But if you’re used to working out at home, chances are that seaside sloth will get old fast. And if you’ve not exactly been able to hit the gym lately (thank you meetings that run long!), a beach vacation is a great time to rekindle your fitness love affair. You’re well-rested. The sunshine makes you happy. And you finally—for once—have time, now that you don’t have work and all those other pesky daily obligations.
While you can technically run on any beach, some resorts are especially ready to challenge you—with standup paddling, surfing, and beach high-intensity interval trainings. And, yes, they have chaises and hammocks for when you’re done. Here are the nine spots to bring your sneakers—and your beach reading. —Ann Abel
(Photo: Blue Haven Resort and Marina, Turks & Caicos)
While the yachties sip their Painkillers, active-minded guests can bike or run the five-mile Sunset Loop, take windsurfing or paddle boarding lessons, hit a morning yoga class or sweat in a good-size gym. For the Island-Athlon program, a coach times and motivates you to work out on the island’s land, water and bikes (either a ½-mile kayak paddle, a 5-mile bike ride and 2-mile run/walk, or a 1-mile ocean swim, 10-mile bike ride and 5-mile run). And launching this month is a customizable three-day Island-Style Boot Camp that combines land and sea workouts with wellness cuisine, juices and spa treatments.
(Photo: Peter Island Resort)
This corner of Mexico near Puerto Vallarta is a year-round mecca for surfers, so the best ways to work out here involve catching waves: surf lessons for beginners, boat trips to the best breaks for the more advanced, detailed coaching courses and various SUP experiences. Prefer land? There are ten tennis courts with a Peter Burwash International pro and clinics like cardio tennis, basketball and beach volleyball courts, salsa dancing lessons, and a sunny gym filled with new Technogym equipment.
(Photo: Four Seasons Punta Mita)
If only Lilly Pulitzer made workout clothes. You could wear them to run on the long beach (great people watching) or in the tricked-out gym, where classes include indoor cycling, circuit boot camps, poolside yoga, and martial-arts-inspired Budokan yoga. Or ask the staff trainer to put you through your paces with medicine balls, kettle bells and a Technogym Kinesis machine. When you’re done, hit the ironically named Self-Centered Spa Garden for some R&R.
(Photo: Eau Palm Beach)
The Emerald Coast has amazing surf breaks that draw PEOPLE from around the world, and this new high-luxury resort has top-notch instructors. It also has a 2km beach for running on, a nature preserve for hikes with a naturalist guide and weekly yoga classes. Or take a day trip to climb the Cerro Negro volcano (about 1,600 feet elevation and an hour hike) and sand-board (like snowboarding) back down.
This newly opened resort away from crowded Grace Bay has all the usual watersports and a 24-hour gym. But it’s the beach volleyball net that sees a lot of action, with pickup games frequently forming with guests and crew from the yachts in the marina. A Volleyball Federation coach on the island can come out for clinics.
(Photo: Blue Haven Resort and Marina)
More than ten years since it opened, this Craftsman-style resort between Los Angeles and San Diego keeps raising the bar on its fitness programs. Its solid menu of daily fitness classes include indoor cycling, beach core HIIT, boot camps and SurfSET; personal trainers, nutritionists and life coaches can be booked in 30-minute increments; and its “wellness artists in residence,” such as celeb yoga instructor Ashley Turner, Rob Glick and Diana Christinson.
The gym got pride of place when this resort got a major makeover last year, with its stunning Technogym spread out and lined up to face massive walls of windows. But outside is more fun: The surf breaks of the North Shore are legendary, but beginner-friendly at some times of year and surf classes are held at the Hans Hedeman Surf School throughout the day. There are 12 miles of walking or running trails, and beach cruises and mountain bikes for rent, and the fitness classes range from SUP yoga to Hot Hula.
(Photo: Turtle Bay)
Along with the usual water sports, St. Lucia is home to the snorkel-scuba hybrid Snuba, which gets non-certified divers swimming about ten feet below the surface. On land, there are beach volleyball, two tennis courts and a big, light-filled gym with personal trainers ready to put guests to work—a morning run on the hills behind the resort makes for some great interval training. Aiming higher? The resort offers weekly hikes up (straight up) to the 2,615-foot summit of Gros Piton.
(Photo: Sugar Beach)
As you’d expect from an old-school Caribbean resort, tennis is a big deal here, with nine courts (four of them floodlit), weekly clinics and affable pros. The airy spa opens at 6 a.m., and yoga or Pilates classes are held weekday mornings in a pretty pavilion. Miles of walking trails lead away from the resort, and eco-guides are on call.
(Photo: Carlisle Bay)