Fitness Vacations

climberWant to just relax on your next vacation? You might be in the minority, because the latest trend is to take an “active vacation.” Forget about laying by the pool with drinks and grazing the buffet tables for lunch and dinner, it’s time you got up and got fit.

Not just for baby boomer jocks, these active vacations turn leisure time into fitness workouts. yogaladyYoga retreats and rafting trips have been around forever, but now there’s more choices and new activities. Kayaking, rock climbing, cycling and horseback-riding are just some of the fitness vacation options.

The most important advice we can stress for those about to embark on an active vacation is to do the preparation before you leave and make sure the level of activity matches your abilities. If you have not been on a bike in years, doing thirty miles a day is going to kill your legs and your butt.

  • Use the active vacation as an excuse to get more fit while you’re still at home.
  • Start walking or biking every day and slowly build up your distance.
  • Break in new hiking shoes well before the trip.
  • Research the trip offerings to make sure the activity level matches your abilities.
  • Talk to other boomers who have done an active vacations to try to get an honest picture.

atvRiderMore and more of these active vacations are being marketing to baby boomers rather than thirty somethings. Boomers have the money, the time, and in a departure from prior generations, they are more health conscious. Watching the world go by from an air-conditioned bus, playing shuffleboard, or planting oneself in a lounge chair on an ocean liner are all vacation ideas that might have worked for their parents, but boomers want a lot more than that. They want to live better and longer.

Not to sound too much like new age blather, but boomers who are pursuikayakerng these active vacations want to get a workout on the spiritual and mental side as well. They want to learn new things, see new places, and find ways to exercise their spirits at the same time that they get a cardio workout.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the active vacation is that it helps you discover a fitness activity that you can carry over into everyday life. Once you’ve been introduced to yoga, you can use it everyday to stretch out and remain flexible. After your first rock climbing experience, you can become a hanger-on (literally) down at the local rock wall facility. So our last piece of advice is use your active vacation as a try-out for the fitness regimen you might want to hang on to for the rest of your life.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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