Just like the holidays, a vacation can very easily sidetrack your health and fitness goals and routines, and no one wants to come home with that kind of excess baggage. Not only does it take much longer and more effort to undo as it does to do the damage, abandoning your normal routine during vacation can leave you discouraged and make it difficult to resume the habit of your normal activities once you’ve returned home.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on vacation. It doesn’t mean you have to go above and beyond to stick with your existing exercise routine. It doesn’t mean you can’t indulge for the special occasion.Read More »
1) Break From Your Routine
Aim to complete at least 50 percent of your normal workouts. This is what trainers often refer to as fitness maintenance, meaning you are still doing something to maintain all your progress whilst you take a break from your normal routine.
Branch out from how you normally exercise so that you don’t feel like it’s just another day at home. If you always do the gym, then look for a Pilates studio or cycling class that offers non-members classes by the day. Don’t forget the physical activities, such as water/snowboarding, skiing, volleyball, swimming, trail walking, and so forth can count toward your exercise.
2) Plan Ahead For Success
It can be frustrating when you realize you don’t have access to the equipment you need, and this can cause you to just skip doing it all together.
Planning ahead helps you avoid this issue. Research what equipment your hotel gym has and/or ask the concierge what types of facilities, parks, and so forth are nearby where you will be staying. Know what the weather is like for the area so you can pack appropriate workout clothes.
3) Check Exercise Off Your List First
After busy days sightseeing or lazy days lounging, most vacationers aren’t in that workout mentality mode. It’s best to check exercise off first thing. Here are a few ideas:
• A morning jog through a new city is a great vacation hack to scope out the layout of land.
• In-room circuit workouts just require an exercise band, and bodyweight workouts require nothing more than your own body. Both avoid the hassle of bulky equipment and allow you to get your workout in before you ever leave the room for your vacation fun.
• If you’re planning to lounge, then do pool laps before you get settled for the day.
4) Go Easy On The Booze
Most alcoholic drinks are loaded with carbs and sugars. Aside from wrecking your diet, excessive sugar and alcohol leaves your body sluggish, dehydrated, tired, and hungover. The last thing you’ll likely want to do is exercise. If drinking, then ask for ‘skinny’ versions of your favorite drinks, and limit yourself to one mixed drink or two glasses of beer or wine per day.
5) Get Eight Hours Of Sleep Each Night
It’s tempting to do late nights for vacations. After all, you’ve paid for a trip and want to squeeze in every possible moment of fun. Keep in mind that it’s healthier and more conducive to exercising on vacation if you rise early instead of staying awake late.
6) Meal Planning: Don’t Skip Breakfast
Another common vacation move is to skip breakfast. It saves on your food budget and gives you even more time on your itinerary for more exciting stuff. The problem is that skipping meals, particularly breakfast, disrupts your metabolism and leaves you struggling for energy.
Know what your food options are ahead of time to know if you need to bring healthy breakfast foods. Local eateries and that free hotel breakfast may not be aligned with your diet. Granola and yogurt (given your hotel has a fridge) and fresh fruit and oatmeal (given your hotel has a microwave) are great take-along options. You can even use your hotel’s in-room coffee pot to make boiled eggs or miso noodle soup.
The same planning should go into your lunch and evening meals, too. Today, most restaurants publish their menus online for easy perusal. You can even call ahead of time to see if the chef can accommodate your diet.
7) Late Night Eating And Dehydration Are Still Your Enemies
Instead of skipping meals, many vacationers make a critical error in under-eating to maintain weight loss. Active vacations expend a lot of energy walking and doing, though. If you don’t get a good protein and healthy dietary fat in at your meals, such extra energy expenditures can lead to a lot of late snacking via vending machines and room service.
By the way, be mindful to drink plenty of water throughout the day and after retiring to your room. A good way to always have cold water on hand is to freeze your water bottle overnight; it will slowly melt and offer hours of portable, cold hydration.
People often mistake thirst for hunger. Hot and humid vacation spots and highly active days can certainly leave you feeling depleted. Offer yourself water to see if it satisfies you before going straight to a snack. If you really are hungry, then go for a nutrient-rich bedtime snack like a banana with almond butter, which will actually help you sleep better due to this snack’s melatonin levels.
8) Plan Movement Opportunities
If you’re skipping the workout routine during vacation, you can still get your 50 percent in by strategically planning your moves. Take the stairs to attractions, hotel room, etc instead of elevators. Explore on foot, and then plan meals and attractions that are within walking-distance.
Vacations don’t have to be death sentences to your normal lifestyle choices. With just a little planning, you can have your cake and eat it… moderation, of course.