Did you know that Americans take more than 1.8 billion leisure travel trips per year? That’s a lot of time and organizing to juggle travel plans along with the personal care needed to keep everyone healthy and active. Whether it’s visiting relatives or friends, sightseeing popular destinations, or just unplugging from daily demands, make sure to keep health and wellness, physical activity and good nutrition a priority – your body and mind will thank you!
Families, friends and travel groups looking to integrate general health and wellness, physical activity and nutrition into travel plans should think through a few general steps and considerations to kick off a successful trip:
Have room to pack additional items? Grab a travel-sized exercise mat, reusable water bottle, sneakers and a few resistance bands. You’ll have everything you need to exercise on the go!
Brainstorm activities that are enjoyable and accessible for any type of travel. Create a travel activity calendar with activities to record the amount and type of activity for each family member and award points accordingly. Integrate new activities as you travel to reflect your experiences and explorations.
Consider your travel plans as an extension of physical activity and good nutrition. Visit a city park, check out a hiking trail or stop in at a local farmers market.
Remember to take regular physical activity breaks if you’ve been sitting for long periods of time in a car, airplane, bus or train.
Document your progress and successes by snapping pictures, journaling and sharing stories with one another and on social media.
Purchase and prepare nutritious foods ahead of time and bring a cooler for perishable items. Pay attention to serving sizes – What a kindergartener consumes for a snack should look different then what an older family member eats.
Proper and regular hydration is important when traveling. Skip the sugary beverages and instead, pack a reusable water bottle for each family member and fill up at rest stops.
Sleep can have a significant impact on overall health and wellness – especially when traveling! Plan ahead to ensure at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Consider packing ear plugs and comfortable sleeping clothes.
It’s important to take time during the holiday season to reflect on things we may be thankful for and to celebrate how those things impact our health. To help make this easier, take the Holiday Challenge each week this December!
Don't let a break from school mean a break from eating better and moving more. Being healthy as a family sets a good example for your children to live a healthy and active lifestyle and is a great way to spend quality time together.