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Cook Island Vacation Workout

February 11, 2017


My husband and I got back from, Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, a chain of islands halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.


As I was telling people about it, I was reminded once again of my intention to share my travel workouts to give you ideas about what you can do while on vacation.

To begin, I have three rules and three reasons for those rules.

3 Rules/Reasons of Vacation Workouts

Move Vigorously Once Every Day


When on vacation, I do as I normally do at home and choose one form of vigorous movement per day, even if I know I’ll be moving at a more moderate pace the rest of the day, such as sightseeing.


  1. My heart maintains its cardio fitness as it should.
  2. I can eat the wonderful food of the locale without worrying about calories.
  3. I minimize the effects of jet lag (Quick Tip: Fight Jet Lag With Exercise by Shawn Radcliffe, Men’s Health)


Choose a Fun Workout That Maximizes the Locale’s Attributes


Rather than workout in a gym, I choose options specific to the locales, whether running ancient staircases in a picturesque Tuscan village, learning to windsurf in Hawaii (as vigorous as it is beautiful!) or biking the path along Lake Michigan in Chicago.


Doing new activities is always fun, but moving as such in spectacular locations I’ve never seen before is beyond fantastic.


Be Respectful to Travel Companions

Whether you’re traveling with friends, a spouse and/or kids or a busload of people, choose movement options that won’t inconvenience your companions. Traveling can be stressful, so you don’t want to add to anyone’s anxiety by running late, getting lost or dragging people on excursions they don’t want to do.

It’s easy enough to set your alarm 30 minutes early so you can get your workout in before the day’s planned itinerary begins, or better yet, schedule yourself on guided activities where you’ll be safe and in the company of others who want to do a specific activity. You can always meet up with your travel companions later, at which point you’ll have a lot to tell them.


My Cook Island Travel Workouts

The list below gives a good example of the rules listed above. We were lucky enough to stay in a cottage on the beach that came equipped with 2 kayaks.


Equipment I brought:

  1. swimsuit and related gear: fins, snorkel, goggles
  2. workout clothes and running shoes
  3. a resistance tube (cheap, lightweight and you won’t cry if it gets lost)



  1. Friday: lap swimming before the flight (makes it easier to sit for the 9-hour flight)
  2. Saturday: kayaking, snorkeling, standup paddle boarding (a guided night tour where the paddles had LED lights and the 2 guides performed a fire dance on the beach)
  3. Sunday: running the beach for 30 min. followed by 20 minutes of resistance tube strength training outside on the deck of our cottage, complete with the friendly island dogs and roosters roaming around
  4. Monday: a rigorous cross-island guided hike over Indiana Jones-style mountain jungle terrain (dodging under vines, climbing over boulders, slogging through creeks)
  5. Tuesday: biking a good way around the 19-mile circumference of the island, making sure to stop and swim at all the great beaches
  6. Wednesday: running the beach for 30 min. followed by 20 minutes of resistance tube strength training
  7. Thursday: yoga class on a deck overlooking lush island terrain
  8. Friday: biking to a waterfall, the sweaty effort worth the feel of that cool, clear water


If you get a chance, leave a comment about one of your favorite vacation workouts.

Happy working out!



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