Whoa! You must be wondering why there is a post about preparing for a trip to Walt Disney World in a chiropractic blog. I decided to create this post after my families previous visit to Walt Disney World and thought that it would be good to discuss a few points that some people miss in their trip planning, physical preparation. You will do a lot of walking and standing at Walt Disney World, beyond that you might find yourself carrying, pushing, or just lugging around kids, bags, and heavy strollers all of which could cause some pain and soreness. To have a great time, it is prudent to condition yourself for a trip to Walt Disney World. Here you will find a few tips to consider which should help you have that great time.
We did a lot of walking on trips to Walt Disney World; on our last trip we averaged 9.07 miles a day, we had one day where we hit 15.15 miles and one that was as low as 7.39 miles. If you do not walk that much on a daily basis, or do any walking/running/jogging for cardio regularly, you will struggle in Disney World. Something you might not have have considered is physical conditioning or training for your trip to Walt Disney World. I know that training can be a four letter word for some people but believe me it is far better to put forth the effort in getting in shape before you go than to be tired and sore after just one day in the parks.
I found that the best way to train for Disney World was just to make time every day to do some cardio exercises, that might mean running if you like running or it might be just going out for a long walk. What ever you do, it is important to train daily. If you are new to it start with a short distance and work up to at least a daily 3 mile walk/jog. Be sure to stretch daily, whether you walk daily or not, at least stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, TFL, gluteal muscles, and piriformis. Make sure to include the whole family on these walks and take along the things you are going to bring with you in the parks like those new shoes, stroller, bags/backpacks, cameras, etc. The kids need to be conditioned just a much as parents do, not just to doing some walking but being outside in the heat, if you are going during warm/hot months. If your children are young enough to potentially require carrying, be sure to carry them on these walks as well. If you have any kid carrier packs, or baby wearing wraps, be sure to wear/carry your kids in these things to on walks at home, don’t make your first use of these things your first day in the park. Some of this preparation isn’t just in physical conditioning it’s also discovering what works and what doesn’t in regards to footwear, bags, kid carriers, and strollers.
Walking around the neighborhood is a good thing to do but what you should also consider is going to a local park, a zoo, or museum. If your Walt Disney touring is going to include being in the park all day get your family ready by going to a large zoo for a full day. This practice will also give you an idea as to how much your kids, and body, will tolerate a full day in the parks. It might give you ideas in how to plan your full day to avoid the problems that come up during these field trips. This is exactly what we do, we go to the Brookfield Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry, Morton Arboretum, and the Field Museum regularly for fun but also to get the kids used to the walking, crowds, and a little waiting. Based on how our kids did at these places we have been able to discover things to do or avoid to help with our trips to Walt Disney World, we also found out what shoes, bags, and packs work and which do not. If you do not have kids, then still go because it will be good practice to discover how well you deal with being out all day with a crowd and if it is hot, what the heat does to your temperament in a crowded place.
Engaging in a rounded work-out program is important for your overall health and it is also important for a trip to Walt Disney World. A rounded work-out program is going to include cardio with strength training. Strength training does not have to be power lifting but it should involve using the muscles of your body in a way that stimulates strength gain. In our office we have the BStrong4Life program that uses a combination of isometric, eccentric, and concentric contractions. This program is effective and efficient in creating strength over time in just a one time a week interval. Anyway you train, strength training is important to consider before your Disney World vacation because it will help you function better during your trip. Whether you have a bag to carry, kid to push or carry, or just walking around, when you are stronger everything you do will be easier. Get some resistance bands, pick up some dumbbells, buy a video, go to the gym, get into a BStrong4Life center, or whatever but get into strength training because it will help. If you have any questions on where to get started with strength training shoot us an email, I would be happy to help.
Something to consider for families traveling with people who have mobility issue is the widespread availability of electronic conveyance vehicles at Walt Disney World. The parks have some you can rent and there are several companies around Orlando that will rent them to you and even deliver them to your hotel. I can tell you that the parks are very accessible for people with disabilities but they do not give a free pass to waiting in lines so do some research on their policies before you go if you are going with someone with disabilities.
My families trips to Walt Disney World have been great, largely because we plan extensively and train for our trips. A vacation at Disney World is not the typical, lie on the beach, vacation. It includes a lot of physical exertion in miles walked each day on top of carrying around bags and kids as well as time spent standing around out in the sun. If you take the time to condition your body you will not wake up on day two feeling like you lost a fight with Mike Tyson. I hope that taking the time to train for a trip to Walt Disney World will start a lifetime of continued exercise because a little exercise can go a long way to better your health.