My 30-Day Plan to Stay Lean and Strong While on Vacation

And what I’ll be carrying forward from it

Deya Bhattacharya
7 min readJun 1


Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

About a month ago, my husband and I won a slot in the 2023 Half Dome lottery.

Objectively, that’s great news — Half Dome has been on my bucket list ever since I took up hiking last year.

Except that the slot we got was just three days before another hiking trip we’d booked in the Sierras — backpacking Mt Tyndall and Mt Williamson — and five days after I return to the States from a month-long India trip.

And obviously, we aren’t going all the way to Yosemite just to do one hike, so we’re getting there three days earlier to do Clouds Rest and a couple other iconic trails.

Which means that the days between 23rd June and 4th July will basically be one long gruelling hike fest — for which we need to be in absolute peak condition.

I visit Kolkata to enjoy the food, the comfort of my childhood home and the extra sleep. This time is no different.

But at the same time, I’m doubling down on the fitness rules I set for myself earlier this year.

And yes, the two can co-exist. I refuse to believe that all exercise regimes must be miserable. There are ways to get both fitness and fun in on vacation, and honestly, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making that happen over a month. It’s early days yet, but I’m pretty confident about how things are going so far.

The goal — get into extra good shape by 21st June.

The constraints —

  • Access to limited equipment (one set of 15lb dumbbells, one set of 3lb dumbbells)
  • Frequent food temptations
  • Humid weather that makes it harder to want to be active

Here’s how I’m doing it.

Upping my daily exercise goals

My husband jokingly said I’ll need to work out 90 minutes a day to stay fit on vacation.

That’s exactly what I’m doing.

I’m splitting the 90 minutes as I like (and depending on how I feel). Could be 45 and 45, could be 40 and 50, could be 60 and 30, could be 30 and 30 and 30. But every day, I…



Deya Bhattacharya

Literary fiction writer building her way to the Pulitzer. ADHD solopreneur. Indian girl in California. I hike mountains, lift weights and eat cake.