Preparing for a much-anticipated vacation? When planning a trip, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the excitement and neglect to account for your fitness routine. However, vacation is the perfect time to take your fitness regime to the next level. As you pack for that getaway in the mountains or escape to the beach, be sure to remember your hiking or running shoes. Not convinced that summer vacation is the time to prioritize your health? Consider this:
Physical Activity and Heath Risk
While most of us understand that regular physical activity contributes to our long-term health, did you know that recent research indicates a link between regular physical activity and a reduced risk of certain types of cancers?  Researchers at the University of Vermont, Burlington concluded that physically fit men, in their midlife, are at a reduced risk level of cancer-related death as they age. . Additionally, there is some evidence that increased activity in men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer may lead to improved outcomes Simply put, staying fit just makes sense for your long-term health. What better time to prioritize your health than when you have extra leisure time on your hands?
- Take a Hike
No matter where your summer travels take you, chances are there is a hiking trailhead nearby. Check out the local tourism board’s website or ask locals for tips on popular hikes in the area. No matter your fitness level, you can find a hike that will challenge you and give you an energy boost for the rest of the day. Make it a point to check out a variety of trails, you are sure to enjoy taking in your vacation destination from this vantage point.
- Take a Walking Tour
Taking a simple walk can do wonders for your health. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society, adults should get at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, each week, or one and a quarter hours of vigorous intensity exercise each week. Research found that those who achieve this level activity, lowered their risk of death by 31%, while those who got 3 to 5 times the recommended amount lowered their risk of death by 39%.  Looking into guided walking tours while on your vacation destination can be a great way to get in some exercise while taking in the sights and sounds of your surroundings.
- Get in a Workout Before You Start Your Day
If you prefer to get in your workout early in the day, consider some circuit training. If you have a gym available to you, take advantage of it. Otherwise use the space available to get your metabolism moving. Jumping jacks, pushups and squats are just a few examples of exercises you can complete in a small space without the need for equipment. Get creative and start your day off on the right foot.
Rather than allowing your fitness routine to take a backseat during your next vacation this summer, why not make it a priority? Your body will thank you for it. If you are not currently active and are ready to get back into shape, use your time away as an opportunity to kick-start a new routine, and take the steps today to ensure your long-term health.
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1) National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#q8. (Accessed June 27, 2016)
2) JAMA Oncology. Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Incident Cancer, and Survival After Cancer in Men. Available at http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2203829 (Accessed June 27, 2016)
3) National Cancer Institute. Physical Activity and Cancer. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet#r9. (Accessed June 27, 2016)
4) American Cancer Society. Study Shows Walking an Hour a Day Achieves Greatest Longevity Benefit. Available at https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/study-shows-walking-an-hour-a-day-achieves-greatest-longevity-benefit.html. (Accessed July 20, 2017)