Do Something! Jumpstart Your Family’s Health With a Fitness or Weight Loss Vacation!

Remember the vacations of your childhood when you squeezed into a hot car with parents and siblings, occasionally fighting over space and incessantly asking “are we there yet?” In between your dad pointing out local landmarks, you probably stopped at a fast food restaurant to gorge on fatty and fried grub. It’s likely that when you arrived at your destination it was more of the same unhealthy eating. While this type of family vacation has a special place in our hearts, it was also killing us or at least setting the pattern for a lifetime of unhealthy eating. A pattern that we will eventually pass on to the next generation.

A new trend in travel and a much-needed break from the old trend is family fitness vacations or weight-loss vacations. As the name suggests, fitness vacations are active, healthy getaways to resort destinations where exercise and fun activities abound. Families enjoy healthy food choices, learn about nutrition, get fit and lose weight while on vacation.

Active vacations can be a critical component of a healthy lifestyle shift for overweight families. “Family weight loss vacations create unity among family members and provide support for each person in reaching their goals” states Dana Paru, trainer for a family fitness vacation company. “If someone is having an off day, the others can be cheerleaders.”

Diseases like diabetes and heart disease are rampant among our overweight population. Having the entire family focused on a healthy lifestyle, exercising together, finding fun, active things to do and learning how to eat healthy together are great strides toward disease prevention. Nutritional education, how to plan healthy meals and how to eat healthy with a busy family schedule, are all part of the information provided during the program.

Obviously, vacations last a short time and it is important to gain habits from the trip that are the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle post program. To aid in this, trainers teach guests how to create healthy shopping lists and provide tips for menus options when cooking at home. “We talk about what foods aid metabolism and what times of the day to eat specific foods,” said Paru.

If you are reading this and thinking I am not sure if a fitness vacation sounds fun compared to eating gigantic turkey legs while walking down Main Street at Disney World, think again. Fitness vacations are not all about sit-ups and jumping jacks. While there are beach boot camps and personal training in the gym, there is also an array of other fun activities such as kayaking, pool relays, rock wall climbing, trampoline fitness classes, biking and much more. All these activities are designed to get the family in shape while delivering fitness that is fun and does not feel like exercise.

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