Spending each day pushing awkwardly with one leg, squatting, swiveling the hips – it sounds less like fun and more like work. I realized, however, my recent snowboarding trip could have very well posed as a health spa vacation.
I don’t believe that calories are a good place to focus attention, but they can paint a useful picture. Snowboarding on a mountain, at a moderate pace, burns about 558 calories per hour for a 205 lb. man. We spent all morning and afternoon on our boards, but even a conservative 4 hours would burn 2,232 calories. In addition to working out every muscle in my legs, ankles and feet, I improved hip flexibility and overall balance. The best part is I was getting all of these benefits while doing something utterly enjoyable.
There is a way to come back from vacations feeling fitter and healthier than when you left while still having a great time. If your speed is stretching out on a beach slurping mai tais, perhaps my theory is a stretch. With some activity (hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, etc.) and a plan, you can design a trip that inspires and strengthens while allowing for a generous level of sensory stimulation.