Go Green, Get Fit Challenge: 5 Ways to Stay Green, Fit and Healthy While Vacationing with Kids

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!



6 thoughts on “Go Green, Get Fit Challenge: 5 Ways to Stay Green, Fit and Healthy While Vacationing with Kids

  1. Lynn

    Vacationing has been my downfall. The issue is we stay with people and I can’t ask them to cater to my (fairly narrow) needs. It’s a real balancing act! Your suggestions are great if you’re on a family trip and have the option of choices!

  2. Katy Post author

    That is so hard when you are on someone else’s food and recreation schedule. So sorry it was difficult for you. In those situations getting up and out early seems to be the only solution– but that doesn’t make it easy to do when everyone else is sleeping! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Kimberly Pinkson

    I like your reminder to re-think road food. Even my son gets bummed when we’re on the road and there is no “real food” around for miles. Also a great reminder to take some “me time” even on vacations. So often moms come home from “vacations” exhausted. Thank you!

  4. stacy h

    eat locally and road food are the biggest ones for us! especially with a kidlet with dairy and gluten sensitivities. we feels o much better the less junk we eat and have a nicer time.

  5. Stephanie O

    I love these tips. We will not be on any long road trips until Christmas time but will use the tips on short outtings. Is the picture from your vacation? I would love to walk there, so pretty.
    shuttermom77 at gmail dot com

  6. Pingback: 5 Ways to Stay Green, Fit and Healthy While Vacationing with Kids | Non-toxic Kids

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