A family trip is a fantastic time to build relationships, experience new adventures, and learn as a family. But, it can also be a time when a healthy diet and exercise are waylaid by fast food stops and hours on the road. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of your travels.
1. Plan for your workouts. It is harder to workout if you don’t prepare for it before you leave home. If you hit the road without running shoes or workout clothes, it is a lot easier to make excuses to not work out. However, if you save some of the precious room in your suitcase for your exercise clothes, you will be more likely to use them.
A pair of hand weights don’t take up much room at all in your car on a road trip. An armband and headphones can slide into your shoes so that you can listen to music while you run. Think ahead about what you can do while away from home, and set yourself up for success.
2. Use what’s available. Are you staying in a hotel during your travels? Most have fitness centers available to guests. Are you spending nights with friends? Go for a walk or a run around their home. Use the resources that are available to you.
This becomes complicated when your kids are young. We have figured out a way to work around this by staggering our workout times. Matt is a night owl, so he can visit the fitness center while I get the kids tucked into bed in the hotel room. The next morning, I wake up early and workout before Matt and the kids get up.
3. Download additional tools. There are a ton of great workout apps available, depending on your particular type of exercise. If you are a runner (or want to be) Nike + Running is a great way to track your runs, or you can build up your endurance with an app like Couch to 5K. (By the way, you can run both of these simultaneously – letting Couch to 5K direct your intervals and the running app to measure overall distance.)
If you simply want to do a workout indoors, try something like Nike+ Training Club or, for an even shorter option, the 7 Minute Workout App. Consider the FitStar app, which is like having a personal trainer in your pocket.
There are other apps for people who prefer to lift weights, ride bikes, or do CrossFit. Simply find the app that works best for you.
4. Find active options. Some travels involve more physical activity than others, but I would encourage you to look for opportunities to be active with your family. Instead of sitting on the beach all day, rent bikes to explore the area. Seek out hikes in National Parks rather than spending all your time in the visitor center. Try new physical adventures particular to the area you are visiting – paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking up a mountain, or skiing back down might not be activities that you can do at home, but they are great ways to burn calories while simultaneously trying something new. Plus, these are activities that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages.
A trip doesn’t have to mean a hiatus from healthy habits. With a little planning and forethought, you can easily continue to exercise as you travel. Because, really, what’s better than increasing your strength while expanding your mind?