Staying Fit on Vacation

Last week, I was lucky enough to spend the whole week “up north” with my family. Here, in Michigan, “up north” is where we spend our summer vacation time… like in Kid Rock’s song about “Summertime in Northern Michigan”.

Up north, we’ve got beaches, lakes, bays, rivers, trails, sand dunes and enough fresh air to make your lungs darn near burst.

(Oh yeah… in case you’ve never met someone from Michigan… we LOVE our state!)

Getting to spend a whole week there in the middle of the summer is one of the best parts of being a Michigander.

The other thing that is so great about it is that it is nearly impossible NOT to stay fit when your vacation lands you in the middle of endless choices of naturally built-in physical activities.

Running on Vacation

I have said it before, I don’t like running. It’s what I do when I’ve missed a workout or need to burn off some steam. But, on last week’s vacation, I woke up each morning bright and early, ready to lace up my shoes and head out for a run.

The picture above is from the first morning after I ran a few miles and stopped by the beach. That’s Little Traverse Bay from the Harbor Springs side looking across at Petoskey. It was a great post-run greeting!

Yoga on the Beach

Even in July, the nights in Northern Michigan still get a bit chilly. So, it takes a while for the sand and water to warm back up enough before the vacationers all hit the beach.

That gave me the perfect opportunity to do some yoga… right on the beach. It felt great to hold each pose while staring out into that beautiful bay.

Racing the Boys

My sons are at such a fun age right now. They are young enough to still think that their dad and I are cool… but old enough to start teasing us!

One of their favorites is to challenge us to races. “I bet you can’t beat me to the…” or “Last one to that tree is a rotten egg.”

A week of that was like a conditioning course full of wind-sprints! But it was so much fun… we barely even knew that it could count as “exercise”!

For the record, I can still beat my sons (who are almost 10 and almost 7) in races… but I’m sure it won’t be long before they are lapping me! So, I’ll be doing a lot more racing with them this summer to hang on to my title as long as possible!

Paddling on the River

Since the boys are old enough now to do some more physical activities, we took a few hours and rented two little catamarans and paddled down the Sturgeon River.

Though the river moves along pretty well, there were a lot of branches and logs to maneuver around, so it ended up being a pretty good challenge. The boys loved it and my husband and I were both pooped from pushing and pulling against the current for a few hours.

All-in-all, we decided that was just our first of many future trips down the river!

Of Course… the Food and the Beer…

Now, an up-north beach vacation for my hubby and I wouldn’t be complete without a few cases of Corona and Summer Shandy, a few batches of pasta salads and even lunch-meat sandwiches on sticky white bread!

So – we indulged in all of the above… and then some!

But, at the end of the week when I pulled out my jeans… they still slipped up over my hips and zipped with ease!

We joked that had we actually been careful about what we ate – we probably would’ve actually lost weight on vacation. But, hey – I’ll settle for maintaining my level of fitness while having a great time enjoying some treats!

Moral of the story?

If you want to stay fit on vacation, plan a vacation in an area that actually promotes fitness… and take along the people that motivate you to get up and get going!


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Author: Rachel Honoway

Rachel started based on her love for intense workouts and the results they produce. She's a wife, a mom to two elementary school aged boys and a small business owner - but here at, she gets to be a fitness enthusiast, bringing you tips, advice and routines to help keep you motivated to workout - pretty hard!

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