Staying healthy on vacation

It’s that time of the year again … vacation season. It’s nearly summertime, and many of my clients have been telling me when they will be out of town for their different getaways. I am all for packing up the bags and getting away for a week, but the problem is people tend to go on these nice long vacations and come back a few pounds heavier. So how do we avoid this “vacation weight”? We spend months prepping our bodies for bikini season, but once we get to our beach destination, all that hard work goes right out the window on account of rich food, drinks, and laying around at the pool. I agree that vacations should be relaxing, but there are a few easy things you can do to keep in shape during your vacation.

Start making healthy choices before you even leave

  • Pack healthy snacks – vacation doesn’t have to mean spending an insane amount of money on unhealthy food. Pack some healthy snacks in your suitcase – nuts, fruits, carrot sticks, etc – OR go grocery shopping when you get to your destination. It’s less expensive and an easier way to eat healthy!
  • Beat the jet lag – if you are going somewhere with a major time difference try to adjust your sleeping pattern before you even get there. Start by going to sleep an hour earlier than normal, or later depending on what your time change will be. Nothing is worse than not getting enough sleep and missing out on your trip!

Don’t be a lazy traveler

  • Stretch – before you get on that airplane, car, train, or boat … do some easy stretches. You will likely be sitting for a long period of time, so try get some blood flowing before finding your seat
  • Be active on the airplane – you may get a few strange looks, but who cares, this is your health we are talking about! Try to get up and walk to the bathroom every 40 minutes (as long as it is safe to). While you’re up do a few calf raises. When you are sitting you can contract your abs for 10 seconds at a time to get a mini core workout in. The tray table can also be a useful piece of equipment for a little chest workout – press your palms on either side of the tray table and try to squeeze in. The tray table acts as a bit of resistance.

Be a smart vacationer

  • Drink lots of water – and drink (alcohol) in moderation
  • Eat locally – take advantage of the fact that you are in a different place and try their food. Eat food that is grown locally – it becomes easier to eat organic when you do that and will ensure that your food is less processed.
  • Explore – walk around and see the sites. Go for a hike, run on the beach, swim in the ocean, act like a kid at the water park. It’s easy to be active on a vacation, so don’t spend the whole time lying at the beach. Plus one of the best ways to explore a new city is by taking a run through it.
  • Find or make a gym – chances are your hotel has a gym, take advantage of that. I’m not saying spend every day in there, it is your vacation after all, but a little morning workout might be an energizing way to start your day once or twice (plus it will make it much easier to get back in the gym once your vacation is over). If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, no problem! Bring elastic bands or a jump rope in your suitcase to get a quick workout in. Or do body weight exercises like planks and burpees – you don’t need any equipment at all to get a good workout in.
  • Take care of your mental health – meditate, take yoga, get a massage, RELAX.

Most importantly, have a good time – we all work hard and deserve to have a little fun once in a while.

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