We all know it is NOT easy to fit in fitness and exercise while full time parenting. At least at home, we can schedule workout time based on work schedules, play dates, naps, bedtime and activities. But when vacationing, it can actually be even harder to fit in exercise. With long drives, family activities, planning meals, and the challenge of getting kids settled into bed at a new place– those hours can fly by and then your workout plan has crashed. Here are some tips I discovered on a recent road trip with my family while trying to keep up with my training and the Go Green, Get Fit Challenge.
1. Be opportunistic.
Are the kids playing well in your vacation rental or hotel? Seize the moment. Do some yoga, even if you didn’t bring your mat. Try a plank, and a side plank, a few sun salutations and poses. It is better than nothing, and can loosen up muscles tightened during travel. In addition, if you can practice outside (on a deck?) you will observe your surroundings in a different and meaningful way.
Or maybe the kids (and your spouse) are napping, happily watching a movie or playing a game. Now is your time. Grab a short walk or run, or head to the hotel fitness club. Even 20 minutes walking is an attitude changer and is good for you.
2. Be flexible: Cross Train.
If you are training for an event, you might not fit in your training for that sport. For me, I am training for a couple of running races in the fall. I knew I wasn’t going to get my long run in, but on vacation I had to be flexible.
Take walks with your kids, rent bikes, go swimming, or on hikes as a family. Hikes and walks are particularly good ways to enjoy your surroundings. Getting away from the car provides perspective and shows kids how to enjoy physical activity. These activities are wonderful examples for children about how to stay healthy and active, and provide exercise for everyone. As long as you are keeping active, cross train away!
3. Eat locally.
Find local, whole foods wherever you go. Is it blueberry season where you are visiting? Visit a local farm stand or pick your own farm and taste the bounty of where you are. Instead of expensive restaurant meals grab a baguette from a local bakery, some local cheese and produce, and have a picnic. You’ll save money and eat lighter. The kids will enjoy a special picnic meal too.
Savor treats as special. Ice cream and summer go hand in hand. On your trip, certainly consider sampling from local scoop shops. Make it a special treat and only go once or twice during your vacation.
4. Take time for yourself.
It is your vacation after all! Make sure to have some stress free downtime and advocate for yourself so you get it. This may be a run, a lingering trip to a local coffee shop, sleeping in, or a long walk. Whatever your zen is, treat yourself to it during the trip because before your know it, the trip will be over and you will be wondering– what did I do for myself? So many times as moms we forget about ourselves. Reclaim your passion and refuel by taking some time everyday for yourself.
5. Rethink Road Food.
The fast food chain companies would have you think that eating at their restaurants are the only option while traveling. Not so!
Grab your eats from home and some containers, and head out. For example, we brought our localvore CSA food with us on a recent trip. The girls snacked on fresh plums, a baguette and cheese on a recent 10 hour drive. You can also make sandwiches in no waste lunch containers to bring along. No waste, no junk food, no supporting questionable companies and factory farms. Woot!
Be sure to bring your reusable utensils, cloth napkins, a reusable coffee mug, and water-bottles to use as well.
What are your tips for staying green, fit and healthy while on the road with kids? I know you savvy readers have tips to share, so please, add your thoughts. Please join us in the Go Green, Get Fit Challenge to, and get moving.
Happy road tripping!