This week I received an email with some great ideas for podcasts, and the following couple of questions:
“I don’t like to run, it’s not for me. So what are the alternatives? We do a lot of walking around our neighborhood and local parks. We also cycle the bike trails at the local parks. We have hiking trails within a few minutes drive. What other activities do you find to keep the whole family involved and still make it fun for the kids? Do you plan family vacations around fitness or do you let it all go for the trip?”
We love to hike as a family. My son is 5, and when we first started it, he did not like it at all. Now, he loves to go to the state park to hike (and camp). We also play quite a bit of frisbee, believe it or not. Since we all stink at throwing a frisbee, it’s plenty of exercise.
Other than going to visit family, we’ve actually gone camping or included hiking in our last 5 vacations, and we’re going again next weekend. It’s not that we’re against a non-active vacation, we’re just having a LOT of fun being active.
For example, a few years ago (when I weighed almost 400 lbs), a friend of ours came to visit during the summer. We went to the Coca-cola museum, did some shopping, and my wife, my son, and our friend went to Stone Mountain…I didn’t feel up to going, so I just stayed home and sat on my duff.
This summer when she came back, we hiked to the bottom of Tellulah Gorge, went tubing down the Chattahoochee River, canoed and paddle-boated on Unicoi Lake, and finished it up with some indoor rock climbing. It wasn’t that we were trying to be “super-fitness-vacation-family”, but these were all things that appealed to us AND kept us active.
We’ve also run some races as a family. If you live in any kind of urban area, there are usually multiple races available each weekend, most of them benefiting great charities. My son loves to do these…even though I end up carrying him on the longer races.
So to answer the question, “Do you plan family vacations around fitness or do you let it all go for the trip?”, I would have to say that most vacations that appeal to us now involve some level of activity by default, whether it be camping, swimming, or hiking. On our to-do list: hiking the Grand Canyon, zip-lining in Costa Rica, and camping Yellowstone National Park.