Keeping up the Momentum: Tips & Workouts for Your Vacation

Yes, you read it right…I want you to WORKOUT while on vacation! I know, I know you’re thinking “but I‘m on vacation! I don’t want to think about exercising much less actually do it”! But working out on vacation can benefit you both physically and mentally and can really be quite easy to fit into your fun.

Going on vacation is not an excuse to throw in the proverbial towel and ditch those good, healthy habits that you have integrated into your lifestyle. I’m not saying that you have to spend half the day in the gym. But finding a way to fit in a quick workout will likely recharge your batteries and leave you feeling rejuvenated.  Not to mention, a little extra activity may make you feel less guilty about that delicious dinner and extra cocktail that you had the night before. 

I have a few tips to share that will help get your “vaca-workout” on, and also threw in three quick and easy to follow exercise routines. Trust me when I say you will feel so much better and your body will thank you (maybe not at that present moment, but it will)!

Enjoying the view post workout in the living room of our condo.
Enjoying the view post workout in the livingroom of our condo.


Have a workout plan in place. This may take a little bit of advance prep work, but it will be worth the time. It can be tough to come up with a workout off the top of your head. Especially when your brain is in vacation mode and can only think about that margarita. So take a little time, do a little research on your destination’s amenities and decide your course of action. Whether it is hitting the gym, in-room workouts, or running, it’s your choice, just commit, and get your sweat on!

Daily Goals

If you are going to successfully make vacation and exercise work, then you must have a set of goals that are attainable within your vacation plan. Setting a goal to get a daily 20 minute exercise session in or simply going for a 10 minute run will keep you motivated day-to-day. This will also make the return to your regular routine much easier.

Time of Day

Working out in the morning is my recommendation. Morning activity can give you that extra boost of energy your body needs to get you ready for your day. You may also find yourself being the only one awake and can actually get something done! Especially if you have kids. But if you find yourself sleeping in, look ahead at your day and find a quick 20-30 minutes to pick a fun exercise and allow yourself to clear your mind.

Not me running but wish it had been!
Sunrise beach run in St. Augustine


Packing a little exercise gear such as running shoes and a cute workout outfit or two is a must. If you have the space, packing a floor mat, resistance bands, and/or lightweight dumbbells would be a bonus. If you don’t take any or all of these items, you don’t have to throw out your plan, especially if it’s an in-room workout. Just be sure to use caution while moving about. And get it done!

I’m not saying that you have to be 100% all…the…time, but shoot for at least 50% (overachievers welcomed!).  A little extra activity is better than nothing. For example, I just got back from a quick beach vacation with my family. I had a workout plan in place and I was committed to it. My husband and I started a 30-day exercise challenge the first of June and were determined to not let a little down time kill our progress. We exercised three out of the five days and definitely felt those endorphins! I will not lie it was sometimes a little hard to roll out of bed especially when our 14-month-old decided to join us most mornings at 5 am. But we stuck to our plan and were ready for a full beach day after!

My workout gear & my view (wearing the cute ooutfit ;) )
My workout gear & my view (wearing the cute outfit!)

Here are three different types of exercise routines that you can do with ease while enjoying your vacation. Like I said earlier, you only need about 30 minutes. Using the templates below, you can change up exercises depending on what muscle group you would like to focus on. For example an ab session one day and tush and legs the next. Quick and easy as promised! The first two circuits I designed with the idea of staying in the comfort of your room and the third is for the gym rats out there. Be safe and be active. Enjoy! 

1. Timed Interval Circuit

Choose 5 bodyweight exercises (i.e. push ups, squats, plank). Select the time interval of choice. Depending on level of fitness, I recommend 30 seconds to 1 minute of work (of each exercise) with 20 seconds of rest. Take a 1 minute rest between rounds. Complete the whole circuit 3 times. To help keep your time and not have to check the clock constantly, I recommend getting an interval training timer app. There are many to choose from to use on your smart devices. The one I use is Seconds Pro and I highly recommend it. It is AWESOME!! I love how I can program it to use a voice command to keep me on track and keep me moving.  Check it out! 


  • Push Ups for 30 seconds, 20 seconds rest
  • Jump Squats 30 seconds, 20 seconds rest
  • Forearm Plank 30 seconds, 20 seconds rest
  • Burpees 30 seconds, 20 seconds rest
  • Tricep Dips (on floor or chair) 30 seconds, 20 seconds rest 
  • Rest 1 minute and repeat for a total of 3 rounds

2. Exercise Circuit

Select 5 bodyweight exercises. Complete 10-20 reps of each for 3 rounds with a 1 minute break between each round. Rest as needed between each exercise but try to minimize to no more than 15-20 seconds.


  • Bodyweight Squats x 20
  • Burpees x 20
  • Single Leg Deadlifts x 10 (each leg)
  • Push Ups x 20
  • Sit-ups x 20
  • Rest 1 minute and repeat for a total of 3 rounds

3. Mini Circuit for the Gym

Choose 4 combination exercises (works more than one muscle group) using 5-10 lb free weights depending on your fitness level. Complete 8-10 reps of each move. Rest as needed between each exercise but try to minimize to no more than 15-20 seconds. Next add in a little cardio to mix using the treadmill, bike, elliptical and/or stair master machines.  Complete 2-3 sets of the circuit alternating between cardio and weights resting 1 minute in between rounds.


Cardio:  Warm up on the treadmill with a 2-3 minute easy walk/jog then pick it up to run for 3-5 minutes.


  • Deadlift with Front Raise x 8-10 reps
  • Squat with Overhead Press x 8-10 reps
  • Forward Lunge with Lateral Arm Raise x 8-10 reps (each leg)
  • Plank Rows x 8-10 reps (each arm)

Cardio:  Hop on the bike for another 2-3 minutes easy, then 3-5 minutes hard.

Rest for 1 minute then repeat weight circuit and cardio for total of 3 rounds.

This workout may take a little longer so it may need adjusting to fit into your timeframe. If you have the extra time, increase your cardio to 5 minutes easy, 5 minutes hard.  Work off that margarita!!

Please remember to complete a 3-5 minute warm up and cool down session to help stretch your muscles and prevent injury.

Paula Brunt, who has spent the majority of her life in North Central Florida, found comfort with her husband Stefan and their two children, Avery (4 years) and Evan (9 months) here in Jacksonville. Paula’s career as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse at Nemours Children’s Clinic has recently been put on hold to enjoy the pleasures and embrace the challenges of being a stay at home mom. Raising her two toe-heads consists of plenty of excitement daily, but Paula still makes it a priority to begin her mornings with the ladies of Jacksonville Stroller Strength, where she is a student as well as an instructor. Aside from doing her best to live an active and healthy lifestyle, she enjoys time with friends rooting for the Gators, and “relaxing” at the beach with her family in tow. Family, friends, and good food bring a smile to Paula’s face, and she loves nothing more than bringing them all together!



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