Where to Go for Mini-Fitness Adventures4 min read
The types of trips where you move from one lounge chair to another, split your time between a pool and a beach, and take afternoon naps on a hammock are what dreams are made of. These vacations allow you to leave your stress and worries at home and truly relax and reset.
While all this rest feels amazing and leaves you feeling refreshed, it may make it just about impossible to get back to the gym and a healthy diet. Sure, taking a bit of time off from the gym gives your muscles the ability to repair themselves, but more than a day or two isn’t ideal.
When you take a significant break from working out, the effects are near-instant – your blood pressure is higher on the day you don’t exercise than the days you do. And, in just two weeks, your blood vessels adapt to the slower flow of your sedentary vacation. Those two weeks off can also cause you to get winded more easily. Additionally, your blood sugar may spike. Normally, your blood sugar levels rise after you eat and then drop as your muscles and other tissues absorb the sugar for energy. But just five days of not working out can cause your post-meal blood sugar levels to stay elevated, , according to a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Wait, it gets worse. Your muscles lose some of their fat-burning potential and your metabolism slows down in just one week of complete rest. And two weeks of slothfulness can cause declines in your muscle mass.
You can counteract these effects by incorporating mini-fitness adventures in your vacation while still being able to spend time in that hammock. Here are the best places where you can do just that.
This Asian destination boasts some truly magnificent islands, like the Perhentian islands off the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia known for impeccably clean water ideal for snorkeling or the luxurious Langkawi Island located in the state of Kedah and bordering Thailand. Whichever island or metropolitan spot you decide to vacation in, you can take a side trip to Malaysia’s Penang National Park for a day of hiking in a tropical rain forest. It features miles of hiking trails that lead to eight beaches, fulfilling your desire to be on a beach while giving you the opportunity to see unique wildlife.
This destination is the unofficial eco- and adventure-tourism capital of South America. In between lounging under swaying palm trees and maybe even taking a rejuvenating yoga class, kick up your adrenaline levels with a day of zip lining. Costa Rica pioneered the zip lining craze and continues to take this adventure to new heights, so to speak, with the world’s longest zip lining tour at 7 miles in Nosara. The Miss Sky Canopy Tour gives you the unique perspective of the Costa Rican forest wilderness.
This country’s largest island, Phuket (the ‘h’ is silent), is known for its deep-sea diving, high-end dining, and white beaches. Lounge on a beach, go for a ride on an elephant and indulge on a five-star meal…that sounds like a recipe for not wanting to go home at the end of vacation. Phuket is also an incredible destination for kayaking– head to the Karst Islands to see towering columns rising out of Phang Nga Bay, water-filled caves, narrow limestone passages, tropical beaches and clear, blue water.
This country may be known for its many resort towns up and down the Pacific and Gulf coasts, but for a relaxing vacation with a mini-fitness adventure, head to Puerto Vallarta. Its sandy beaches are dazzling, but that’s not all you can experience here – there are quirky shops, horseback riding, cruising, diving trips, stylish restaurants, and an exciting nightlife. It also happens to be one of the best places in the world to paddle board. Stand up paddle boarding in Puerto Vallarta’s Banderas Bay means you’ll be able to get a fun, full-body workout while gliding along the warm, calm water along with dolphins, humpback whales and sea turtles.
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Photo from http://iguanasurf.net/zip-lining-costa-rica/.