I have always wondered how many miles I walk in an average day while I am on vacation. This year I took my pedometer with me to Italy and found out that in an average day I walk about 5 miles. I felt pretty good about the distance walked, but of that 5 miles only about 30 minutes was walked fast enough to be considered aerobic.
In other words I was strolling around the narrow streets and through beautiful churches but I was not getting a cardio workout.
As soon as I realized I was doing more meandering and less aerobic walking I stepped up the pace, at least for part of the day. After all I was in Italy so there was no way I was going to rush around like I do when I am in New York City. On the other hand I was drinking a lot of wine and eating pasta twice a day so I needed to burn some calories if I wanted to fit in my clothes when I returned home.
I was doing a lot of walking on cobblestones which has a number of health benefits. Not least of which is you have to work to keep your balance.
Walking so much in a day explains why so many Europeans are able to eat bread, cheese and pasta and not get fat. If I scheduled 5 miles of walking into each day I would be able to consume more calories and that would definitely contribute to my happiness.
So remember to bring your pedometer the next time you travel.You will get the most out of your vacation walking.