Stay Fit While on Vacation with these Celeb-Trainer Tips

No excuses! Fitness experts responsible for bods such as Shakira, Jessica Alba and Heidi Klum share their tips to keep up your momentum.

Art by Tanya Leigh Washington

We've all been there: vacation finally comes around and all routines get thrown out the window. We sip our wine, dine without counting calories and sleep whenever we want. After spending weeks training to get a bikini bod, you might as well just bask in the sun, right? 


Sorry to break it to you, but vacation time is no excuse to abandon exercise. Trust top celebrity trainers, who chatted with us about the benefits of continuing your fitness habits even while off in some remote island or exotic city. Read on for quick tips that require little equipment and minimal time, so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

First things first: why working out on vacation is important
Anna Kaiser, trainer to Kelly Ripa, Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker, stressed that it actually helps you experience relaxation. "You'll feel more focused, relaxed and guilt-free after a morning workout on vacation," she says. "You are more able to enjoy the rest of your day and not feel so badly about a little indulgence!" Skipping sweat sessions can also serve as a major setback. "If you don't keep up, you end up losing momentum with your fitness goals," says Andrea Orbeck, whose clients have included Heidi Klum, Maria Menounos and Doutzen Kroes. "Physiologically, you can start muscle atrophy. Nine out of ten times, you tend to eat and drink more on vacation. If you have been sedentary, you can gain around five pounds on average."

No gym? No problem!
"You have to turn your environment into a makeshift gym," says Orbeck. "You have to use your hotel room, you have to use the stairs, you have to use the pool. Science tells us as long as we are moving and getting intensity with resistance, the rest is just geography." Orbeck herself rarely trains in a gym, opting instead for planks, mountain climbers, stairs, burpees and the Chaturanga yoga pose, all of which you can do in your own hotel room. "You get your heart rate up, but you are stable," she adds. "If you do five or six rounds, it takes 20 minutes." Good news for folks with a jam-packed trip itinerary.

Nine out of ten times, you tend to eat and drink more on vacation. If you have been sedentary, you gain around five pounds on average! You have to turn your environment into a makeshift gym.

–Andrea Orbeck, celebrity trainer

You have Wi-Fi for a reason
And it's not just for getting everyone jealous of the vacay pics you just uploaded. Download apps such as Ramona 321 Pro ($8), which uses a training method by Ramona Braganza, who has worked with Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes and Halle Berry. "You can use things you have in your hotel room—think a chair for tricep dips, push ups for chest and arms, no equipment needed for lunges and squats, water bottles for your shoulders and the wall for stick-ups to workout your back," she suggests. Along with apps, there are tons of videos, such as Kaiser's dance-infused cardio routines for streaming online ($8 per video for two-month streaming access). Other apps to consider: Power 20 ($3) for a quick routine you could even do at the beach and Yoga Studio ($4), which provides 65 ready-made classes.

Make your workout an adventure
The world is out there for you to see, after all. "Finding hidden running trails, meeting people in a group exercise class, hiking beautiful mountains, paddle-boarding down rivers or swimming in the Amazon—my most recent excuse to exercise—is a way to enjoy life, and breathe in the new air and culture around you," says Kaiser. 

What to Pack
The trainers we spoke to all suggested the same three types of items: jump ropes, yoga mats (although even a towel will do) and resistance bands. Orbeck suggests taking both a resistance band with a door anchor and one with a handle, which together weigh less than two ounces and take up hardly any luggage space. "You can use it to stabilize yourself for squats, reverse lunges, standing upright row, bicep curls, bent over tricep extensions and more," she notes. Braganza adds that a pedometer, like her favorite one from Omron, the HJ325 ($29), is light and can be worn on the go. "Every step you take is in the direction of a healthier lifestyle, so use a pedometer to start tracking," she says. "The goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day." It might sound like a lot but won't feel like it as you go sight-seeing.

Associate Editor at StyleBistro. I'm most likely writing, indulging my sweet tooth, or pretending to be Beyoncé. Follow me: Google
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