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5 ways to lose weight on vacation!
1. Cycle to winery tours
Who: Monashee Adventure Tours, 1-888-762-9253
Where: Kelowna, with tours throughout the Okanagan
What: A variety of bike tours around B.C.’s Okanagan valley, home of some of Canada’s best orchards and vineyards. The South Okanagan Wine Country Cycle Tour offers a morning of cycling along Skaha Lake and farther south, fabulous local cuisine at Toasted Oak in Oliver and visits to three local wineries (tastings included). Best of all, you’re followed by a van that will transport all of your wine purchases! Ask owner Ed Kruger for the right option for your fitness level.
Why: Biking is great cardio, and a super workout for your butt and legs. Plus, outdoor riding beats a spinning class any day!
What to bring: Comfortable cycling clothes, sunscreen — and your credit cards!
2. Ocean kayaking
Who: Saltspring Kayaking, 250-653-4222
Where: Saltspring Island
What: B.C.’s Gulf Islands are the ideal paddling location — summers are dry and not too hot and the water is calm. Don’t worry — this isn’t white water! Ocean kayaks are large and sturdy, and the chances of flipping are remote. Saltspring Kayaking offers a variety of preplanned and custom trips, from a three-hour introductory lesson and tour of the harbour to a five-day retreat around Gulf Islands National Park. For the ultimate in romance, schedule an evening harbour tour during sunset or under the full moon.
Why: Kayaking builds upper body strength (read shapely arms) and firms the abs and core.
What to bring: The risk of sunburn is even higher when you’re on the water, so pack lots of sunscreen and wear a hat and T-shirt.
More ways to lose weight on the next page!
3. Rock climbing
Who: Squamish Rock Guides, 604-815-1750
Where: Squamish and area
What: Learn to climb outdoors in one of Canada’s top rock-climbing locations, just an hour north of Vancouver — or, if you’ve climbed before, enhance your skills with a more advanced course. In the one-day Introduction to Rock Climbing class, you’ll learn about safety, equipment use and care, basic knots, belay skills, climbing technique and rappelling. You’ll get hands-on experience in a friendly environment with a four to one student to instructor ratio. Prefer a girls-only day? Plan ahead and book a female instructor, or try the Bouldering for Women course, in which you’ll learn the basics of this equipment-free climbing alternative (the focus is on completing short routes rather than getting to the top).
Why: You’ll define your arms, back and core while improving your sense of balance and coordination. Plus, there’s a certain cachet to saying you’ve climbed in Squamish.
What to bring: Hiking shoes or boots and comfortable clothes that won’t snag on the rock.
Who: Island Adventure Tours, 250-812-7103
Where: Victoria and Vancouver Island
What: Island Adventure Tours offers a number of trips departing from downtown Victoria, including the one-day Victoria Coastal Rainforest Hike through East Sooke Regional Park. Guided by a trained naturalist, you’ll see native trees such as red cedar and arbutus, ancient petroglyphs and views across the Juan de Fuca Strait to the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. If you’re in the mood for more adventure, multiple-day trips are also offered, including the deluxe three- or four-day Bed and Breakfast Hike — spend the days hiking the famous Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and the nights at local B & Bs.
Why: Hiking is low impact, but high on burning calories and slimming your legs.
What to bring: Good footwear is a must!
5. Horseback riding
Who: B.C. Horse Vacations, 250-295-7432
What: If you were the little girl who always dreamed of having her own horse, now’s your chance to fulfill your fantasies! Take a horseback riding vacation in rural southern British Columbia, just three hours from Vancouver, suitable whether you’re a novice or expert rider. For the ultimate experience, sign up for an Inn to Inn Ride — spend the days meandering through the Cascade Mountains while your hosts transport your luggage and prepare your meals. In the evenings, relax with a hot stone massage, wine tasting or soak in the hot tub.
Why: I guarantee you’ll feel your inner thighs and glutes after a day in the saddle!
What to bring: Jeans and boots with ankle support, and lots of layers, as temperatures can fluctuate in the mountains.