Going to an Amusement Park: the Healthy Way

Heyyooooo! It’s been far too long my blog-reading friends! Okay so this post is only a couple days late, but it was delayed with good reason (at least for me).

Yesterday, I went to the Carowinds amusement park with my family and it was amazing! I don’t know about you but I LOVE rollercoasters and the adrenaline rush that comes with them. However, as someone who has been working to lose weight and eat healthier, amusement parks come with a few things that I don’t particularly love.

So here are some of my not so favorite things about amusement parks and ways to combat and or avoid them.

Eat healthy…ish

When it comes to food at one of these parks, your options are usually limited to fried foods, pizza, burgers or hotdogs. However, Carowinds had a variety of restaurants including Panda Express and Harbor House, which both had some veggies and/or salads to choose from.

Since this was a special day, I used it as my once-weekly cheat day and when we had lunch I happily ate my Chick-fil-a nuggets with two packets of ranch dipping sauce. Now, I know that’s not really a healthy decision, but I chose not to get fries with my nuggets and just pilfered a few from my sisters instead.

Another healthy-ish choice we made as a family was to stop filling up the reusable cups we bought with soda and fruit punch. After lunch we switched to Powerade and water so that we stayed hydrated, got back some electrolytes and did so with a smaller sugar intake.

Sharing is caring

One of the biggest things I’ve learned when trying to lose weight is that it only makes things worse to deprive yourself of the foods you love and it’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while as long as you do so in moderation.

I absolutely love Chick-fil-a’s waffle fries, but as one of my healthy decisions I decided not to get my own. Thankfully, we’re a food-sharing kind of family and I was able to get a few here and there from both of my sisters.

Later in the day we went to the waterpark and eventually we hit that point in the afternoon where we were exhausted and starving. So once again, we shared. My sisters and I split two soft pretzels between the three of us; it was the perfect snack and didn’t feel too heavy since we were sharing.

Finally, right before we left the park we got two funnel cakes to split between the family because who can say no to fresh fried dough with some powdered sugar sprinkled on top? I know I can’t, but there was no way I would have been able to eat one or even half of one by myself and sharing them as a family was definitely the way to go.

The park is your treadmill…sort of

It’s no secret that when you’re in an amusement park, you’re walking EVERYWHERE; from one side of the park to the other and everywhere in between. Yesterday I walked over 10,000 steps, which is over my daily goal and my feet can definitely feel it today. So, although I wasn’t able to fit in a workout yesterday, I was still burning calories while I was in the park. Obviously walking around all-day won’t give you the same results as a cardio or strength workout, but I didn’t feel as bad about some of the unhealthy foods I ate because I knew I was constantly moving.

Another thing to remember if you’re visiting an amusement park is that you might not feel so great the next day. Rollercoasters and waterslides can knock you around, the walking will probably make your feet sore, and the next day you’re going to be downright exhausted. One of my feet really hurts today and I slept horribly last night, so I’m going to take it easy today and skip my workout. I’m paying closer attention to my calorie intake and drinking a lot of water, but I feel like my body will benefit from another day off and I’ll be able to work even harder tomorrow instead of giving half-effort in a workout today.

(Featured photo from Carowinds website).

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