My dad just retired (Congratulations, Dad)! My mom and him generoulsy decided to take the WHOLE family on vacation to a beautiful all-inclusive resort in Cancun to celebrate. Who does that? My parents…they are awesome.
So…my folks, two sisters, their spouses, my nieces, my husband, our kids, and a partridge in a pear tree* embarked on a journey to Mexico. All the food, all the drinks, all the room service was included…so I kind of knew that I was in for it as far as my diet went. How can you say no to unlimited quesadillas, nachos, and pina coladas? Well perhaps those stronger than me could, but on vacation I like to go for it…YOLO as it were.
Ok, ok, so maybe this last vacation wasn’t a healthy lifestyle “win” exactly with the amount of food/beverages I consumed…HOWEVER, our group made a great effort to stay active while we were on vacation.
With lessons learned from my last vacation resonating in the back of my mind, I tried to think of ways to offset my caloric intake. I REALLY wanted to go to the gym in the mornings, but I couldn’t make it work with my schedule. No problem. We figured out a few other ways to burn some calories WITHOUT the fitness center!
Every morning we started our day at the pool. This is mostly because from the moment my son opened his eyes he would ask to go to the pool non-stop until our toes touched the water. On our first outing to the pool, we noticed a group of people gathering on one side, with two short noodles in hand. An instructor turned on some sweet beats, and beckoned us over. With the men of our group watching the kiddos, the ladies joined in the fitness class. It was awesome! I didn’t realize water aerobics were actually challenging (I kind of just thought it was for super old people)! It was nice to enjoy the pool, burn calories, and do a new type of workout. It’s a great way to elevate the heart rate with low impact and high resistance.
Our resort offered a selection of ocean sport activities you could reserve. We decided to give paddle boarding a shot, and I’m glad we did! Balancing on the board requires a lot of core and leg strength, while you use your arm and back muscles to paddle yourself around…you get quite a workout (especially if you’re a newbie like me and don’t know how to move around as well). Additionally, if you throw yourself off the board to get a hilarious slow motion video, adding a little swimming and pulling yourself up on the board burns calories, too!
Our family played basketball, tennis, and ping pong as well. Exercise disguised as sports is ALWAYS a good idea, especially with kiddos. Everyone was sweating like crazy after the games! The resort offered a variety of sporting activities and provided the equipment, making it a breeze to get out and play.
I’m not a technically trained swimmer, but I do know that moving around in a pool will burn more calories than you realize! Depending on your weight and height you can burn up to 340 calories in 30 minutes just by swimming leisurely. Intheswim.com has a great infographic on all the ways you can burn calories doing pool related activities…from blowing up floaties to picking up pool toys!
We did a lot of walking, from the beach, to the pool, to the room, to the shops, to the buffet, to the bar, to the room, to the pool, to the buffet, to the bar. It counts! According to Livestrong.com walking around in warmer weather requires increased blood flow, which increases heart rate more quickly, strengthens your heart, and burns more fat. Just make sure to replenish your fluids if you sweat as much as I do!
Do you have a vacation coming up? What do you do to stay active?
*Just kidding. No animals or plants were taken to Mexico.