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Exercise While On Vacation

Over Labor Day weekend, more than 30,000 people travel 100 miles or more from their homes. It's certainly a great time for relaxation and reflection, but it also can be a great time to get the whole family fit and active.

Bally Total Fitness trainer Nikki Kimbrough visited The Early Show to offer expert tips, whether you are camping, on the beach, or any vacation spot.

Just don't forget to pack the following essential items to facilitate your exercise routine:

Pedometer: These step counters or pedometers have been around for several years, but they're all the rage right now. Attaching this device to your tennis shoes or your waist is a mindless way of tracking the number or steps taken each day. You can buy them anywhere and many companies are even giving them away for free.

Basically, a pedometer is used to track the number of steps you take throughout the day and, based on those steps, a pedometer will calculate the amount of calories you have burned. While on vacation, they are great for the entire family because so many of us walk much more while sightseeing than we do while at home.

Calorie Counting Jump Rope: Kids love jumping rope and once you pick one up again, you'll find even adults can love it, too. The rope is very portable and inexpensive, and jumping rope for just 30 minutes can burn over 200 calories. You can get a jump rope that calculates the calories you burn for you. So play the calorie game with your kids and see who can burn the most calories after jumping.

Tip: Keep your back straight, your head up, and your abs tight for best results.

Frisbee: Weighing a little less than a pound, measuring 18 inches across, throwing a larger Frisbee is a workout in itself and perfect for the entire family. The added weight provides increased intensity and workload for arms and shoulders. You'll get a lot of attention, too!

Yoga Mats: Hollywood stars don't leave home without them and neither should you. Adults engage in yoga because they want to, but the kids will do it just because it's fun. If you can't go for a walk and you don't have the space to jump rope, try bringing along a yoga mat and doing some stretching and toning exercises in your hotel room. There is a big misconception out there that yoga isn't an intense calorie-burning form of exercise, and that just isn't true. Practice simple and fun moves with your children like downward facing dog and other stretching techniques. For kids, practicing yoga can be as much fun as a Twister game. Just pop in a video and you are ready to yoga.

Boogie Boards Or Swimming Boards: A boogie board or swimming board is a great fitness tool. While holding the board in front of you, try interval training kicking bursts. For a 30-minute workout, move from hard kicking back to relaxed kicking in 1-2 minute bursts. Your arm muscles will be working hard to keep your body stabilized and your leg muscles will be getting a great workout. Have a race with your kids and let them win! You'll all come out feeling like winners.

Treading Water: If you love being in the water, but you consider swimming laps a bit too intensive for a laid-back vacation, don't worry. Simply treading water for about 30 minutes can burn up to 350 calories.

Finally, keep these tips in mind for all of these activities to ensure you meet your fitness needs safely:

  • Always warm up for 10-15 minutes before participating in any sport to allow your muscles to adjust.
  • Stretch your muscles, tendons and ligaments before and after you actively engage in a sport. Each stretch should be held for 15-20 seconds.
  • Hydrate! By the time your body tells you that you're thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after the activity.
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