Top tips for health and active travels

July 28, 2015

Here are some fresh ideas to make your trips away as pleasurable as they are active and healthy.

Top tips for health and active travels

When vacation time finally comes, all we think about is relaxing. This often means not leaving the armchair, and indulging heavy desserts. But a relaxing vacation can and should be active.

The idea is to try to spend two to four hours a day doing things. Walking the city streets. Exploring a nature reserve. Going to a zoo. These kinds of activities improve your physical and mental health and make vacations memorable.

Create a silly tournament

  • Particularly if there are children on the trip, it can be a riot to create your own mini-Olympics.
  • For example, if you use the swimming pool every day, have a daily competition, such as holding your breath underwater, swimming between people's legs or having a big splash contest.
  • Or maybe a week-long badminton competition. "Silly" is the operative word – don't make it a serious competition, just a chance to have active fun.

Play miniature golf

  • You burn more calories sitting rather than lying, standing than sitting, and walking than standing.
  • Although miniature golf won't incinerate fat, it will burn more calories than lying in a hammock. Plus, your children will have a great time. You probably will, too.

Beware the food obsession

  • Let's be honest: for many of us, vacations are about eating splurges. That means fresh seafood by the ocean, amazing restaurants in great cities, unlimited buffets at the hotel.
  • This is the stuff of great vacations and you shouldn't deny yourself these pleasures. Instead, limit yourself to one such indulgence a day.
  • Any more and the uniqueness of the splurges fades away. And you'll spend too much time sitting in restaurants – then sitting some more, recuperating from the overindulgence.

Explore on foot

  • Of course, you can rely on your travel agent, travel guides, maps or a tour bus to get you acquainted with a new location. But only by getting out and walking can you truly get the feel for a place.
  • Spend the first few hours at your vacation destination walking around the area.
  • If you're in a city, pick a few restaurants to try to make your reservations in person. Locate the parks, museums and shopping areas.

Fly a stunt kite

  • If there's a good wind blowing, buy a stunt kite and take it to the beach or other large open space.
  • These kites can be easily assembled, then taken apart, making them perfect for travelling.
  • You'll give your upper body a great workout as you struggle to control the kite.
  • You may also have to run or walk to keep the kite in the air – or chase it down once it plummets to the earth.

Schedule an activity-based vacation

  • Plan your entire vacation around an activity, such as sailing, hiking, cycling or swimming.
  • No expertise is necessary – just a willingness to take on a new challenge. There are any number of vacation packages targeted at novices to experts, adolescents to older people, singles to whole families.
  • A skiing vacation with lessons for different ages and ability levels is perfect.
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