Pushing Your Fitness Limits on Vacation

Maintaining your physical fitness while on holiday can bring rewards beyond just the physical benefits

Credit: Curb Ivanic

Being fit can take you to some beautiful places on vacation

I’m in Maui for a family vacation but wanted to continue to improve my fitness level

To prepare for the spring and summer racing season I’ve dropped about 10 pounds since January. I didn’t want to sabotage my hard-earned gains with too much eating and too little activity while on holiday.

I also wanted to spend time with my family so I had to schedule exercise to have minimal impact on family time. Just like my Maui exercise routine last year, I’m keeping my workouts simple without any fancy equipment.

Set Fun Fitness Goals for Your Vacation

One of the best ways to stick with a fitness program while on vacation is to set fun goals. In previous trips to Maui I focused on surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and exploring the west Maui trails. On this trip I wanted to run some of the other fabulous trails on Maui including part of the trail system in the Haleakala Crater.

I hooked up with local trail runner Matthew Fober through Facebook and he graciously offered to show me a cool route through the crater.

Since we would be running at heights between 6,600′ and 9,700′ I was a bit worried how the thin air would affect me. A friend told me he experienced altitude sickness on the same route we were taking. 

Haleakala craterWe started the run near the summit while the sun was shining. The topography resembled a moonscape.

Two and a half hours later, even though we were at lower elevation, we finished in cloud cover and green foliage. We were soaked through by the tropical mist.

Between the easy fun-run pace and my frequent stops to take photos the altitude really wasn’t an issue, though I did find the uphill sections required more effort than usual.

My fitness and sense of adventure allowed me to see a side of Maui you wouldn’t see if you just laid by the beach. I also learned a lot about Hawaiian history and geography from Matthew. The sights were breathtaking and actually seeing the vegetation, animals and landscape up-close provides a level of knowledge Google simply can’t provide.

When planning your next trip, go ahead and indulge a little, but also challenge yourself to explore both the locale and your own limits. You’ll be glad you did.