Keep Your Family’s Health On Track This Spring Break

| 3 min read

Two children running along the shoreline.
While vacation is a time for fun and relaxation, it’s important to remember to pack healthy habits with you this spring break. It can be challenging to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle while on vacation. But whether your family is heading to the beach or planning a local staycation, there are easy ways to make sure you don’t stray too far.
Vince McKinnon, wellness manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, says scheduling family activities like walking along the beach looking for seashells, swimming, water skiing, volleyball and basketball can help structure the vacation around being active.
For families vacationing at home, McKinnon recommends going to local parks or visiting a recreation center for indoor swimming, basketball, volleyball or other activities.
“It’s easy to lose good habits. Planning vacations that keep kids active will help continue the example set at home,” said McKinnon. “Kids need to be monitored on sweets, fats and refined carbohydrates. If they are allowed to eat these things in abundance on vacation it could lead to poor habits at home.”
Here are five tips to help keep your family’s health on track this spring break:
  1. Pack or purchase healthy snacks to keep with you on the go. McKinnon recommends fresh fruit or whole grain snacks.
  1. Explore the area on foot. If you are a runner, checking out the trails or beaches is an exciting way to see the city. If you don’t run, walking the downtown area and exploring shops is a great way to get your steps in.
  1. Ask the hotel welcome desk. Check with guest services for information on any group activities the hotel may offer. Some resorts host group swim classes, poolside yoga or tennis tournaments.
  1. Do your research. To help combat the surge of “vacation eating,” McKinnon recommends parents check and see what restaurants and supermarkets are in the area so you can plan ahead.
  1. Travel with the proper tools. In addition to your bathing suit, make sure you pack the proper tools to help you stay healthy. Bring along your pedometer, water bottle, sneakers and workout clothes to make it easy for you to stay in the groove. If you own resistance bands, they can be a great tool to bring along and are easy to travel with.
As with many things, McKinnon says the key to a healthier spring break is in the moderation.
“It is always good to have a cheat meal or indulge in something in moderation, but we must be mindful to not over indulge while on vacation,” said McKinnon.
What do you do to make sure you keep up your healthy habits while on vacation? What kinds of healthy spring break activities do you have planned for your family?
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Photo credit: JL Barranco
This post was originally published on March 16, 2015 and has been updated.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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