating, even (or especially) when you’re on vacation. Don’t freak out just yet! That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nice restaurants and treat yourself during your trip – you just have to be smart about it. In many cases, we tend to overindulge when on vacation, eating bigger and heavier meals (and drinking more) than we normally would. Luckily, Nancy is here to help. “I find you get on holiday and all of a sudden you’re having a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My advice is to take one of those meals and just keep it light, with veggies and protein, but cutting out the carbs. That way you’ll balance out the calories.”

Many of our villas in T&C come equipped with a private chef. That means you can relax after a tough workout and enjoy the delicious cuisine of a top restaurant in the comfort of your own home. Another advantage is that you can tailor your menu exactly how you want to so your meals are healthy and hardy. If you prefer to prepare your own post-workout meals just like at home, choose a villa with a fully-equipped kitchen and ask your concierge about villa pre-stocking so you have all the ingredients you need.

Follow a Routine

You may have an exercise routine you already follow, but without access to a gym, it can be tough to keep up while on vacation. Adapting to your surroundings is a challenge for any fitness-oriented traveler, but we’re here to tell you that’s not a bad thing – it’s a good thing. If you live in a big city and are used to training in cramped gyms, your body will be happy you chose to vacation somewhere sandy. Exercising on the beach allows you to get your sweat and your tan on at the same time, and you get to trade your view of the old guy with the tight shirt that grunts too loud for sweeping ocean views and the sound of waves crashing onto the beach. “I always say, look at the environment and have fun with it so you can do something different than you do back home,” Nancy says. Working out on the beach will feel more like fun than hard work.

“Working out on vacation is a different mindset than you or I who comes to the gym at the end of the day after a long day of work. People have a smile on their face; they’re happy to be there.”
Nancy Mizinski Glow Fitness

To make it easy for you, Nancy has shared her exclusive, vacation-specific workout routine for you to use. It’s flexible (it can be done at the gym or on the beach) and fun. Plus, it doesn’t take too long, so you can get back to relaxing sooner, and it’s an optimal difficulty for people that are fit and train regularly. Its high-intensity nature gives you the most bang for your buck, and it covers all the bases: cardio, upper body, lower body, and core. If you’re looking to stay in shape on vacation without a gym, this is the workout for you.

Ten in Turks Workout Routine

Maybe the best part of this workout: when you’re done, you can run into the ocean to cool off. (Then, rinse off in your villa’s alfresco shower.) For those days when you’re not with your trainer and you still want to get a few minutes of exercise in (perhaps to sweat out last night’s indulgences), take a look at our list of the best travel fitness apps around.

Reap the Benefits

Good for you – you’ve made the commitment to stay in shape on vacation. You should be proud of yourself! You know that taking a trip doesn’t have to mean adding 10 pounds and playing catch-up at the gym when you get home. Not only that, but you’ve found a way to have fun while doing it. After all, isn’t that what vacations are all about? Nancy says of her typical clients: “If you’re fitness-oriented, you kind of just want to enjoy your holiday and live the rest of the day guilt-free; you just want to break even. If you know you’re going out for big meals or drinking, you know you’ve had a good workout that day.”

Nancy’s favorite part about training vacationers is knowing someone had a good time and accomplished what they wanted to. ”It’s just knowing someone has had a great workout and they feel good about themselves and knowing they’ve done more than they thought they would.”

Nancy often trains our guests at Beach Enclave villas but is available across the island.
Speak to your concierge for more info.