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How To Stay Slim on Vacation

July 13, 2011

By Tara Zimliki

I just returned from a weeklong vacation to Disney World.  It was a great vacation for my two daughters, and a chance for me to revisit my childhood.  The children had a blast and I made sure to get a workout in every day without disrupting the family.  As a personal trainer and running coach, I could not imagine not exercising for seven days.  After all, this is my life and passion, so I explored the sights in the early morning by running every day and got in many other forms of activity with the family.  I decided to share some of my tips on how to stay fit on vacation and still have a blast!

1)      The early bird catches the worm (and burns more calories).  Wake up early to start your day the right way and go for a run or swim.  I ran 5-7 miles daily on vacation, starting at 5 a.m.  By the time I finished my run I still had time to get back to the resort, dress the children, and feed them, and they weren’t even aware I was away.  This early morning session will burn 500-700 calories and keep you from losing strength and endurance on vacation.  Why lose the hard work you put in to prepare for vacation on vacation?

2)      Dance the day and night away.  Vigorous dancing for one hour burns approximately 350 calories. On vacation I found many opportunities to dance with the family and I took advantage of every one.  Sure, I didn’t burn as many calories as I did running for an hour, but it’s still activity and it works off some of the vacation dessert you may splurge on (running or walking will work off the rest).

3)      Walk to your destinations!  Instead of jumping on every bus or train, why not walk instead?  If it is possible (and safe) to walk to your destination, do it!  On vacation we walked to several surrounding parks and racked up to 1 and ½ miles of walking per day. Even this small walking session will burn 110 calories!  So walk on your vacation and you will stay slim and feel great!

4)      Plan a fitness event as part of your vacation.  Your trip doesn’t have to be a vacation from healthy living.  Why not run or walk a 5k while on vacation? Most areas host races throughout the spring, summer, and fall, so you should be able to find one nearby. Running a race will give you the opportunity to meet some locals and explore a different area.  On our vacation my husband surprised me and signed me up for 5k race near Disneyworld.  It was so thoughtful of him to do so, and it ended up being a family event.  My six-year-old daughter ran the ½ mile race and my four-year-old ran the ¼ mile race.  A 5k race can burn 300-400 calories.

If you follow this vacation plan you can burn nearly 5000 calories (calories are estimated based on a 125-150 lb woman).  Since there are 3500 calories in a pound you could lose 1 ½ pounds while on vacation if you exercise and eat healthy, avoiding fried foods and limiting sweets.

Just remember to make your vacation unique and special to you.  If you have become a fitness enthusiast or are working towards your new body and a healthier lifestyle there is no reason to take a vacation from your fitness.  The people that take a vacation from fitness have not made fitness part of their lifestyle yet.  But don’t look at these individuals differently, inspire them!  You have made a lifestyle change so continue to follow your newfound passion on vacation and inspire others with your ambition and dedication.

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