It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s time for vacation! Something we all look forward to, and something that helps to clear our bodies and minds, a vacation helps us feel rejuvenated. Vacation can make us more productive when we return to work and our daily lives.
However, vacation can also mean setting aside healthy behaviors that we routinely keep during our normal schedules. Vacation typically means abundant and less healthy food, increased time sitting in cars or planes and often a decrease in our normal exercise routines.
We typically view the holiday season as a weight-gain marker, however we forget the common high-calorie culprits of summer such as barbeques, sugary treats and cold alcoholic beverages.
Here are tips you can use while you travel to help maintain your healthy lifestyle while enjoying vacation:
1. Wherever you stay, find a fitness facility, walking, jogging or bike trail at your hotel or rental or close by.
The more convenient you make it to exercise, the more likely that you will make it happen.
2. One of the best ways to see a new place is by foot.
You can spend more time looking at and experiencing new sites if you are walking or biking versus passing by in a car. If you enjoy running, look to see if there are any races you might enter while visiting.
3. It is helpful to think of daily “eating plans.”
Vacation also beckons us with breakfast buffets, crispy fried lunches on the boardwalk and long dinners, including a few potentially high-calorie adult beverages. If you’ve made dinner reservations where you’re likely to have a larger or heavier meal than usual, be extra careful with breakfast and lunch. If you know lunch may be the famous fried fish place, consider preparing your own breakfast or dinner if feasible. If not, consider simply choosing healthier items where you are staying or wherever you go.
At breakfast buffets, pass over the eggs, bacon and biscuits and choose yogurt, cereal, fruit or peanut butter. You can typically also ask for egg whites and vegetables, and light or no cheese in an omelet. Many restaurants offer tasty salads and different varieties of fresh seafood, which can be a healthy option depending on cooking methods, sauces, dressings, etc. Look for grilled, seared or baked fish and request dressings on the side.
4. It never hurts to pack snacks in a cooler, whether you are exploring a new city, driving cross country or lounging on the beach.
Pack high-fiber, high-protein items such as nuts, low-fat string cheeses, granola bars, fruit, carrot sticks and celery with peanut butter. Also never underestimate the power of water. It is much easier to become dehydrated while being active or inactive over the summer. We can often mistake thirst for hunger, so keep a bottle close by.
Vacation should be a time to let loose, relax and indulge a bit. You can enjoy your vacation more if you maintain a moderate level of activity and continue to include healthy foods to fuel your days. Enjoy foods you wouldn’t normally eat, and perhaps a little more lounging than usual, but make the most of your vacation by staying healthy.