Exercising On Vacation…Is it Possible?

I just got back from an amazing cruise through Vancouver and Alaska and had an absolutely wonderful time. However, upon returning, I jumped on the scale and saw I put on nearly 10 lbs during my ten days away (well maybe closer to five after weighing myself the next morning)! How is that possible, you may ask? Well, I was on a cruise and I enjoyed every minuted of it – including the food, the desserts, the unlimited hot chocolates, the speciality snacks, and of course the midnight chocolate buffet!

In fact, I might say, I am surprised I didn’t gain more! And with that, I’d like to offer my tips as to how to eat whatever you want on your vacation (within reason – meaning don’t stuff yourself beyond feeling well!) and not gain too much weight!

1. Take the stairs! My brother, Michael, and I put this rule into effect way back when my family starting cruising in the mid-90s. We knew we wanted to eat a ton and basically enjoy whatever we wanted…so we decided that we would never take the elevator. And I am proud to say that I have stuck with that commitment to this day! It is very rare that you will find me on an elevator on a cruise. I think I made one or two exceptions in this past seven night cruise (once when I was dressed up for formal night in heals, and the other when I was having trouble with the rocking seas).

2. Take the stairs! Yep, I said it again. While traveling in the airports, take the stairs rather than the escalator. Of course – the exception being when you are carrying your luggage and can’t physically make it down or up the stairs. Same with the people movers…don’t use them…it’s faster (and better for you) to walk. And if you are traveling with someone who insists taking the people mover…just walk on the normal floor beside them.

3. Enjoy the stops and cities. Wherever you are, the best way to enjoy a new city is to walk or run it. You see so much more than you would in a cab or car. While some tours may require that you travel a farther distance away from the center city (and therefore cannot walk or run), there are many restaurants, sites, and experiences to be had close to your hotel…and you should try to always walk to them! (Make sure you bring comfortable shoes so that your three inch heals don’t ruin your vacation or your opp to get some good exercise!)

4. Get the heart pumping. While in Vancouver, B.C., my husband and I traveled to both Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain. Both offered amazing opportunities to enjoy the locations, weather, views and of course get some exercise. At Stanley Park, we walked along side the water banks and on the trails within the nearly 1000 acre park. But there were bike rentals available and we also saw many locals biking, roller blading, running, walking, and more. Then at Grouse Mountain, we took the tram up to the top, but there were many people that hiked what is dubbed the “Grouse Grind.” In fact, many locals said they hike the 1.8 mile, 2,800 foot elevation gain trail weekly if not daily! We decided if and when we returned, we would definitely try the hike. (It’s free when you hike too. The tram was $10 each way.)

So with these few, small tips, it is possible to enjoy your vacation, the food, and still keep the weight gain at a minimum…or at least low enough that when you get home — you can take off those extra few pounds pretty quickly.

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