Bill and I are heading to the beach as I type, so I thought that today would be a good day to talk about surviving vacations while maintaining a little bit of a healthy lifestyle! I wrote this last year, so long-time-readers, this is a rerun; or as I prefer to say, “It’s a gently used blog post.”
When on vacation, we usually have more time to focus on our health than when we’re living in the rat-race of daily life, yet it’s human nature to do just the opposite. Here are some tips to keep you on track…
Be health conscious – Have some fun meals and by all means indulge in the local cuisine; however, one beignet per day when visiting New Orleans is plenty! Think about your exercise routine. You might not be able to fit in your regular workouts, but perhaps you can make up for it by walking instead of taking a cab. When we were in Italy, we didn’t run a single day, but we walked everywhere and at the end of each day we were exhausted. Also, stay sun-smart and use sunscreen at all times!
Eat healthy – Bill and I tend to eat even healthier at the beach. We have more time to shop for and cook healthy meals, and rarely take shortcuts just to get a quick meal on the table. When I’m at the beach and in the heat, I want light meals… fresh fruits, salads, roasted veggies, and seafood. Make a list before you go to the grocery store and stick to it. If you’re eating your meals out, plan one or two special dinners, and then order healthy meals the other days.
Activate your body – I’m so lucky that I’m married to someone that loves running as much as I do. Bill is more than willing to get up to run at sunrise so we can enjoy the beauty of the morning together. If you’re not a runner, go for hikes, try stand-up paddleboarding, go for a swim, or sign-up for a walking tour of the city you’re visiting.
Challenge yourself – I like to have a rough mental outline of what I’m going to do each day. Don’t get me wrong! I spend a lot of time lying on the sofa reading books (skin cancer = I don’t spend a lot of time on the beach). We usually plan which days we’re going to run and at what time, what type of run we’re doing, etc. Last year we drew lines in the sand and did 400-meter sprint repeats two days, on another day we went for a longer than usual run. I have an extra set of dumbbells at the beach house so I can challenge myself to lift weights at least three times while there. If you’re visiting one of our beautiful national parks, go for a challenging hike. Climb the stairs at the Washington Monument (actually I don’t think that’s allowed anymore, but you get the idea).
Hydrate regularly – It’s easy to get so busy that you forget to drink enough water. Drink plenty of water all day long so you can drink margaritas
all night long occasionally. Seriously, if you’re going to be drinking alcohol (especially in the heat and sun), be sure to drink adequate amounts of water to counter the dehydration effects of alcohol. When going on hikes or walking tours of cities, carry water bottles with you.
When on vacation have fun, but have a plan! Practice moderation so you don’t go overboard and sabotage your healthy lifestyle in one short week. For many people it’s extremely difficult to get back on track once they’re home. You’ve worked too hard to get where you are to let this happen to you!
- What are your vacation survival tips?
- What is the coolest exercise related thing that you’ve done on vacation?
- Where did you go on your last vacation?