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Eating healthy and maintaining your fitness routine while on vacation with your family can be difficult but it doesn’t have to be.
Avoid the post-vacation health blues by following these ten simple tips for incorporating fitness into your getaway!
Stay Active on Vacation by Leaving the Rental Car Behind and Walk the City
1. Skip the Elevator & Take the Stairs
Whether in hotels or higher-altitude spots like the Eiffel Tower, leave the elevators behind and climb the stairs. What a great calorie-burner!
2. Go On a Walking Tour of the City
From the magnificent parks of London to Tianamen Square, there’s often no better way to take in the joys, scents, and surprises of the cultures you’re visiting than on foot. You’ll be able to take in the scenery in a way that quickly passing by in a car would never allow for (not to mention you’ll save on cab fare or gas for your rental car).
3. Play with the Kids
Enjoying pool time with the kids helps you both stay active while having fun!
Go ahead, relax and sunbathe a little, but make sure you have some calorie-burning fun with the kids, too. Play “Marco Polo” in the pool, go bike riding, shoot hoops, pick up sea shells on the sea shore and go for a long walk after dinner. Chances are, you’ll have as much fun as the little ones.
4. Plan Your Day in Advance – and Include Exercise
Is the morning full of standing (and very little walking) in art museums and cathedrals? After lunch, take off for aerobic adventures. Go for a nice long walk along the park or shore, hike up a mountain or ask your hotel’s concierge for walking maps of the area. If you’re in unfamiliar territory, your concierge should also be able to point out safe, crime-free pedestrian routes that show you beautiful sights in the city.
5. Turn Airline Terminals Into Walking Tracks
Instead of sitting and waiting for your plan to board, plug into your favorite music and march up and down the terminal. Sure, it’s not a full-blown workout, but every step counts. “With just 15 minutes of brisk walking, you can burn 100 calories or more,” says Scott Danberg, MS, Exercise Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa. Plus, all that walking may keep you from getting bored and ambling into the airport’s pizza stand.
6. Use the Hotel Gym
Start your morning at the hotel gym where you can mentally & physically prepare for the day ahead.
When booking hotels, choose only those with fitness centers and/or guest passes to nearby gyms. If you can roll out of bed and roll into a gym minutes later, you’ll have given yourself the best insurance that you’ll fit fitness into each day. Plus, working out every morning will increase your motivation to eat more healthfully throughout the day. It also provides a great opportunity to mentally and physically prepare for a full day of fun!
7. Enjoy Outdoor Activities Like Hiking and Snokeling
Sure, it’s great to know there’s a gym just downstairs from your hotel room, but vacation’s also the time to have some fun! The kids want to hike up a mountain? Lace up your sneakers! Are they bound for scuba/snorkeling class? Join in! Go paddling in river canoes. Learn salsa dancing. Play beach volleyball. Water ski. Anything that elevates the heart rate and allows you to have fun is a win/win situation on vacation!
8. Find Restaurants That Are Within Walking Distance From Your Hotel
Why take a taxi when you can enjoy a leisurely walk in the cool evening air to and from the restaurant? Plus, “walking after a meal is a wonderful way to help keep blood sugar levels down,” advises Robert Bauer, MD, diabetic specialist at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa.
9. Get Short Workouts In (50% of Normal Routine)
While vacationing, you may not have as much time as you do at home for your regular workout, but that’s okay. Always remember: Doing something is a whole lot better than doing nothing at all. Shoot for at least 50% of your normal routine and supplement that with fun activities throughout the day.
10. Enjoy the Benefits of an Active Vacation
Each day as you wake, anticipating the wonderful things you’ll be doing and the inspiring sights you’ll be seeing, remind yourself how great it feels to be able to move. “Travel imparts new vigor to the mind,” said the ancient Roman playwright Seneca. Because you’ve taken good care of yourself by staying fit, that vigor is yours!
Maintaining a certain fitness level on vacation will mean you feel better about yourself both during and after the trip. There’s nothing worse than the post-vacation health blues – avoid them at all costs by incorporating fitness into your vacation.
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This guest post was written by the expert staff at Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, a health resort in Miami, FL. Learn more about healthy eating at pritikin.com.