The holiday season is here! Use your travels to your advantage instead of as an excuse! The holidays often mean traveling to visit relatives. It is true that traveling can disrupt your walking routine, but it’s also an opportunity to actually walk more and burn off those holiday calories. By exploring a new area and getting your family active, you’ll be constantly walking, getting those steps and having fun. You’ll find that a more active trip is a more fun and engaging trip!
If you’re staying at a hotel, there are a ton of ways you can use this to your advantage and get more steps.
Use the fitness room
Many hotels, even smaller ones, have an exercise room with a treadmill or elliptical machine. These can be great ways to get some steps in even when it’s cold outside. Try getting up early and working up a sweat on the treadmill before you go out. You’ll be more likely to get your steps in while you’re fresh, rather than after a long day with your family.
Walk to your meals
Check the area near your hotel for interesting restaurants or cafes. Often the hotel breakfast is expensive and not particularly great. Try a local spot in the area that’s within walking distance to get your steps in, explore the area and get a tasty breakfast! The same goes for lunch and dinner! Why order in when you can get out and walk!
Use the hotel for indoor walking
If it’s very cold or poor weather outside, use the hotel hallways as your personal indoor walking track! There isn’t much to see, so listening to a podcast or audiobook can help to pass the time.
Get extra steps in the margins
Try parking a bit farther away from your room (after you drop off your luggage of course), and take the stairs instead of the elevator if your room is not on a very high floor. Those little steps around the margins can really add up over a few days.
Explore the area
If you’re on your own, get some steps by exploring the local area. There will probably be lots of new places to walk or explore. There’s no excuse to sit in your room and watch TV when you can get out and get active!
Be a tourist
Since you’re already traveling, put your tourist hat and find some cool things to do in the area. There may be a downtown walking tour in your area, or there could be some local sights that are famous in the area. If you have some free time, take in the local flavor. Make sure to take some photos for your Pacer Feed or social media.
Go window shopping
Hopefully, you’ve already bought all of your gifts for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go window shopping in the local area. Try to find a local walking street or commercial area with shops that you may not be able to find back home. In a worst-case scenario, you can get some walking done inside in a supermarket or big box store.
Use driving strategically
If you booked a hotel in an out of the way area, you can always take a drive to a more walkable area and walk there. It’s tempting to drive everywhere when traveling but use your car strategically so you can get more steps. Instead of driving to get a coffee and driving back home, try going to a shopping center, parking in one end and walking over to the coffee shop at the other end.
Spend time with family (being active!)
If you’re traveling to visit family, make your family time active time! There are a ton of ways that you can involve your family members. As a bonus, you’re helping your relatives get more active and healthy. If you’re enthusiastic about visiting the local area, your family members will probably be very happy to show you around.
Explore the neighborhood
Ask your family members to take you on a walk around their neighborhood. This will give you time to catch up and also to learn about their favorite things about their hometown. They may already have a walking routine, and if they do ask if you can join them on their walks.
Hang out with the kids
Young people are constantly on the go. Try to keep up with the kids and watch your step count rise. This also can encourage the kids to get off their phones or tablets and get out and play which is good for everyone!
Visit holiday events
There are bound to be lots of holiday events, festivals or other activities that offer a chance for you to get walking. Don’t turn down any offers to attend an event. Search events online and locally to find events such as a parade, fair, or anything that will get you out and about. If you can find an event your family members don’t know about, they’ll probably be even more impressed!
Schedule a volunteer session ahead of time at a local church, school or shelter. You’ll be moving around and helping a good cause, which is a double benefit. If you can’t find a suitable event, try to help out your family members in whatever way that you can.
Okay, this one is a little different. Dancing can keep you active and really get you moving so that your step count will be higher than ever. Look around for local events, dance classes, or line dances that you can join in on. You are on your holiday, after all, so make the most of it.
Be the “doer”
If someone is cooking, offer to help. If someone is cleaning, offer to help. If someone needs something from upstairs, you got this. The doer is always moving around and will definitely have the highest step count in your family. You’ll also be the most popular person with all of the help you’re giving. You don’t have to tell anyone that you’re doing it to get more steps!
These 13 ideas will keep you moving through the holidays wherever you end up traveling. The most important thing to remember is to just keep moving. The more you move, the more you’ll get done and the more fun you’ll have. Make this a holiday to remember, volunteer, explore, dance, go to a parade or spend time with your family getting active. Just move!