Do you have a vacation coming up soon?
If your answer is “yes”, this article is perfect for you.
Whether it’s a mini get-away, or you’re jetting off for a change of scenery… A vacation should be a chance to relax, unwind and completely enjoy yourself.
But how many vacations start out with the best intentions and end up with a week’s worth of regrets?
We can go months and months sticking to a pretty healthy and active routine, eating healthy, never missing our favorite exercise class with a friend or a good hike…
But a single week of going away can be enough to through us completely off balance, and make us feel like we’ve gone all the way back to square one.
Late nights, early mornings, all over the place travel schedules, a few more beers or cocktails than usual and “once in a lifetime” moments, all seem to take priority over healthy decisions.
And the thing is, generally these things should take priority!
When you’ve been working hard all year, looking forward to a break, why shouldn’t you enjoy all these things?
Normally, indulging in a meal or two, or missing a day of exercise isn’t a cause for alarm…
However, when that one day of “less healthy” decisions becomes 7-10 days of decisions you wouldn’t normally make, it can make it hard to get back on track once we return home.
Before we know it, a week can very quickly turn into months of poor decision making.
Over the years of taking family vacations and traveling, I’ve found a few simple ways that help keep me on track, despite having a few late nights, indulging, eating out and missing my runs and hikes…
So I wanted to share them with you, so you can still enjoy and make the most of your vacation, without worrying about feeling like you’ve got the be “strict” and get “back on it” when you return home.
Introducing the “vacation exercise game”…
Usually when I’m home I’ll go for a morning run or hike, but when I’m away I know that late nights and family plans mean not being able to stick to my routine – which is completely ok!
So instead, I find it more fun to find other ways to fit activity into my day by turning it into a game.
First, elevators and escalators don’t exist.
Whenever possible I use the stairs and skip every “more convenient” way possible.
And if there’s a longer or tougher route, I’ll choose to do that instead.
If a destination is within a mile (or two) I walk.
I enjoy exploring when I’m away, and it’s the perfect chance for me to get more walking in without it really feeling like exercise.
Explore by walking.
Getting to know somewhere by foot is a completely different experience then getting to know a place by car or tour bus.
Not only is walking great exercise, you’ll probably stumble across some hidden local gems and maybe find a new favorite restaurant to eat out at.
If there’s a swimming pool, I like to add on an extra 5 length a day, it’s a fun and personal challenge I set for myself and swimming is the perfect form of low-impact exercise so there’s no risk of injury.
As for eating “well”, I know it’s easy to abandon a healthy diet altogether when there’s a lot of tasty food around you – especially while you’re away!
We go from eating salads and nutritious breakfasts, to pancakes, big bowls of pasta and ice cream.
But there’s some simple tips to avoid doing too much damage.
If you want to eat food you wouldn’t normally eat back home – there’s nothing wrong with that, do it!
But if you’re feeling worried you’ll eat too much of it – load up on water before you eat it, it can help curb your appetite and stop you from over-eating.
If you’re going to be drinking a lot on holiday, don’t compound it with lots of unhealthy, carb heavy foods…
… not that there’s anything wrong with carbs by the way…
Instead drink your carbs in smoothie form – this way you’ll get lots of vitamins and minerals, and will be doing your body a whole world of goodness.
And probably most importantly of all – relax, have fun and do something!
How many times do we get to go away and enjoy a week with no time constraints?
Not very often.
If you end up eating more than normal, who cares!
Just make your next meal less heavy and a bit more healthy.
Make protein and vegetables the focal point, and add vegetables to your meals whenever you can.
Do something to make sure you move every day, and remember that taking the chance to un-wind, relax, have fun and stress less, has a great impact on your overall health.
There’s plenty of simple ways to incorporate staying healthy and active while away on holiday.
Enjoy yourself, indulge a little, take a break and don’t “beat yourself up”.