Many of us have been sitting around, avoiding the cold weather, since the new year. Now is a great time to prepare your body. You will be doing a lot more walking, standing, and jiggling than you’ve been used to since the holidays. You will have a better start if you take some time to do a little conditioning for the start of a new season at your amusement park.
I asked Krystal if she does anything to prepare for the start of the season. She came through with this nice list of tips to help you get in good condition for your park experience.
Krystal here: That conditioning starts about now for me. I have already started to condition myself for being at the park from open to close. Especially after being cooped up in my house for 3 months.
I know you’re probably thinking why would a well-seasoned amusement park regular need to condition? It is mainly because I don’t walk 10+ miles every day. So coming out of winter, how do I get myself ready for the walking, and waiting in lines? I reenact the elements that I will have to endure.
Being a waitress, I walk a lot. If I am not wearing the right shoes, my feet will start aching within the first few hours. When I go to Kings Island, I have a favorite pair of shoes to wear. If you don’t have a broken-in pair of good walking shoes, make sure you get yourself a pair. Get them worn in so that are so comfortable you could sleep in them.
Next, get your number of steps up. Some people use a fitness tracker like a FitBit. I have a step counter on my phone. I keep it in my back pocket and try to average 10k steps a day.
My home park, Kings Island completely flat, there are some spots that are a little hilly. It is good to also get practice walking some hills. You can vary the incline on that treadmill.
With young kids, it is always a challenge to get them ready to do serious amounts of walking. Toddlers can become a ball of energy after a good nap. You can start your youngsters by having them play outside as much as possible. Don’t forget, they are more prone to exhaustion than adults are. They will need frequent breaks for something cool to drink and a snack.
Mentally Prepare for Crowds
If you are anything like me, crowds and people being in your personal space bubble freaks you out. Enjoying an amusement park means there will be moments when you’re among large numbers of people, in a confined space. One way to help prepare for this is to go to the flea market, or a mall on the weekends and start walking around.
Listen To Your Body
Listen to your body. Don’t over do it. Ease into the activity gradually with lots of time to rest and just enjoy being back in the park.
Spring weather can be unpredictable. You never know precicely how the weather will be until it happens. Humidity can also really make you feel like poo. While you’re doing all that walking, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water. Even if you’re consuming soft drinks, you’ll feel better if you switch to water every cup or so.
Also pay attention if your body needs to cool down. There is a walk at Kings Island between the Vortex and The Beast that is well-shaded. You can also find a place to sit and cool down.
Mike here: Krystal gave a few nice pointers earlier about shoes. Shoes are one of the most important parts of your amusement park gear. Because your kids have likely grown during the time away from the park, you probably want to review everything. Have your kids outgrown their shoes? Sometimes their shoes get tight and your kids don’t think to tell you about it.
Also, if you have kids of stroller-riding age, take a moment to inspect it. Are there old granola bars or oyster crackers (KI people will understand) stuffed into a pocket from last season? Do your kids still fit in the stroller? Dig down in there and pull out all of last years maps that accumulated.
Make sure you have a bag with versatile clothing options and backup outfits to keep in the car. If your kid is still in diapers, having some spares and fresh wipes tucked away in the trunk can save the day.
We’re almost ready to trade the snow brush/scraper for the umbrella. Being in Ohio, we’ll probably need both… along with suncreen until May, when we can finally retire the snow accessories for another season.
Work Your Plan
Everyone is different. You probably have your own way to prepare for your park’s opening day. Being prepared, and keeping it pleasant, will help make the kids want to come back often as often as their “Big Kid” parents.
What do you do to prepare for the physical challenges of your amusement park?
Photo credit: Sailors men women working – CC0