Let’s be honest: It can be difficult to keep a workout schedule when traveling. And, it is even more difficult to meal plan while on vacation. So, let’s explore some ways to stay fit as a family while on vacation.
When on vacation, it is important to recognize that you’re visiting someplace new, you’re not on vacation from the facts of life. Exercise and good food choices should not go by the wayside just because you’re away from home. These six ways to stay fit as a family while on vacation should help you stay on track on your next family trip.
6 Ways to Stay Fit as a Family While on Vacation
Family time is important – and when on vacation, you’re likely full of a checklist of things to do, people to see, and making sure you don’t end up using too many outfits early on in the trip. While you don’t have to Instagram your #fitfam to make the experience real (yes, life does happen even if it isn’t on social media), your body and health will know you’re working hard to stay fit.
1. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, in their Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, it is their recommendation of 60 minutes of physical aerobic activity daily for children ages 6-17 (there are no specifications for those five and under), and 30 minutes daily for adults ages 18-64. To get that in while on vacation, plan a picnic at the park and bring along a basketball. Spend some time shooting hoops and playing two-on-two basketball before having that picnic and exploring the nearby flora and fauna.
2. Headed to the beach or have access to a pool? Swim! Swimming can be a major calorie burner. According to research, a 155-pound person swimming freestyle at even a slow rate may burn almost 500 calories in an hour.
3. Make fruits and vegetables the main part of your breakfast especially if you have a standard hotel breakfast option. They are high in nutrients, including vitamins and fiber. Pass on the pastries and opt for the plain active-culture yogurt over the high fructose corn syrup/fake berry blends.
4. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is an important part of health and staying fit. While traveling, it is easy to say “yes” to carbonated beverages but they’re full of empty calories and deplete bones of minerals as well.
5. If your kids are young, let them play at the park and while you’re watching them you can get a full workout in too. It is easy to utilize the various play structures and your own body to get a good workout in at the park. Running around is easy, but you can also do arm dips using a park bench. do pull-ups on the monkey bars and leg lifts on a hanging bar. The ideas are endless and you really can get a full body workout at the kids park.
6. Plan a “cheat” day. Yes, really, that needs to be part of your fit vacation plans. Why? Otherwise, many people will choose to make an exception to your diet… and after that will become another exception, and another… And, in the end, you’ll end up making some really bad choices.
Instead, plan for the healthy breakfast, a reasonable lunch, and choose the best available choices at dinner, but also know that say “on Friday, we’ll do the full buffet” so that you know you’ll get your fix of the local cuisine and not feel deprived. This is important to enjoying your vacation but still keeping yourself in check.
Keep your family informed of the healthy vacation plans, especially if this is your first #fitfam vacation. Why? They may think that vacation means a free-for-all on food and relaxation all day long. You don’t want to burst their bubble and cause fights on vacation, so just let them know the plan, and work on getting their buy-in BEFORE you leave the house. Safe travels!