Keeping Family Fit on Summer Vacation
 
Featured in: Children's Health  |  July 13, 2017

How to Keep Your Family Fit on Summer Vacation

By Linda Melone   |   Edited by Elena Doxey

Keeping you and your family fit while enjoying your summer vacation may be easier than you think. After all, you’ve worked hard all year to maintain your fitness, so why stop now? Taking even a short break from your exercise routine can reverse those hard-earned results. Here are some easy ways to keep you and your family fit and on track while you travel:

Keep up the cardio

Cardiovascular conditioning diminishes more quickly than muscular strength. In fact, a decline in fitness can be noticeable in just two short weeks. Here are some tips to keep your gains in place:

Increase your training sessions

Try adding a few extra days to your workouts before you leave. For the kids, try sneaking in some more errands or bicycle rides to increase their activity.

Pack your walking/running shoes

Going for a run or a brisk walk is one of the easiest ways to get your cardiovascular exercise since you can do it virtually anywhere. And don’t forget to grab the kids. Ask the hotel concierge about safe paths you can take. Going on walks together can be a fun family activity. They’ll be getting their exercise and you’ll be happy knowing they’re not glued to their phones.

Walking tours

This is another great fitness option to keep your family fit and active while enjoying your summer vacation. It’s a fun way to burn calories while enjoying the sights and sounds of your destination.

Utilize hotel stairwells

Climbing stairs is a good cardio option; however, be cautious if you’re not used to it. Stair running can be intense. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a 150-pound woman can burn more than 500 calories in 30 minutes while stair running. Not ready to run the stairs? Walking them for a half hour burns 286 calories—which is equivalent to walking at 3.5 mph for two hours! Try going first thing in the morning when it’s quiet, you’ll have more freedom and space to yourself.

Pack a jump rope

A jump rope takes up little space in your suitcase and brings big cardio gains, plus it’s fun! And the kids will love it, too. Just be sure you’re staying on the first floor of the hotel so you won’t disturb other guests, or jump it outside. You can also mimic the movement by jumping in place. Either way, you’ll be getting your cardio in, keeping your family fit, and have fun doing it.

Maintain muscle

Keeping up with low level workouts during summer vacation will make it easier for you to get back to your regular routine.

Keeping up with low level or moderate workouts while on your summer vacation will make it easier for you to get back to your regular routine when you return home. Here are some easy bodyweight exercises to maintain your strength that you can do in your hotel room or anywhere:

Squats (legs and glutes), 20 reps: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, hands behind your head with elbows out to each side Keep your head up, abs tight and back straight as you bend at the knees and hips and lower into a squat, making sure your knees line up with your toes as you descend; lower as far as you can while maintaining your balance and slowly rise back up to starting position.

Push-ups (chest and arms), 10 to 15 reps: Keep your hands shoulder-width apart as you lower yourself, making sure to keep your back straight (avoid raising your hips or allowing them to sag), before pushing back up to starting position. These may be done on the floor with straight legs or on your knees, or up against a sturdy countertop.

Alternating lunges (legs and glutes), 10 to 15 reps: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, head up, hands on hips. Step forward with one foot into a lunge position and lower yourself to the floor until both legs are at a 90° angle. Push back with your forward leg and step forward with the opposite leg; continue alternating.

Plank (core, abs and back), hold for 20 to 30 seconds: Lie face down on the floor and hike yourself up on to your forearms and toes, keeping your body in a straight line by contracting your abdominals (remember to breathe!) and hold. Avoid raising your hips or allowing them to sag. Hold for as long as you can before losing form.

Reverse crunches (abs/lower abs), 10 to 15 reps: Lie on the floor with your head in front of a sturdy chair; reach overhead and grasp a chair leg. Then bend your knees and bring them up towards your chest, focusing on squeezing your lower abs; slowly lower and repeat. Finish the program with a set of 25 jumping jacks or go for a walk or run.

As for burning off all that rich restaurant food, “just enjoy yourself,” says Gregory Cloutier, MPH, exercise physiologist with the Human Performance Science Lab at Northeastern University in Boston. “Give yourself a break. Expect a calorie overflow and just plan to make up for it when you get back. And don’t forget to have fun.” Sticking with a fitness plan while you’re away will help make that task easier.

If you questions or comments on how you can keep your family fit this summer, contact us today!

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