We are trying something different with this post and we are merging America's Dietitian with a mom and traveler to give you great tips on how to stay healthy and strong when you travel. Enjoy!
Family Travel and Fun with Fitness
by Kendra Thornton
My family usually sticks to healthy habits. All my kids are active and enjoy sports. At home, I pack healthy snacks for them to enjoy at school, and we regularly share healthy meals together. When we go on vacation, it isn’t as easy to stick to a healthy routine, but I’ve found some tricks that help us stay healthy no matter where our journeys take us.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Never limit the amount of water your family drinks when on vacation. A few extra bathroom breaks aren’t nearly as inconvenient as the discomfort and dangers of dehydration. This is especially true when traveling on hot days or spending time outdoors in the sunlight. My family always takes along personal water bottles. On especially warm days, I often freeze the full bottles before we head out.
2. Eat Right When Eating Out
Eating out is a necessity on vacation. I like to use the same guidelines when on vacation that I use when eating out near home. I research to find restaurants that serve locally produced ingredients. I also try to find places that offer healthy menu options. Places that serve Mediterranean cuisine or offer vegetarian options are great places to eat.
3. Play for Fun and Exercise
Play together as a family. This is important all the time, and on vacation it can help your family get necessary exercise. Have races and competitions to help everyone stay active. My family likes to play together at the hotel pool. We’ll compete to see who can swim underwater the longest or who can swim across the pool the fastest. We even have splashing contests with one another.
4. Use Hotel Amenities
Many hotels offer fitness amenities. I like to learn about these amenities before booking my stay. As a family, we try to always stay at hotels with nice fitness facilities and I researched these facilities for our upcoming trip to Orlando. With so many places to stay, sites like Gogobot can be really helpful. Some of my favorite hotels have yoga classes available to guests. Others have running trails or bike rentals for guests to enjoy. Pick a hotel that has fitness amenities that suit your active lifestyle.
You have to be intentional about keeping your family fit and healthy. When you make a point of keeping to a healthy routine on vacation, everyone will have a better time. I hope you find my special tricks helpful the next time you take a family trip.
Food, Fun and Traveling
by Brandi Thompson RDN, LD
Traveling is a great place to get in your refined foods. Theme parks, beaches and family reunions host a number of unhealthy eating choices. This is also a time of year where you may feel compelled to throw out your healthy eating habits and give in to the easy route of fast food and quick picks.
Here are five tips for circumventing the junk on your family vacay so that you don't go home feeling worse than you did before you left for your summer fun.
Here are 5 things that you can do to make your vacation healthier.
1. Research rocks-
A little pre-planning goes a long way. After you have picked your vacation city do a search for healthy fare in the area. Find out which restaurants have healthier choices. Here are a couple of websites I like to look at: www.vegdining.com and www.happycow.net
2. A little pre-shopping goes a long way-
Let's face it, no matter how hard we try there are very few "clean" options available at theme parks. The best that we did were salads but we ate at the best restaurant the theme park had. It's best to bring your own healthy snacks. When we went to the theme parks we loaded up on dried fruits (mangoes, raisins, cranberries), dried nuts, Kind bars, apples and oranges as well as bottled water.
3. Dine in-
When choosing a place to stay, consider a condo or renting a house. The ability to have a kitchen is by far a life saver when trying to avoid unrefined foods. Double check to see if you have access to a grill. This is a great way to spend time with the family in the great outdoors and an easy way to cook vegetables and lean meats.
4. Hydrate the right way
Don't forget about the importance of hydration. Sometimes being dehydrated gets in the way of eating healthy. Your efforts to take in extra fluids can lead to your intake of easy refined foods that are quick to grab when grabbing a drink. Bring your own water bottle full of water, fresh juice blends or smoothies.
5. Adventure hunt - Seek out local produce or farmers markets in the area where you are vacationing. When we were headed down to the Florida Keys we stopped at an amazing local fruit stand called Robert is Here. Our kids experienced amazing local tropical fruit and we bought enough local produce to last us the 4 days we were in Key Largo. To find local farmers markets in your area of vacationing visit: http://www.localharvest.org/
Have fun during your travels and remember the tips above to make it a healthy and happy time to remember!
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