My family is going out of town on a few vacations this summer and I am planning ahead so I can keep the family focused on our fitness goals. In the past, I would have thought if I couldn’t go to my gym there was no point in even trying. I have learned to let go of that “all or nothing” mindset and now make the most of a new situation.
As an ambassador for The Together CountsTM program, I’m excited to share some of my vacation workout ideas.
Use the beach: Several studies have found that running (or walking) on sand burns about 1.6 times more calories than running on asphalt. The softer surface of sand also limits the amount of impact on your joints and bones. If you are a runner, it is the perfect chance to run along the seashore and give your joints a break from the constant pounding on the pavement. Take a break from sandcastles to get your family moving!
If running is not your thing, the beach is a great opportunity for long walks with your family on the shoreline. Studies have shown that leisure walks reduce the amount of cortisol (a stress hormone) in your body so breathe in the fresh ocean air and feel the stress melt away.
Hotels: Plan ahead and book a room at a hotel with a gym. You can usually get a good idea for the type equipment offered based on their website. If your family loves to swim, many hotels offer indoor pools. If you are unsure of what is offered, call ahead and ask questions (Do they have free weights? How many treadmills? Is it open all day?). Some hotel gyms have an extra fee, so make sure you know what to expect ahead of time to avoid a large bill at the end of your vacation.
Find a local gym or community center: Find a local community center and see what types of classes or exercise opportunities they have for the whole family while you’re in town. Or, sport clubs offer daily drop in rates, so if you must get your gym “fix”, find one in your destination town and get a day pass. Often times these gyms offer family programs too, so the kids can find fun activities as well!
Running clubs/trails: Google “running clubs” in your destination town and you will probably find a big group of instant running buddies! This can also lead you to any local trails or running paths that are near your vacation spot.
Bring your own: If you are driving to your destination, pack a pair of weights and a jump rope for easy access to a quick workout. This isn’t just for the kids to play! While it may not be the same kinds of activities you are used to while at home, you might find it is a new challenge for your body that produces great results.
Going out of town doesn’t have to mean your family’s fitness goals go out the window. With a little bit of planning and some creativity, you and your family can stay balanced while on vacation!
Lisa is a former personal trainer who now tries to maintain fitness (and sanity) while raising 4 little boys. She blogs about health and fitness for busy parents over on Workout Mommy.