Simple Tips For A Healthy Vacation
Traveling is meant to be a fun experience, but sometimes after a weekend (or week) of over-indulging in food and drinks, the flight or drive home can become a ride-of-shame. To avoid this nagging feeling of guilt, it’s important to stay mindful of your day-to-day food choices and activity levels during your vacations.
Tips to stay on track:
Prep for the airport and airplane.
For anyone that’s been to an airport before, you know that health-food stores are hard to come by. If you’re hungry, you’re usually resorting to a bag of Chex Mix at the magazine store or a plate of nachos from TGI Friday’s. Occasionally you will stumble upon some prepackaged veggies and hummus that will break the bank – so, it’s best to come prepared and bring your own snacks! Packing a homemade granola with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, a travel sized nut butter, or something as simple as an RxBar will help fight off the urge to grab that bag of Doritos from the snack cart mid-flight.
This one may seem obvious, but it’s even more crucial if you’re traveling on an airplane. Lower levels of humidity in airplanes can severely dehydrate your body, leaving you to start out your vacation feeling sluggish and dry. Drinking water will help your body stay balanced while it is constantly trying to acclimate to time, climate, and elevation changes during your trip. TIP: Invest in a reusable water container for travel (Nalgene, S’well, or even a mason jar.) Not only do the flight attendants give you more water to refill it, but the amount of plastic used for drinks on airplanes is mind blowing! So do your part – bring something reusable!
Move your body.
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you need to ditch your workouts. Maybe you won’t be doing your same workout routine you’re used to doing at home, but something as simple as starting your day with a run or a quick 20-minute body weight circuit can help ease the stress of travel. Exercise helps your body hit the ‘reset’ button and get your internal clock back on schedule if you are experiencing jetlag. I’ve found that investing in some light, travel-friendly workout equipment (resistance bands, jump rope, and of course, your sneakers!) help keep me motivated to get up and move! If you’re struggling to find workout inspiration and routines while outside the gym, YouTube is your best friend.
Indulge in moderation.
Everyone knows that some of the best vacations usually consist of a higher food and alcohol consumption. One of my favorite parts of traveling to new places is experiencing local cuisine and trying new restaurants. As you’re sampling local fare, practice mindful eating by slowing down to appreciate your meal and don’t lose sight of the ingredients you’re putting into your body. Starting every morning off with a balanced breakfast filled with protein, fats, and fiber sets a solid tone for the rest of your day by keeping you satiated until lunch and avoiding any cravings for unhealthy foods later in the day.
Do your research.
In most cases, the location you’re visiting likely has outings, events, and cafe’s similar to the ones you enjoy visiting at home. Do you research on weekend farmer’s markets or natural food cafe’s and restaurants. Immersing yourself in the culture and cuisine of the city you’re visiting is one of the best parts about exploring new grounds, so staying in every night and cooking can put a damper on the experience. I usually start by creating a list before traveling to my destination of healthier options to dine out at. That way, I’m not scrambling last minute when the hunger hits and resorting to the local fast food joint or chips and salsa at the pool bar.
Unplug from work.
Vacations are meant to be a time to recharge, spend time exploring, and make memories with people we love. Checking your work e-mail every 20 minutes or stepping away from dinner because your boss is calling can really mess with your vacation vibes, so try to leave the work phone at home. If your boss requires you to be available, try to set expectations before you leave the office about how often you’ll be checking in. Be present, enjoy the sights, the smells, and the feels of your new destination and return that call or e-mail when you get back home.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. The post-vacation blues, the bloat from travel, and the guilt from overindulging make for a perfect storm to fall into a slump when returning home. Remind yourself that it’s okay to stray away from your normal habits! Don’t beat yourself up for having an extra slice of pizza. Get back into your normal routine upon returning home and give yourself a pat on the back for taking the steps to be healthier in a situation where it’s so easy not to be!
What are your favorite ways to stay healthy on your vacations? Let me know in the comments below!