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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Working out Florida style

If you are like me, you’ll go through the usual pre-holiday diet frenzy and exercise kick. I want to be fit and in shape for my holiday. I want to look and feel good. So, I work hard at it right up until I board the plane, and then…

As soon as you arrive in Orlando, there are so many temptations. Huge portion sizes, unbelievably good food, moving walkways to save you walking too much. Before I know it, all my good work has gone to waste (or should I say, gone to my waist! ). I always seem to come back from my holiday a dress size up.

So last year, I thought I’d change that. Staying in a beautiful villa with a pool and in a lovely peaceful neighbourhood means that you can use that to your advantage without denying yourself the pleasures of all that yummy food. During my 15 day visit, I made time to do some exercise on 11 of those days. And the best part of it was that it really was fun.

Some mornings I would go for a leisurely jog around the neighbourhood. There is nothing to beat pounding the streets on a lovely Floridian morning and it really sets you up for the day. The sun is out, but it’s not too hot yet, you get to see a bit more of the area you are staying in and it doesn’t cost you a thing. No searching out a gym, travelling to it and then paying to work out in a confined space. It really is bliss!

Other days, I would work out by the pool. Why not do some yoga, stretching or tai-chi? A 20 minute workout is all you need to keep the pounds at bay and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. And doing it with the morning sun shining down on you really makes you glad to be alive.

Then there’s the pool itself. It’s not just for frolicking in you know. Swim some laps. If you are able, do some underwater swimming. Use the sides of the pool to do some dips or to pull yourself in and out of the water rather than using the steps. You can even use the pool toys to do some resistance work such as pushing a beach ball under the water. Maybe even indulge in some aqua aerobics. Get your friends and family to join in a game of water polo or even just pass a ball back and forth. You can make some spectacular jumping and diving catches when in the pool – and most importantly it is fun, quality time spent with your loved ones.

If your villa has a garden, buy a garden games set from supermarkets such as Walmart or Publix. There are inexpensive and you can while away the time playing with the children. These are the type of memories that will stay with your family forever.

Even when you are away from the villa, there are things you can do to keep yourself active. Don’t try to park right next to the mall doors or the theme park entrance. Park further away and walk that little bit extra. Don’t use the moving walkways or escalators. These are usually fuller than the sidewalks and stairs. Just walk or climb instead. If you go to the beach, don’t just lie there. Swim in the sea, run up and down the beach, play games with your companions.

You can still have down time but by keeping active, you will have more energy to enjoy your fantastic Florida holiday. It really is that easy and it means you can indulge yourself without the guilt or worry of putting on loads of weight. Another benefit is that you won’t feel sluggish or bloated and at the end of your stay, you will still be able to fit into all your holiday clothes as well as all the new ones you have bought at the mall!

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Page added on: 15 March 2007
Viewed 3330 times since 1 September 2008.

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