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5 Ways to Sneak Fitness Into Your Next Family Vacation


Many years ago when I would go on vacation I would never exercise, thinking I needed a break from the gym, or just assuming there wouldn’t be any options available for me to squeeze in a decent workout. Not only have I changed, but so have the times, and now more and more resorts and hotels are offering wellness options for guests away from home.

Working out on vacation didn’t come easy to me and was definitely a trial-and-error process that included finding the time, getting motivated, and earning what to bring and what not to bring. I have now learned less is more! Now that I am a mom of a 7-month-old little boy I want to continue to be a good example of maintaining a healthy lifestyle near and far from home.

Here, I have a shared 5 simple ways to sneak in fitness during your next family vacation. Instead of having the kids plopped in front of the hotel TV or playing on their phones, you can definitely have them partake in a few of these interactive workouts.

Pool Activities: Whether you're doing these workouts on your own or showing up for aquatics (aquacise) classes, you might be surprised how much of a workout you can get from simply moving your body in the pool. I know I was when I first tried it. Expect to get a full body workout if you are attending one of these classes, and don’t get intimidated. The moves are simple enough to perform like arm circles, squats and leg lifts. No classes available at your next destination? No worries try the moves below on your own!

Walking Laps: It’s as simple as walking, whether you are in a pool, lake or ocean you and loved ones can challenge each other in a race no matter what body of water. The resistance that that water helps to make it a little harder while keeping the workout fun too. Call me a big kid but I my husband, and I have been doing this before my son was born! You will want to pick a shallow part of water if you are working out with little ones and be mindful of strong currents.

Side Bends in the Water: This move is perfect for targeting stubborn muffin top bulge. This exercise can be performed with or without water weights (beginners should perform this weight free). Stand with your feet hip-distance apart in the water keeping your arms at your side. Begin bending side to side reaching for your toes, as you bend to one side bring your hand to your hip on the opposing side. Do 100 reps, and feel the burn.

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Pool Bicycles: This move creates a bit of splash while working the core at the same time. Support your upper body on the edge of a pool (advised when playing with little ones or participants that are not strong swimmers) or floating device to create a sense of instability. Lay your arms lengthwise across while having your back placed against the wall of the pool or floaty. Pull your lower body up as and beginning pedaling your legs as though you are on a bike, see how fast you can go and who can last the longest without dropping your legs!

Playing Cards Workout: This is one of my favorite workouts when traveling largely because I don’t need any equipment, all I need is a deck of cards! I start out by picking a set of workout moves that I think everyone will be able to perform, but also add a bit of a challenge. Moves like jumping jacks, jump ropes, and push-ups are pretty good traditional options. If I am looking to turn up the intensity I will throw in burpees, tuck jumps or snowboarders. Each suit gets assigned a move for example if you pull a 2 of diamonds you will need to do two jumping jacks. Again this helps to challenge the endurance of EVERYONE that is playing.

Recess Style Games: Tap into your former child, everyone has one! Games like "Red Light, Green Light," Dodge Ball, Tug of War, and tag can get the heart pumping while having fun. Kids too young to play? Maybe it’s an adult getaway? Try getting a group together of other grownups and embrace the play time!

How to Squeeze in Workout On Vacation

Mommy Time Workout: Maybe you just need to sneak away and get a solid workout before the kids get up the same way you do at home? I always travel with my own mini gym, that includes a jump rope, sliders, resistance band and my latest addition, an ab wheel. All of these items are inexpensive, easy to pack, and can be used right in my hotel room. Here is a typical routine I like to do.

  • Jump rope for a count of 25
  • Traditional push-ups for 3 sets, 8-12 reps.
  • Jump rope for a count of 25
  • Mountain climbers with the sliders for 20 count
  • Doggy Hydrants wit h a medium to high resistance band 15 reps for each leg.
  • Repeat the entire routine 3-5 times

Well, there you have it! A few easy ways to stay motivated and get moving while on vacation with the family... Now all you need to do is book a trip!

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