Stay Healthy And Fit On Your Next Vacation

Most vacations will derail your exercise and diet program faster than you can say “eat-all-you-can hotel buffet”. You want to relax, have fun, indulge. You don’t want to think about calories or getting enough cardio. You don’t want to think, period.

So you spend hours lounging on the beach, feasting on pina coladas or chips. However, the low activity and high fat and sugar diet not only packs on the pounds, but can make you feel sluggish and tired. That’s why so many people return from a vacation feeling anything but refreshed.

So how can you stay fit and still have fun during your vacation? No need to squeeze your Pilates DVD into your luggage—just take a trip that incorporates a lot of physical activity in a fun way!

For example, in Sonoma County, there are nature trails where both beginners and experienced hikers can spend hours exploring one of the most beautiful forests in the world. You’ll barely notice your cardio workout as you walk under the boughs of century-old trees, or navigate up a hill to get a breathtaking view of the vineyards below. It’s fun, but it’s healthy too—and who knows, when you get back, you’ll feel inspired to hike regularly. (It’s so much more scenic than 30 minutes on a treadmill.)

Avoid the high-sugar dessert buffets and fat-laden burgers. A trip to the countryside is a great opportunity to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Sonoma County’s farm trail, for example, takes you through some of the most abundant agricultural centers in the country. After seeing the animals or learning about the different food manufacturing processes, you can buy organic produce picked just hours before. After you’ve tasted some of that food, you’ll never want to eat another oily pizza again.

Or, you can combine both outdoor activity and great food by having a picnic in one of Sonoma County’s many parks and reserves. The Redwoods, an 805-acre park, has many benches and barbecue grills. Work up an appetite while playing with your kids under the shade of its ancient Redwoods. Dine al fresco, under the California’s famous blue skies. You can also visit the Fort Ross State Park, or the Muir Woods.

The point is that you don’t have to stay in bed the whole day to rest and relax. Why not take a walk in a serene forest to clear your head of the pressures at work? Or talk with your kids or spouse as you explore the different trails, your conversation uninterrupted by TV or the cell phone.

All it takes is to find a place with attractions that encourage fun physical activity, like Sonoma County. Be sure to schedule your trip during months when the weather is sunny but cool, pack comfortable shoes and clothes, and protect your skin from the elements with a strong sun block and a big, floppy hat. (Hey, you’re tourists—you’re supposed to look a little silly.)

You can also ask your travel agent to point you towards hiking tours or nature reserves, and provide you with maps of the area. Have a fun—and fit—vacation!

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