Chicago mom: Tips for staying fit on vacation

The end of the school year is quickly approaching and that means a summer full of fun-filled trips to the pool, hot weather, popsicles and lemonade, and family vacations!

Whether you travel far or go somewhere close, vacations are a time for relaxing and enjoying yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t fit in a little exercise, too. Although vacations are fun, they can also be a little stressed-filled sometimes, and adding in a  fitness routine can combat that stress and give you that post-workout happy feeling!

The easiest way to work out on vacation is to use the gym. A lot of resorts and hotels will have an onsite gym that is free to use. I like to wake up a little early before the rest of my family and get in a quick workout before everyone wakes up. That way, I am done with my workout early and feel fresh and energized for the day.

If there are cardio machines available, you can do a quick high intensity workout. Start with a 5 minute warm up and then alternate between going fast for set amount of time followed by a recovery period. For example, run fast on the treadmill for one minute and then walk for two minutes. Repeat this about 5-6 times and follow-up with a cool down. You’ll really get your heart rate up and continue burning calories long after your workout!

Another option is to use the weight machines in the gym. Complete about 2-3 sets and 12-15 reps of each exercise for a nice strength training workout.

If your hotel doesn’t have a gym or you aren’t staying at a hotel, don’t worry – there’s still tons of ways to keep active. One piece of equipment I love is the resistance band. They are fairly cheap, usually under $10, and are easy to find. They hardly take up any room in your suitcase!

You can do many different exercises using a resistance band. Some bands will come with a booklet of exercises or you can look up exercises online. You can get a full body workout using just a resistance band. Some of my favorite exercises using a resistance band include biceps curls, triceps extensions, shoulder raises, band walking and bent over rows.

If you don’t have a gym or any equipment you can still work out. Using your own bodyweight is a great way to get in a good workout. Bodyweight exercises include squats, lunges, push-up, sit-ups, etc. Try alternating one of these moves with a minute of cardio such as jumping jacks, burpees or mountain climbers. Switch between a bodyweight exercise and a cardio exercise for about 30 minutes and you’ll get a great workout.

Another way to fit in fitness on vacation is just to keep active! Explore the town with your family on foot. Walking is great exercise. Swim with your kids, or try canoeing or surfing. Look for hiking trails and explore. Find things to keep you and your family active!

Family vacations are a great time to relax, have fun and spend time with your family. But adding in only 30 minutes of exercise will help you feel happy and energized, and let you enjoy those vacation treats without the guilt.

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