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Healthy Spring Break Staycations

Posted March 25, 2019 by Vivek Bhalla, MD, Summa Health Medical Group - Family Medicine

staycation spring break blog

While the idea of slipping away for a tropical island vacation sounds dreamy right about now, a staycation can actually be a healthier alternative to a big trip. We’re not talking about a week on the sofa, movie-binge-style spring break. This staycation keeps you local but is also packed with outdoor activities and the arts. These types of activities can prevent:

  • Processed food binge, especially on longer road trips. Kitchens and fresh produce aren’t usually close at-hand on travel trips. By eliminating drastic changes in children’s diet and allergy-triggers, you won't deal with a “crash” upon return.
  • Change in established sleeping patterns. Did someone finally sleep through the night in their own room? If you are planning a trip with a change in time-zone or drastically different environment, you could put a damper on sleep progression or have a much harder back-to-school morning than usual.
  • Both parents and children can take a break. For parents who want to split travel activities between friends and family members, a staycation affords much more flexibility for the adults to also enjoy a little relaxation.

This year plan a few activities that make the most of your local area and combine some physical activity.

Explore the arts! Local organizations, community centers and private art shops often offer art classes. Try a drop-in sculpture, painting, photography or writing class to get the family’s creative juices flowing.

Backyard adventure. Weather permitting, plan an overnight outdoors (or just until the sun goes down) in the backyard. Just the act of building the tent and setting up “camp” provides parents and children physical activity. Pair that with scary stories, flashlight shadows and pillow fights and you’ve got a full day’s workout!

Head outdoors. You pass by them almost every weekend: mile markers for your local, state or national park. The weather this time of year can still be unpredictable but a well-planned, yet adjustable day hike can quickly be rearranged, as opposed to a long road trip in the springtime. This handy tool from the National Park Service provides ways to plan park trips.

A few other tips to help make a day trip go smoothly:

  • Even if it’s not hot, apply (and pack extra) sunscreen.
  • Have enough healthy snacks and food - like veggies and hummus, nuts and dried fruits, sack lunches and plenty of water - to last an entire day.
  • Bring layers and a poncho or waterproof windbreaker.
  • Plan out travel routes and fuel up before you hit the road, even if it’s just an hour away.

Coordinate with other stay-caytioners for sleepovers and playdates. Parents and partners can also benefit from personal staycations themselves with a break from the daily routine stressors.

Summa Health is a patient-centered population health management organization that provides integrated and coordinated care and a superior experience for our patients. At Summa, our population health strategy is transforming the way we deliver care to positively impact the health of our community. We work with each patient, focusing on wellness through regular primary care visits and health screenings and personalized specialty care. Call 800.237.8662 today to make an appointment. 


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