Right about now I’m probably in some sort of epic line for a ride that will be over in under 60 seconds. Such is the life in theme parks. I sometimes get down on myself when I don’t fit in as many workouts as I want when I’m travelling. I always plan and pack appropriate gear for workouts, and yet the mix of late nights, early mornings and a lot more vino than I’m used to often makes me trade in my workout for extra sleep. If you enjoy theme park vacations, however, I have got the workout for you: the Disney [or insert theme park of your choice] workout.
Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about visiting theme parks. I do a lot of walking. I mean, typically I’m on my feet at least eight hours a day and last year when we were in Disneyland we walked an average of 20 km per day. That’s a lot of walking. Here’s my new and patented (okay, not really) theme park workout. It’s simple and easy and I promise I’m not going to suggest things like doing squats while you wait in line…no one wants to be that person:
1.Move Fast! This is the number one rule of The Disney [or insert other theme park here] Workout. Most people in theme parks move at roughly the same pace as Walking Dead zombies. If you hustle, you’ll not only beat them to all the good rides, but you’ll also burn way more calories. I’m cutthroat with the fast walking. I have been known to unintentionally crash into small children. If you’re going to be in Orlando next week, you’ve been warned.
2. Just say no to park transportation: Sure, trams and trains and monorails within and between parks are convenient and time-saving. But they also save you from adding precious kilometres to your daily tallies. Give those park transportation systems the cold shoulder and watch your daily mileage grow exponentially.
3. Don’t do parks in an organized fashion: What would be the fun in that? You’ve got to choose back to back rides that are across the park from each other. This will instantly up your walking distance, not to mention you’ll probably waste less time in lines by choosing rides with shortest lines vs. rides with closest proximity. Besides, let’s be honest, as an adult you can only do so many rides in Fantasyland back to back before you lose your shit.
4. Go in search of ‘the best’ of certain foods and/or souvenirs: I dragged my poor boyfriend all over the place trying to find the cookie I liked most, the saltiest Mickey Mouse pretzel, the dole whip, or the specific Tigger mug that would enhance my existing collection (yes, I have a collection of Tigger mugs). If your relationship can sustain the annoyance factor, it’s a great way to up your walking distance.
5. Ride the scariest rides: The right ride will raise your flight or fight response, which temporarily boosts your metabolism. While prolonged stress and anxiety is bad for your metabolism, the initial spark of fear actually increases it. Find the scariest rides and ride them often for a quick metabolic boost.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get a trademark for this brilliant exercise regime…and perhaps celebrate my idea with a Dole Whip.