Spring break is a time to let loose and enjoy yourself, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your health and fitness goals. Whether you’re planning a tropical getaway, a visit to an amusement park, a camping trip, or a fancy international vacation, there are plenty of ways to stay active and healthy while still having fun. In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks to help you have a fun and fit spring break.
Traveling and Vacation Resources
First off, we have some evergreen resources that you can consult no matter what type of spring break you’ll be on. Then, we’ll go into some specific spring vacation destinations.
If you’re planning a tropical getaway, there are several ways to stay active and healthy while still enjoying yourself:
- Work out on the beach: Running or doing a quick HIIT workout on the beach, especially where the sand is softer, is great for your core. You can take advantage of being able to run barefoot and not having to worry about getting lost. It’s basically just one way and turn back around.
- Swim: If you’re vacationing near the ocean or a pool, take advantage of the opportunity to swim. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that works your whole body.
- Rent bikes: Renting a bike is a great way to explore a new place while getting some exercise. You can cover more ground on a bike than on foot, and it’s a fun way to see the sights.
- Plan active excursions: Look for opportunities to go on active excursions, such as snorkeling, zip-lining, or horseback riding. These activities are not only fun but also help you stay fit.
Amusement Park Fun
If you’re heading to an amusement park, walking is the best exercise you can do! Here are some additional tips to help you stay on track.
- Walk everywhere: Forget the monorail or whatever ground transport you have. Walk and get comfortable shoes. If your kids get tired, carry them – more of a workout!
- But what about the kiosk and food court eye candy? There’s an insane amount of food and beverage offerings that you can sample (or completely indulge in) during your visit! Long gone are the days when a visit to a theme park only meant burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas. Now, it’s like a food and wine festival. A bite here, a bite there may not seem like a big deal, but it can add up! Luckily, most parks have caught up towards a healthier lifestyle and have healthy dish options as well as swaps (i.e., veggies for fries). Continue to follow the 80/20 rule we recommend just like in day-to-day life. Be selective about your “20” and try to delay that as much as you can to later in the day. It also works out better for FOMO. Instead of giving into having a treat and then seeing something you like even more later, you can be rewarded for your patience.
- Amusement parks are getting into the fitness groove as well, so sign up for a race, bike ride, or dance class.
- See also: 14 ways to stay fit during your Disney Vacay
- See also: The DAOFitLife 80/20 guide
Camping or National Park
Whether you’re hiking, biking, or just exploring, there are plenty of ways to stay active and healthy during your stay at a national park:
- Plan your activities: Before you leave for your trip, research the activities available at the national park you’ll be visiting. Many parks have hiking trails, bike paths, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. By planning ahead, you can make sure you have plenty of options for staying active during your stay.
- Take advantage of the hiking trails: Hiking is one of the best ways to explore a national park and stay fit at the same time. Many parks have trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks with you. You may also want to bring a map or download a trail app to help you navigate.
- Rent a Bike – Many national parks offer bike rentals, which can be a fun way to explore the park and stay active. Biking can cover more ground than hiking, and it is a good low-impact workout. Just be sure to wear a helmet and follow any park rules or regulations for biking.
- Participate in Park Programs- Many national parks offer ranger-led programs and activities, such as guided hikes or wildlife watching tours. These programs can be a fun way to learn more about the park and stay active at the same time. Check the park’s website or visitor center for a schedule of upcoming programs.
- Pack healthy snacks It’s easy to fall into the trap of snacking on junk food while on vacation, but packing healthy snacks can help you stay on track. Some good options include fruit, trail mix, and protein bars. Make sure to also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Do some yoga or stretching After a day of hiking or exploring, it’s important to give your body a chance to stretch and relax. Yoga or simple stretching can help improve flexibility and prevent soreness. Many national parks have designated areas for yoga or stretching, or you can find a quiet spot in nature to do your own routine.
- See also: Making the most of working out while camping
Also, while trail mix and granola bars are ideal camping snack gear, definitely check out the labels, and you can read my article about that and “fake” health foods here:
Fancy international vacation
If you are going far, chances are a switch in your diet may be just the ticket, as European and Asian countries are full of fresh fruits, veggies, and food prepared with minimally processed ingredients. Of course, western and American food culture has penetrated these areas pretty well, but would you really go all the way to Tokyo for McDonald’s?
With that in mind, enjoy the local cuisine and follow my tips for going on vacation here:
The biggest watchout for you is the jetlag, where you could be as much as a day off. Try as hard as possible to get on local time, whether it is staying up later or sleeping in more. You can use the help of melatonin and shuttered blinds to help you fall asleep when you normally would be awake.
It can be challenging to find a suitable gym or workout studio when you are traveling abroad, so definitely consult my guide to working out in a hotel room while you are away:
Remember, staying active on your spring break vacation doesn’t have to be a chore. Choose activities that you enjoy and that allow you to have fun while getting some exercise. Have fun with food you can’t get at home after spending all the money you did to relax. Practice the 80/20 rule and some practical nutrition strategies to return home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of spring and summer.