Commentary by Kathleen M. Connelly
Spring break in Fishers was awesome! I know we were all ready for it, right? My family traveled down to Fort Myers Florida to visit Nana and Pop. It was gorgeous weather and we had a blast despite a very long drive and some traffic headaches. As we enjoyed our week I couldn’t help but think about keeping our regular health habits a priority and even taking advantage of a more laid back schedule to start some new ones.
I started our health habits on our car ride down. Every so often, I led the kids in a stretch break. Of course no one unbuckled but we were able to wiggle our bodies and stretch while having some fun doing it. I also packed snacks from home so no gas station treats were needed. Of course we packed a few treats but we also were able to have bananas and oranges that are easy to eat in the car.
For many families, the normal pool routine is kids in water, mom and dad relaxing in the pool chairs. However, in my experience, kids tend to be more active when their parents get involved, too. When my husband and I got in the pool that was when the real fun began. I taught the kids how to play the game “Marco-polo” and then we played “get the noodle from mom game”. Instead of us lounging about or the kids just sitting on the steps, we were all swimming around the pool, wrestling and having a great time!
At the park we visited, my husband and I sat out from the splash pad fun but made sure to play baseball and basketball with the kids before the water fun. One of the opportunities that we had to start a new healthy habit came in the evenings. Instead of some screen time, we played bocce ball or the kids took walks with Pop. We went out for meals more than usual for our family but we made sure to stay conscious of what our choices were even though we were away from home. Of course we ate ice cream for dessert but grouped it with a beach walk first.
Just like at home, it is finding a balance. Yes, vacation is definitely a time to do some of those things you don’t usually do at home. But your health can still be a factor. Make sure to plan active activities along with relaxation, prep for your nutrition depending on what your travel plans are and remember that kids will take their cues from their parents. Envying vacation doesn’t have to mean letting go of our health habits. It just takes some work to take those habits with us.