Twenty-four years old and I had never been to Disney World…
My parents aren’t big travelers and they also aren’t big theme park people so I never really thought going to Disney World was a possibility for me as of now.
Somehow we got on the topic of Disney a few years back and he learned that I had never been. Time passed, deployment came and then it ended and Taylor said he had a surprise trip for me.
So began my first trip to Disney… and trust me, it is just as magical of a place as they say it is and it will forever be one of my favorite memories that I have with Taylor. For a week straight, I was all smiles, I cried when I met Mickey Mouse (don’t judge), I laughed myself to tears, rode all the rides in every theme park and I got to do all of it with my favorite person.
Naturally, there are also amazing snacks and treats that go along with all this magic and not much time for hitting the gym. I frequently found myself stalking random people with these crazy looking foods trying to figure out where they got it, what exactly it was and how I was about to fit it into my ever-growing stomach.
My biggest motto in life is balance. Some days you lift heavy weights and eat vegetables, other days you eat cupcakes and watch “Friends” on repeat. Yes, I am a fitness instructor and personal trainer and hell yes, I ate those treats and snacks every day, multiple times a day at Disney.
However, I still cared about my fitness and health and there are a few easy things I did to stay on top of it as much as I could while still being able to enjoy myself to the fullest.
Squeeze different muscle groups while you are standing in line
This sounds really silly, I get it. But trust me.
Some lines for rides, we got to Fast Pass and it was ahh-mazing. Other lines, we had to stand in anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. In one line, I would squeeze my glutes (A.K.A. butt muscles) for sets of 10 every so often or whenever I thought about it. In the next line, I would flex my core, the next my biceps and so on. No one knows what you’re doing and it kept my muscles working at least a little bit without having to do a full workout.
Don’t forget to stretch!
Squeeze your muscles, yes, but also stretch them out too while you wait in line! I spent a ton of time walking and standing and sometimes it just felt good to stretch out my hip or arms.
Hit the gym or find some other type of exercise to do
Hotels and resorts typically have gyms for guests to use and this is always an option. The Disney resort we stayed at, Coronado Springs, had an amazing gym that I was eyeing every time we passed.
During our stay, me and Taylor chose to stay at each park from sun up to sun down every day which was enough workout for me. But on some nights, we also chose to go swimming at the pool and do a few laps to get a little extra cardio in. Take an extra walk around your resort. Steal some workouts off Pinterest and workout outside or in your hotel room! There are a ton of different ways to workout. Pick one!
Peek the menus ahead of time!
Taylor planned our trip all on his own and he seriously did the best job. I highly recommend making reservations for at least dinner way ahead of time. This way you can also peek the menu!
Most of the time, me and Taylor went to buffet-style dinners so that way there were tons of choices, vegetarian for me, not vegetarian for him, healthy choices, not healthy choices.
If buffets are too tempting for you, pick restaurants with actual menus and find some ones with healthy options for you ahead of time! Planning is key!
Bring healthy snacks to the park
I saw moms with full backpacks of granola bars and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for their kids and I thought that was a brilliant idea. Save money by bringing healthy snacks and then splurge a little on dinner.
Bring a water bottle too!
Staying hydrated is always important but it is a necessity in a hot climate when you’re surrounded by a bunch of other sweaty people and walking around all day. I can’t even stress how important water was for me during our trip. Bring an empty water bottle and there are several water fountains around each park that you can refill your bottle anytime and for free!
Vacations can easily make the most fitness-minded people…well, a little less fitness-minded. We all fall off the wagon from time to time but it’s important to remember to get back up afterwards and that you don’t have to fall too far down. Simple things like squeezing your muscles and chugging lots of water can help you keep on track…even if you do eat ten of those Mickey Mouse rice krispy treats.