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Are You "Fit" for Your Disney World Vacation?

So this post is not a topic I originally would have thought I'd be writing. But this was one of my surprises on my last trip. So think of this post like your best friend coming back from a trip and saying "you won't believe what happened to me" and what she also means is, "I can't believe this happened to me, don't let it happen to you!"

Do you need to get in shape before your Disney vacation? How hard is it to walk around Disney World ALL day? Can you manage pushing a double stroller? Take this easy test to see if you're fit for your Disney vacation. | | Your Disney Vacation Planning Concierge

If you're not sure what the title of this post really means, I mean, are you in good enough physical shape for your Disney World vacation?

I am not a fitness expert, I really don't even like topics related to biology (so medical or in-depth fitness topics). But I don't like leaving my friends uninformed, even more.

So, this is not a hard-hitting fitness article. This is not a post for those with special medical or physical considerations. This is mainly for stroller pushing moms (or dads, grandparents, anyone pushing a stroller). However, you can consider and apply this advice without the stroller part, too.

Are You Physically in Shape for Your Vacation?

So are you fit enough for your Disney World vacation? If you consider yourself at all "fit," the answer is probably, "yes." However, it's a question worth considering if you have any doubt. Let me start by telling you my story---what led to this post.

I have never been horribly out of shape. I have reached an unhealthy weight a few times so I'm not the picture of perfect health, either. My main problem is I love food, good food. That's not especially relevant to this post but I'm not coming from a place with pre-existing conditions or special problems. So I'm not giving you medical advice!
Test your fitness BEFORE your vacation. How hard is it to walk around Disney World all day? Make sure you're physically ready for your trip!

Well, in all that heat and humidity, anyone gets winded...

On our last trip, which was in February, not the peak of the heat, I got winded, a lot. I really wasn't fit enough for my vacation. About ten months previously I had been in good shape. My point? I wasn't in the worst of shape and it wasn't the midst of the summer heat. In less than a year, I had gone from being more than fit enough for my trip to getting winded.

Can You Blame Your Job?

Just so you know, I got out of shape because my source of exercise went away and I got busy working and didn't find something else to do. I didn't get sick, I wasn't injured, I just have a sedentary job and didn't make sure I was getting exercise for ten months.

I know this is a common problem for Americans. It's also not unusual to focus on work before a big trip (when you'll be away for a week or more---you may start that focus months in advance). So as your friend, I want you to think (now) if you are fit enough for your upcoming trip.

If you have a sedentary job are you going to find Disney World a physical challenge? Let me tell you about my first adult trip (in relation to my fitness level).

Get ready to get in shape for your Disney World vacation. | | Your Disney Vacation Planning Concierge
Get Ready

Think About THIS Disney Trip

I made my first adult trip to Disney World about a month after I started Weight Watchers. I had lost five of an eventual 40 lbs. (through dieting, not exercise---not yet) and on that trip I was fit enough for my Disney World vacation.

I had the same sedentary job on that first trip. I was in even worse shape. So why was I fine on the first trip? It was unseasonably cold (at almost the same time of year) so the weather was a difference. That's probably why I didn't feel out of shape but that's not the real difference.

I blame the stroller.

Do You Need to Rent a Stroller?

A few months ago I went for a walk with my family and was pushing our double stroller.
It's exhausting!
I had started exercising again at that point, including walking that same route. The stroller was a huge difference.

We don't use a stroller all the time. Especially not the double stroller. We have it particularly for long walks and all-day trips where our oldest (a lightweight five-year-old) can't walk the entire day. We actually bought it for our trip in February because it was cheaper to buy it (and use it for the next two Disney trips) than rent a stroller twice.

I actually wish we had bought the double stroller when our son was born because it was a great price. I could have been going on walks with both kids for almost two years if we had! That's not directly related but perhaps your family is in a similar situation. You aren't a double stroller family except in a theme park (and I hear you, get that double stroller! kids get tired).

Get Going

Get set for your vacation by going for a walk, everyday if you can. You'll find the slow walking at Disney easy if you're used to a daily walk.
Get Set
So that brings me to how you answer the question if YOU are fit enough for your vacation.

Go for a walk.

You will be walking all day at Disney. It will be slow but it's all day. Even with breaks on rides, there's lots of standing in line even when you're not walking.

If you already go for a walk several times a week, you should be fine. The exception may be if you walk but don't push a stroller and will push one at Disney.

Weigh Apples to Apples

If you're renting a stroller, it may be heavier than the stroller you are used to. We didn't have an issue with the single stroller we rented. The rented single was probably twice the weight of our (very lightweight) stroller at home. There were considerable other differences, though. We were walking almost everyday before we went on our trip. Plus, it contained a 2 1/2 year old, a big difference in weight from two children, the oldest being five.

If you find a simple walk tiring, you are going to find Disney tiring. You may not get winded, but you'll be tired without it being a particularly long day.

If you aren't used to the humidity, you may find it nearly unbearable (I have a hard time advising on this because I'm used to humidity---I have friends from drier places that claim they are dying every time they visit the south but maybe they're exaggerating).

If you aren't used to the humidity, you may really be tired!

Disney isn't a physical challenge like a marathon or rock climbing. If you're concerned about being physically ready, just keep going for a walk. The physical "challenge" of Disney is the fact it's all day and possibly the weather (heat and humidity).

Go for a walk and then you'll be able to walk around the World (Disney World). Planning to be physically prepared is just as important as planning rides and dining.

Why Not Go Walking?

It's such a simple solution (walking), it's worth making sure you're ready. If you will be pushing a stroller (especially a double you aren't used to) I strongly advise you to up your exercise in preparation. I was really surprised when I found myself getting winded.

Don't Let Your Fitness Control Your Vacation

Why not let your upcoming vacation motivate you, especially if you find yourself in a situation like mine. Maybe you've been active but work has gotten busy and you're more sedentary than you intended.

Don't find out on vacation! Challenge yourself to be physically prepared to go from rope drop to late night Extra Magic Hours. Even if you decide to spend more time kicking back by the pool, it's great to feel like you can keep walking if you want to.

A Disney vacation is a big expense.  You don't want a preventable physical situation to force you to call it a day before you're ready. Not only will you be curbing your fun, it can really feel like it makes the expense bigger (like you're not getting your money's worth).

If adding in a daily walk the days and weeks leading up to your vacation is an option for you, do it. You'll get nothing but benefits.

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