Fit and Fun Family Vacations

Keeping a family healthy can take a lot of work. Mom, Dad and the kids all need to eat right and exercise. The details can be difficult to handle even at home, but when traveling things can me complicated even further. "I love to travel, and as a mom, I’ve come up with some tricks to help my entire family travel more healthful" says Kendra.

1. Buffets on Vacation
Yes, you’ll encounter buffets on vacation. These places are plentiful, especially in popular vacation spots. There are  usually health options at buffets. Enjoy a fresh salad and plenty of fruits and vegetables along with your meal. A good rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with vegetables before adding other items. Then if you want to have a delicious desert, go ahead and indulge. Moderation is the key.

2. Water to Drink
Make sure everyone in your family gets plenty of water to drink. This is especially important if you are spending time in the sun or driving on a hot day. Dehydration can cause serious discomfort and illness. Additionally, when you drink plenty of water, you can avoid many heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke. Every member of Kendra's family has a personal water bottle to take along wherever we go.

3. Fitness at Your Hotel
I always choose hotels with good fitness options. Kendra ensures the hotel gym needs to be well equipped so she can get a workout in the mornings before her kids wake up. "I also enjoy staying at hotels that have running trails on the premises" says Kendra. Some hotels even offer in-room fitness options. Whatever exercise you enjoy, try to make sure your hotel accommodates it. Kendra made sure of this for her upcoming trip to Orlando. With so many places to stay, , make sure you find the perfect hotel for you and your family. Sites like Gogobot can make it easy as you can read user reviews.

4. Water Sports
Planning for physical fitness during your vacation will help you be more successful in keeping your family healthy. Water sports and other activities on the water are great ways to get some exercise while having fun together. "My family especially enjoys paddleboats and canoes" says Kendra. Surfing and swimming are other excellent ways to burn some calories. Even splashing around at the hotel pool helps get the blood pumping.
When my family eats healthy and exercises well on vacation, we have an easier time returning to our regular routine when we get back home. We also manage to have a lot of fun together on vacation. I hope these tips help your family.

5. Pack Snacks
"This is a habit I always implement while travelling" says Craig. Try to avoid french fries and nachos from the beach grill by packing protein or natural food-based energy bars for a healthier snack. This will satisfy any cravings and provide you with the proper nutrients to keep that energy up until dinner.
Tip: Choose the dry brands that are not covered in a chocolate coating. This will eliminate a mushy surprise on a hot summer day.

6. Use Your Surroundings

This is a great opportunity to expand your fitness choices and break out of your comfort zone. How often can you take a run on the beach in Hawaii? Or try kite-boarding for the first time? Looking to divert from your usual Yoga class, grab a pair of trail shoes and hike that open trail.
Most popular vacation spots have some sports or authentic exercise attraction that just begs you to try out. Golfing while on vacation? Incorporate a dynamic mobility warm-up and walk those gorgeous fairways!

It doesn’t have to take days of planning to stay healthy and active on your next vacation. A little foresight goes a long way in staying fit, avoiding the excess of great cuisine, and using your beautiful vacation environment to motivate you into enjoying a beautiful, relaxing, and healthy time with the family.

7. Moderation
This is key to not getting derailed from your health goals while on vacation. By avoiding overeating and keeping up with your nutrient-dense food choices, you will remain less lethargic and more active on your trip. The same principle applies with alcohol intake. It's OK to have a few tropical adult beverages (after all…this is your vacation), but we should all avoid an excessive caloric increase through those sugary beachfront drinks. Your liver, and your waistline, will thank you.

Kendra Thorton
Twitter: @kendraThorton

Dr. Craig McNamee
Catalyst Health
Twitter: @catalyst_101
Instagram: catalyst_health101


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