For some reason, over time we have developed the notion that exercise and healthy eating while on vacation go together about as well as oil and water. We hear the word “vacation” and instantly visualize ourselves in assorted scenarios, be it lounging on the beaches of Barbados with an extra large tropical drink, or hitting the best steakhouse in New York City (I’ll start with the crab cake, followed by the wedge salad extra blue cheese, and can I get mashed potatoes and creamed corn with that ribeye? Anyone?). Just ask for more bread and the dessert menu and its probably safe to say you have consumed an appropriate amount of calories for your body to live on for the next week. It’s not that you normally eat like this, but hey you’re on vacation! I am not saying that you shouldn’t splurge a little. But at least consider some fun ways to stay active and spend quality time with your family while vacationing.
Hiking: Also known as glorified walking. The great thing about hiking, however, is that there are usually hiking trails nearby every vacation spot. Hiking is great because typically you are so busy checking out the scenery and making sure your children aren’t picking up the strange bugs that you don’t notice how long you’ve been walking or that when you finally stop, your legs are quite tired and you have burned enough calories to enjoy a guilt free cheat night. Hiking is a great way to stay in shape and make some fun family memories (personally, I almost pushed my father off the side of the Grand Canyon jumping away from a bug. People think it’s hilarious once they catch the “almost”). The best way to find a good hiking trail is to inquire with the hotel staff. They are familiar with the area and can usually give you helpful suggestions. Check out some of the top hiking trails
Skiing: Is a great family vacation. Like hiking, skiing is a great way to make family memories. Skiing is one of the best ways to stay in shape. Even if your name isn’t Lindsay Vonn, skiing burns around 350 calories per hour. As you are quite literally in a squat position all day, skiing is a great way to tone your thighs and backside. It’s exactly like going to the gym and grabbing your ten-pound dumbbells in preparation to complete ten sets of twenty squats followed by an excessive amount of lunges and maybe a few wall sits if you’re not crying of boredom…except it’s not at all because skiing is actually fun. If you are staying in the US, some of the best skiing can be found in Tahoe, all over Colorado, and California (northern and southern). Check out this Forbes article on the top ten ski resorts in America.
Aquatic activities: Tropical vacations do three wonderful things for you: give you a tan, make you more conscious of what you eat since bathing suits are usually involved, and (typically) give your hair a break from excessive blow drying/styling. That being said, tropical vacations also play host to an assortment of aquatic activities that you and your family can choose from. Anything from diving to swimming to waterskiing burns calories, and more importantly, is a lot of fun! If swimming isn’t your thing, join a pickup game of beach volleyball. Trust me, you will have much more fun staying active and looking killer in your bathing suit than sitting on a lounge chair ordering bottomless chips and guacamole. Typically, any place you go that boarders a large body of water will have an assortment of aquatic activities that you and your family can enjoy, but these five locations have remained popular throughout the years: Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, California, and Florida. For vacations that your teenagers are sure to enjoy, check out this article.
Written by Sydney Carr