How to Stay Fit on Your Beach Vacation
By definition, taking a vacation means kicking back and relaxing, especially when you're at the beach. If you're like me, your entire itinerary consists of applying sunscreen, catching some rays and splashing in the surf long enough to cool off. I do, however, try to include some type of fitness activity, even if it's not my normal routine. Thankfully, you'll find lots of entertaining and interesting ways to stay fit during your beach vacation along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
One of my favorite ways to stay fit is biking the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, a system of seven trails covering more than 15 miles through Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Gulf State Park. Because the trails travel through six distinct ecosystems, the scenery changes throughout and you never know what wildlife you may encounter. I especially love biking these trails because my kids love biking them with me; they get in some great activity without even realizing they are exercising.
While you also can walk the Backcountry Trail, there are many great places to go hiking in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. For instance, head to the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge or the Wade Ward Nature Park, where you can get in your exercise while seeing how many different species you can spot along the way.
Another way to get fit in nature is through stand-up paddleboard yoga, one of the many yoga classes offered in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Or you can opt for yoga on the beach or choose, instead, a hot yoga class at a nearby studio.
If you choose to stick with your tried-and-true exercise routine, consider hitting the fitness center at your Orange Beach hotel or Gulf Shores condo. Because I try to accommodate my kids’ wishes for our daily activities, I usually have to wait until after they go to bed to get my exercise in; for this reason, I love being able to head to the onsite fitness center, where I can get my cardio done on one of the elliptical machines. If, however, you’re staying at a vacation rental house or other accommodation that does not have an onsite fitness option, check out one of the local centers that offer guest access. For instance, Fitness Factory offers two-day and one-week passes, 24-hour member access, and even personal trainers to visitors to the Alabama Gulf Coast.
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