For Louise Hooper and family, choosing the annual holiday was always straightforward. Same island, same hotel, same tempting all-inclusive deal. But when her husband received some life-changing news she knew it was time for a changee

A lifestyle change

I had never been that bothered about dieting, healthy eating or exercise. My two pregnancies saw me eating more carefully but even my wedding wasn't a reason to slim down. I didn't want to be in a situation where looking back at the photos of that day felt like looking at a different person. My husband felt very much the same. We were nowhere near obese, nor were we stick insects. We were just us.
However, when my husband received some startling statistics from his GP, we realised the true importance of health and wellbeing. Simply put, he was told that if he did not make major adjustments to his attitude towards health and exercise he would suffer a heart attack before the age of 35. Drastic action was required and drastic action was taken. We changed the way we ate, we changed the way we exercised and we changed the way we lived and tried adventure travel.

Lifestyle changes can't take a holiday

We had been working hard for six months. We had lost weight, lowered our cholesterol and blood pressure and we were feeling quite proud of ourselves. Our two sons, aged six and eight at the time, were thrilled with the new found energy and verve that we now possessed. By the summer we felt as though we had really settled into a routine. A routine that we were not prepared to relinquish whilst on our annual holiday. So instead of our usual choice we went for something with a little more
adventure travel but with a difference.

A welcome change

We started small. For our first active holiday we stayed in the Lake District and enjoyed walking and hiking around the stunning fells and mountains. You would be surprised, but there are many accessible walks for children as young as our boys were at the time. Following this, we went further afield   this time to Thailand where we experienced amazing wildlife and locations. And throughout all of this we were able to relax and enjoy the local cuisine too. One of the huge benefits of travel is that you can eat and drink almost guilt free as the trekking keeps all the weight off. For us, it was the perfect solution.

The final frontier

Now that our boys are older, our horizons are widened and our health is under control we feel as though there is nothing we can not do. Not only do these getaways help us to stay healthy, they are educational, stimulating and often completely unique. Never again will we be swayed by the lure of all-inclusive debauchery. Our next holiday will be to China where all four of us will be able to walk the Great Wall without losing our breath!

Louise Hooper writes regularly on the subject of family health and wellbeing for a range of websites and magazines. Louise and her sons record their experiences of adventure travel on their blogs, where they include tips for those who want to follow in their footsteps.