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Stay Healthy On Vacation

Stay Healthy on vacation copy

Vacation is a time to relax, let go, and enjoy yourself…and often times that is also synonymous with eating a lot of unhealthy food and skipping exercise. Over time I have made an interesting discovery: when I am living this way, I am not enjoying myself. I might indulge in the moment, but afterwards I feel lethargic and regretful. Not the way I want to feel during or after a vacation.

I like feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, especially after something as wonderful as a vacation. That means striking a balance between rigid health goals and complete indulgence. Here are three tips that have helped me learn to enjoy myself and preserve the healthy, energetic lifestyle I love – even while on vacation.

While Traveling   

Cole Millen, creator of ColeMill.blogspot.com shares these tips:

Eat a Healthy Meal Before Leaving Home.  Eating a meal packed with protein and fiber will help you feel full longer than starchy or sugary foods.

Bring Your Own Food. Whether on a road trip or travelling by air, packing sliced fruit, carrot and celery sticks, a peanut butter sandwich or a protein or granola bar are easy to pack, help you feel full, and are packed with vitamins and minerals.

Pack a Water Bottle. Fill it after going through security, or refill at service stations along the road if you are driving. Either way, staying hydrated will help you feel energized and prevent false hunger cues.

Avoid Drinking Your Calories. Many people avoid soda for this reason, without realizing that many flavored coffee drinks have 3-4 times more calories than an equally-sized soda. Same story with juice. Choose water, and if you are craving flavor, bring  low-calorie packets to add flavor.

Exercise. While some sitting is unavoidable, there are plenty of ways to stay active before you get on a plane. Take the stairs instead of the escalator, and walk around rather than sitting and waiting. Or if you are driving,  take a five-minute walk when stopping to fuel up. (I’ve even done some squats and jumping jacks. I just love that burst of energy I can get!)

Getting in Your Exercise

Pre-plan workouts you can do without gym equipment. I just love these five workouts (click HERE). They are quick, easy, and I can pack an exercise band and my running shoes without taking up much space.

Schedule activities that replace exercise. Not all of you love working out like I do. I get it. So do an exercise makeover by simply planning an activity each day that gets you moving, such as hiking, swimming, or walking instead of taking a bus.

Enjoy the Food…

But do it in moderation. Part of the fun of vacationing is experiencing the amazing food that is unique to where you are travelling. I’ve made the mistake of trying to avoid any of it. How do I know it was a mistake? Because I felt deprived, dissatisfied, and resentful – even if I didn’t gain any weight on the trip. There is a happy medium between complete indulgence and restriction. I am learning to pay attention to what my body really wants, how good it tastes, and then stopping when the food stops tasting as good.

One of my favorite sayings is “The pendulum always swings the other way….” and it’s no fun when it swings to either extreme. For example, if I deny myself completely on one end of the pendulum, when it swings back I find myself overindulging. Likewise, if I overindulge while on vacation, I feel compelled to implement really rigid standards to try to compensate for what I’ve eaten. I hate that roller coaster!

What about that happy medium where I still make healthy choices, but when that piece of cheesecake is calling my name, I have a few bites of it, enjoy the moment, and pay attention to that moment when my body says, “That’s enough.” That’s  win-win.

This post is packed with a lot of information. I hope it helps you be more alive and present for all of your vacationing. And if you have a favorite tip to help you stay healthy while vacationing, please comment below.

Comments

  1. This is a great post Jenny! I always have a hard time working out on vacation. I always have GREAT intentions of it, but then I get there and just really want to enjoy relaxing and not stressing about getting up early to get that workout in. One of my best vacations where I didn’t stress about exercise was when I stayed in downtown Seattle and we just walked everywhere. Urban cities are great for that.

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