All Entries For travel
As a person who incorporates fitness into my everyday life—whether I'm at home or traveling—I sure do plan to staying active even when I'm on a relaxing vacation. After all, with no distractions and nothing but free time, what excuse do I have? The more activity you can build into any vacation, the better your chances of returning with all the good things (think souvenirs and memories) and none of the bad (extra padding around the middle). In fact, most people do want to relax and indulge a little on vacation, and that's fine. But planning for extra activity will definitely help you stay on track with your fitness and weight management goals.
While you may think that's boring, I've got news for you: Vacation exercise isn't about the treadmill. There are tons of fun, active ways you can torch calories and get a workout without even realizing it. Here are some of the many activities I can't wait to try during my own vacation (and a rundown of how many calories* each one burns). Read More ›
A few weeks ago I was reading through the message boards when I came across a post from Chris 'SparkGuy' Downie to a member who was asking about what type of strength training activities he could do without access to a gym or weight training equipment. Chris did not let that deter him from offering some great recommendations of performing body-weight exercises--exercises such as push-ups and squats which can be done at home or when traveling when access to resistant training equipment is not at your disposal.
This gave me the idea to link examples of body-weight exercises for you to refer to as the busy holiday travel season rolls around. Hopefully you will can take this with you when traveling and access to weights or machines is not an option. Read More ›
Are you traveling for the holidays? Chances are high that you are—AAA reports that 93.3 million Americans will be traveling between Christmas and New Year’s Day, which is a 1.6 percent increase from last year. And when you're traveling, you'll surely need road snacks to keep your hunger at bay. When you’re pressed for time on the road, you might stop by a gas station to grab a quick bite to eat. But beware—gas stations are home to many foods that are packed with sodium, trans fats and preservatives. However, if you look closely, you can find some decent options to meet your needs in a pinch. If you were to choose between a package of trail mix and a stick of beef jerky at a gas station, which is the better choice to refuel you on your trip? Read More ›
Planning a family road trip? Keep your family fit and healthy along the way. When you’re traveling by car, you spend a lot of time planning your course. We all want to make good time, but it’s also important to schedule several breaks into your itinerary, especially when you have kids: Read More ›
While a trip to Paris might not in be the budget, a few French-themed meals likely are. Put some Edith Piaf on the stereo, pour a glass of wine, and whip of one of these dinners worthy of a fancy bistro--but with less fat and fewer calories. (And this meal plan comes just in time for Bastille Day tomorrow!)
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It's been a while since I've taken a true vacation (I've been taking more staycations -- staying home while taking vacation time), but when I do go on vacation (or even when I take a staycation), I like to stay active. I do spend some time relaxing as well, but I do my best to make sure that I incorporate some form of exercise/activity in my day, which helps me stay on track with my health goals.
When vacationing, I like to do as much walking as I can, so I try to select places to stay that are within walking distance to things that I would like to do or see. That helps to keep me active and saves money by not spending it on gas for the car. If I go to a place that has a lot of outdoor type activities to do, I try to hike and bike too. If I stay at a hotel that has a pool or gym, I also like to take advantage of those as well. One time many years ago, I stayed at a resort in Mexico and participated in a water aerobics class that they offered -- talk about a fun, active and relaxing time!
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Georgia was on my mind recently when I attended a nutrition convention with about 250 other Registered Dietitians in lovely Savannah, Georgia. While I was surrounded by southern comfort foods, hospitality and charm, thank heavens SparkPeople was also on my mind to keep me on target.
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My family tries to eat as healthy as we can, with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole foods and as few processed foods as we can. Maintaining that kind of eating is harder when you're traveling, but it's not impossible.
We live 1,000 miles away from our extended family, and we make a pilgrimage to see them at least once a year. We used to fly, but now we drive. Either way, gathering snacks for the trip is a big part of my preparations. Snacks stave off hunger and boredom, keeping bellies full of the kind of food you want your family to eat and, in the case of younger children, keeping little fingers busy.
Here's what works for our family. Read More ›
A lot of changes have occurred in my life in the past two months.
I quit my full-time job to become a freelance writer and healthy living blogger at Peanut Butter Fingers. Then my husband accepted a new job and we moved--into a hotel. We couldn’t find a house to rent in our new hometown right away, which led us to living in a hotel on weekdays and living at my parents’ house (two hours away) on the weekends.
Needless to say, all of these big life changes affected my normal eating habits.
I no longer had access to a real kitchen. No stove. No oven.
In the beginning I was tempted to throw in the towel and rely solely on microwaveable meals to get me though the transitional time until we moved into our rental home.
Three days of frozen burritos later, I felt lethargic and knew I needed to introduce fresh produce, whole grains and unprocessed foods back into my diet.
I made an action plan.
The first obstacle?
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Last week's fitness round-up blog featured eight lower body resistance band exercises. As mentioned earlier, resistance bands are a great investment to add to your fitness arsenal. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are quite convenient to tuck away in your luggage when you travel. And studies have shown that resistance bands can offer many of the same fitness benefits as using free weights or gym machines.
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Now that summer vacations are in full swing, many of us will be heading off to destinations that may not allow us access to equipment to help us maintain our strength training routines. Finding ways to integrate cardio activities into our time away can be quite easy, after all walking and biking are two activities many of us can do. But what do we do when we do not have access to a gym or free weights? While there are many gym free exercises to do that offer some benefits, investing in a set of inexpensive resistance bands is another great option.
Because resistance bands are lightweight and take up little space in your luggage, this makes them easy to transport. And studies have shown that resistance bands are just as beneficial to helping us build muscle endurance and strength as free weights and gym machines.
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Now that the holiday season has arrived, many of us will be traveling to our destinations, whether to Grandma's house or a family vacation. This may require you to spend hours sitting for an extended period of time whether on a plane or in a car but this does not mean you must abandon your workout routine until you get home. By planning ahead you can still get in a great workout and still gain the benefits of exercise.
If you are stuck waiting at the airport, use this time to walk the terminal, after all you will be spending at least an hour on a plane, therefore squeezing in a few minutes of activity may help offset fatigue that many times accompanies traveling. When traveling by car, stopping every hour or two just to stretch your legs and do a brisk walk may help offset road fatigue therefore keeping you more alert.
As for resistance training, there are many equipment-free exercises one can do all in the comforts of your hotel room or even a few you can do at the airport while waiting. Remember the muscles do not know the difference between a dumbbell or your own body weight when it comes to muscle overload. As long as you are overloading the muscles you will achieve muscle strength and endurance.
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One of the most fun aspects of my job is when I get to Spread the Spark during radio, television or newspaper interviews. It's so fun to talk to members of the media and share my passion for healthy living and all things SparkPeople with a new audience. While I have appeared live on the local news a few times, most radio interviews I do take place over the phone. But a few weeks ago, "SparkPeople Dave" and I had a chance to visit an actual Cincinnati radio studio for an hour-long talk show. We discussed the history of SparkPeople, some fun new things that are coming up (you'll have to listen to find out what they are!), and some helpful tips about staying fit on vacation and making the best food choices at your next summer cookout.
We had so much fun on the "What’s Hot with Molly, Kelly and Caitlin" radio show and did a fair share of joking around (none of us take ourselves THAT seriously!) that I thought you'd enjoy listening to the podcast of the show, too. Read More ›
Hey, dailySpark readers, itís Anne again from the food and fitness blog fANNEtastic food! In my first guest post I shared my tips for packing a healthy lunch in five minutes flat, and today, in honor of summer, Iíll be sharing some of my favorite tips for staying healthy while traveling!
- Tip #1: HYDRATE!
- Bring a reusable water bottle so you always have water handy (for free!). Mine comes with me everywhere! If flying, bring it through security empty and fill it up on the other side.
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One of the running jokes on my recent trip to Turkey with two friends was "first-world problems." You know, problems that really aren't problems at all in the grand scheme of life, that have little consequence on your life, that you sometimes feel embarrassed to vocalize. Our problems were of the first-world variety: during a trip to the Aegean Sea, it cost $150 to fill up the tank of our rented Volkswagen Golf; after sitting on the veranda late into the night chatting with my girlfriends, I was covered in two dozen very swollen mosquito bites; we didn't have time to go to the gym and make it to a friend's house on the Asian side of town for cooking class in the same day. Each time we "complained" about one of the aforementioned "problems," one of us would exclaim, "First-world problems!" and we would all laugh and remember we were on vacation. The joy of being on vacation is that you can live in the moment without worrying about anything else back home.
While in real life we're all globally-conscious, career-minded women who juggle stressful and busy (but happy and fulfilling) personal and professional lives, for those weeks we spent together in Istanbul and on the Aegean coast, we could forget it all.
One friend went home after one week and soon posted on Facebook that the post-vacation blues were descending upon her. An engineer who's training for her fourth marathon and preparing to demolish and renovate her kitchen, she quickly felt the peaceful ocean breezes and laid-back mindset evanesce.
For me, I must admit that as much as I love my life, those first few days after a vacation can be rough for me--and I'm sure I'm not alone. As fantastic as your vacation might have been and as much as you enjoy your life back home, the actual and proverbial distance between the two can be rough on the psyche, especially if you face a long journey home. To ease the transition into real life (and by now I think you've caught on that I know I am fortunate to have a pretty wonderful life whether I'm at home or away and that this too might seem like a first-world problem), I have a few tips: Read More ›