The Disney Workout: Training for your Trip

I am a self-proclaimed couch potato.  I am a freelance writer so I spend a large part of my day sitting at a desk and when I have down time with the family, we usually opt to watch a movie.  I was never very sports oriented and so really, it seems like sitting is my thing!

You know what you don’t do a lot of at Disney World?  Sit.

It’s true.  Sure, you sit down on the rides but you have to walk to get to all of those rides and then stand in line to get on those rides and then once you do actually get to sit, within 3-5 minutes you are up and running again.  A Walt Disney World vacation is not for the faint of heart!  If you want to get the most out of your vacation dollar and not end up feeling the burn to the point of pain, there are things that you can do to get yourself ready.

Back in early 2008 I was planning a trip to the World with my sister.  When you go without the kids to Disney, it is a very different kind of trip – it’s kind of relaxing.  But being that I had been there the year before, I noticed that I got tired quickly and my legs hurt by the end of the day.  I did not want that to happen again.  While my main goal was to lose weight for the sister-trip, I ended up benefiting so much more than being thinner.

A friend lent me their treadmill for four months.  Seriously.  The first day that I got on it I only could walk for 13 minutes.  Very lame.  I was winded and sweaty and thought to myself, “I’m not even walking that fast!”  So I let myself start slow and in time built up my pace until I could walk at a pace of four miles per hour for up to an hour.  Keep in mind that each walk had me starting slow with a warm up and then building up to that four miles per hour pace.

I have friends who start taking family walks about three months before each of their family trips so that their children can keep up and not get tired quickly while in the parks.  It’s hard to be walking around the parks and seeing children who are quite big being pushed around in a stroller because they ran out of steam and aren’t used to walking for any great distance.

The point is, you don’t need a piece of gym equipment (but it was helpful for me) to make this work.  The key is to start out slow – particularly if you are not an active person to begin with.  Take a walk around the block several nights a week after dinner as a family.  Then build up to going twice around, next thing you know you are walking the neighborhood!

If you start early, like at the three month mark before your trip, and stick with it, by the time you arrive in Disney, walking the almost five miles a day that most people do while touring the parks will no big deal for you and you’ll find that you won’t be as tired or feeling muscle pains at the end of the day.

Getting in shape; it’s just another aspect of planning for your magical trip!

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