Family Vacations That Combine Fitness and R&R

Family vacations are great for a number of reasons. First, it allows everybody to get away from their daily routines. Second, it’s a fun opportunity to experience something new. Third, it’s a chance for the whole family to enjoy spending quality time together. But given the fact that the average family gets little to no regular exercise on a daily basis, taking a vacation for R&R may not always be the best option, as it relates to keeping the family active and healthy.

Think the last thing you want is to exercise on your family trip? The concept of a vacation that has a fitness aspect to it doesn’t mean spending hours at the hotel gym. Believe it or not, it is entirely possible to combine the fun of a family vacation with some form of exercise.

The average family rarely eats a healthy dinner at the table anymore. Leisure time is spent in front of a computer screen or television screen. Any physical exercise kids get is in the form of P.E. and even those programs are starting to disappear from schools. Parents with full-time jobs typically don’t get a chance to squeeze in an exercise regimen either. Given this type of schedule, it’s easy to see how an entire family can get set in bad habit as far as eating and lack of exercise.

That can easily be turned around with the right family vacation. The best way to get effective results is to pick the vacation spot together, instead of having one person making the decisions. When considering locations/hotels, research what physical activities are available that the entire family can participate in (make sure no one gets left out).

Vacations that involve things like hiking, mountain climbing or exploring a trail all count as physical fitness. Even something as simple as renting bicycles and leading the gang along popular tourist trails for an afternoon ride qualifies as a fitness activity because it gets the whole body working, speeds up the heart and burns calories.

Want to stick closer to the hotel? Spend time having fun at the pool. Water makes for a great form of resistance exercise – swimming a couple of laps, performing exercises underwater and even good ole fashioned play is a good form of fitness that’ll have the whole family in better spirits afterwards. Not to mention it will tucker the kids out, which means a quiet and uninterrupted night of sleep.

Families with older children have more options available to them, such as whitewater rafting, horseback riding, etc. These types of activities make for an adventurous day that calls for complete participation. Vacationing with young children? Prior to booking your trip, research the Internet to find vacation destinations that cater specifically to families with small children.

Want to keep things simple by going on a cruise? It’s also possible to include exercise on this type of trip, despite the rows of buffet tables and long lines of chaise lounges to laze around on. Many cruise lines infuse fun sports activities into the experience. It isn’t uncommon to find an entire rock climbing wall, ice skating rinks, complete gyms and, of course, swimming pools all housed on the cruise ship.