This summer I hit the road for 10 days and 1,854 miles with two small and loud children, and one large and loud husband. Fortunately, the car was comfortable and the kids sleep a lot in moving vehicles. Trying to keep healthy and active, which keeps my husband and I sane and the kids tired, was challenging. However, in addition to learning you can’t drive your car on a flat tire or it will bend your axle (another story), we learned that with a little creativity any family can come up with ways to stay healthy and active—with a distinct vacation feel!
Here are eight tips to get through traveling without losing sight of your regular exercise goals or routines—and maybe even create new ones.
- Visiting Grandma and Grandpa? Explore local exercise options you can all enjoy. Several cities have bike rental opportunities for the whole family, and they can suggest safe routes. Walking in a local park is another good option. These are great activities for your kids and you—not to mention you may need a break from being a guest, or need to give your host a break!
- Explore a national park. Hiking, swimming, canoeing, and so much more can provide fresh air and fitness.
- Pack exercise bands, jump rope, or wrist weights. Bring something that is light-weight and small but will get you moving. A vacation is the perfect time for the family to learn a new activity like Hacky Sack or Frisbee!
- While traveling to your destination, wear your favorite running or walking shoes. You will be more inclined to take the airport stairs or pull over for a quick stroll if you are prepared with proper footwear.
- Pack your favorite exercise outfit. Whether you are hiking in a national park or checking out the hotel gym, it pays to be comfortable!
- Nourish your fitness with healthy snacks. Bring a resealable container or Ziploc bags to pack healthy snacks you can take on the go. When you get to your destination, you can visit a farmers market or grocery store to pick out some healthy snacks to take on your adventures.
- Try a fitness challenge! Challenge your travel partners to a mini-plank challenge or squat challenge for the duration of your trip. Traveling alone? No shame in challenging yourself!
- Make the most of your time. Do squats while waiting in the line at Disneyland. Walk around the train station between connections. Have a brainstorming session in the car on ways to exercise once you reach your next destination. Or, take advantage of the hotel gym or pool during downtime.
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore on vacation. In fact, it is a great way to increase your energy level, keep stress levels low, have new experiences, bring friends and family closer, and get some very memorable pictures (think squats in line at Space Mountain)!