As you begin to plan this year's vacation, you may want to consider something other than relaxing on a beach. In fact, exercise can have many of the same health benefits as relaxation, but with the added benefits of increasing your overall physical health too. If you would like to get an idea of what kinds of fitness vacations you can take, the following options should help you get started.
Mountain Bike Tours
Got a mountain bike? Want to use it more often? Then consider booking a mountain bike tour for this summer's annual vacation. There are many different tours, from the easy rolling on flat country kind to the strenuous, up-the-mountain kind that will force your body to conform and make your pulmonary system and leg muscles stronger. Beginners and those who are not in very good physical condition should tackle the less strenuous tours that only last a couple of days. Those with more mountain biking experience can try the harder tours for greater distance, elevation and number of days in the tour.
Horseback Riding Tours
People often think that riding horseback takes very little effort, and that tours on horseback are not a fitness vacation at all. On the contrary, you need some muscle to control the reins and tell your horse which way to go, and you need a lot of leg muscle to hold onto the horse when it is cantering or galloping. If you also "post" when the horse trots (i.e., you push up in the stirrups and lift your buttocks off of the saddle each time the horse's hooves hit the ground), then you are using your calves, thigh muscles and glutes a lot. It also takes a lot of endurance to continue riding a horse for longer than an hour, since your body is straddling a large animal and your lower half may begin to conform to the horse and/or fall asleep while you are riding. Horseback riding tours take you into some of the most fascinating places in the country, like the Grand Canyon, and you can go for a weekend or go for an entire week via a "dude ranch."
Sailing requires that you have some upper body strength so you can shift and turn the sails into the wind. For a really interesting tour, you could try your hand at frigate sailing, which invites guests to take part in sailing an eighteenth century frigate ship up or down the coastline. You will climb masts and rigging, turn the sails and tie them off to match the wind, and even learn how to steer the rudder. You may discover that there is a lot more that is physically demanding in the world of sailing while you learn to sail.