The Vacation – Maintaining Your Fitness (& Sanity) While You’re Away!!
Summer is upon us, which means vacations, barbeque cookouts, sugary drinks and busy schedules. Vacations are always a welcomed time but when you are traveling you may not always have access to the healthiest choices. You want to make sure that you enjoy yourself and treat yourself to things that you may not always have an opportunity to have – but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your normal lifestyle and go crazy. You just have to be smart and make better decisions when the BEST decision may not be an option.
Have a plan
If you know where you’re going to be that day, think ahead where/when you may eat your meals. If you have your heart set on eating a burger for dinner, eat something lighter for breakfast and lunch.
Keep healthy food and snacks with you at all time
Consuming healthier snacks between meals in general is always a good idea, but keeping food options on hand will also prevent excessive hunger where you over eat, which will help you choose the healthier meal. Packing food will save calories and money. Example: oatmeal packets, peanut butter, protein bars, almonds, etc.
Don’t eat unless you’re hungry
It’s as simple as that. Just because someone else is hungry or someone offers you a treat doesn’t mean you have to eat it! If you are traveling and are unsure when your next stop will be then take something to go.
Limit your sweet indulges to one a day
Sugar really is an evil thing, the more you eat the more you crave it. So if you have something sweet and sugary for breakfast, try to stay away from the afternoon cookies or after dinner desserts.
Just say no to fried/greasy foods
Although it may sound good at the time, heavy greasy foods will leave you feeling bloated, hungry again sooner and sick to your stomach, especially in the summer heat. Stick to lighter, fresher foods. Grilled is a much better decision then a fried dish.
Eat your veggies
This follows along the line of said French fries above. Choose steamed veggies over the fried or heavy sides. Aim to consume a serving of veggies with every meal.
Be Careful with the Sauces/Dressings
Before ordering a meal, ask or read how it’s prepared or what’s on it. Many dressings/sauces are full of empty calories and fat. Ask for it on the side so you can control how much you eat. Same thing can goes for butter and oils – steaks can be just as flavorful grilled without all the extra grease.
I don’t have to tell you that it’s hot out there folks. Drinking water is important at any time but more so than ever this time of year. Water can do amazing things for your body so don’t think about it just drink it! Keep large water with you at all times, especially when you’re in the car, even if you have to make more stops it just gives you a reason to walk around and keep your legs from cramping.
The clearer the better. As good as the fruity umbrella drink may be try to go with something lighter that doesn’t have more calories than your meal. There are many “skinny” versions of those drinks now so check the menu before ordering. Vodka and soda water with your favorite garnish; lemon, lime or even cucumbers makes for a refreshing summer drink without the heavy sugar.
Move your Body
Find a way to do it! It doesn’t mean that you have to obsess and worry over when/where you’ll workout – find little creative ways to get something in. Vacation and travel stress can be relieved by designing some runs, walks or other activity into your time away!
If you don’t have access to a gym, it’s ok, do a quick workout in your room. I know where you can find some awesome workouts (read my workout articles!) Find local activities to participate in – beach run, mountain hike, swimming and finding a local class or group is all there to do! Running/walking in a new area is exciting; as your awareness/excitement is heightened in a new locale.
Vacations are meant to unplug, relax, explore and indulge! Recharging your batteries is essential to maintaining balance. We all need breaks! Things change while traveling, so do your best to go with the flow and be realistic. You can indulge; have a phenomenal vacation – still maintaining your fitness and sanity if you just do a little planning and adjusting with these tips. FYI – America ranks low on the number of vacation days taken each year (2 weeks average) compared with many of our European friends (3 – 4 weeks average). So, enjoy the journey – you may never pass this way again!
~ Coach Sara