Assume you’ve just worked tirelessly the past few weeks or even months to be at your peak physical health. You feel great and your coworkers can’t stop commenting how fantastic you look. The meal prepping of five-color-salads, grilled chicken and a half-cup of sweet potato, and cups of pineapple to satisfy your desert cravings have paid off. You decide to treat yourself this summer to a long vacation with the family or your significant other. But will you be able to resist the tempting comfort foods and desserts that come with eating out most nights? Will you be able to force yourself into the hotel gym or outside for a morning run in an unfamiliar area? Is it better to continue your rigid fitness program and sacrifice some of the vices you love or is it better to allow yourself to indulge and worry about the short-term effects when returning? Follow these simple tips to find a healthy balance in enjoying your time away without sacrificing your hard work.
Even before you get to your destination, start integrating your fitness program into your vacation. Find out if your hotel has a gym or pool to plan a weight training or swim session. When planning your itinerary, keeping in mind time to squeeze in a 30-minute workout without possible interruptions. Bring a resistance tube, a few resistance bands, or download an app on your phone for workout to do right in your hotel room. Prioritizing your exercise just as you’d prioritize a main attraction of your vacation ensures it won’t be forgotten. When packing your luggage, it could even instill higher motivation to pack your favorite workout outfit to feel confident when working out in a new location. To stay motivated and energized, try downloading some new music to listen to during your workout!
If nutrition is your Achilles’ heel, look at menus of local restaurants online. Look for restaurants with large menus with healthy options. Avoid food smothered in sauces, fried, or breaded. If you have the option of choosing your sides, aim for vegetable-based dishes with a lean protein as a main course. Because even healthy options at restaurants usually have high salt contents, it’s important to drink lots of water to counterbalance your sodium intake.
Find Some Support
Even fitness professionals have a difficult time finding motivation to stay on track with our wellness goals while on vacation. It’s so much easier to say Why bother? I deserve this extra indulgent burger! However, it’s harder to choose unhealthy meal options or skip a workout when someone on your vacation with you is there to hold you accountable. Having your fitness partner rely on you will make it harder to sleep in and miss your workout. Make sure you choose a friend or family member as your fitness partner who will support your goals, keep you on track, and has fitness goals of his or her own to uphold. Try planning partner-based workouts early in the morning to leave out any room for excuses as to why you don’t want to go and ask each other when you’re having for lunch and dinner that day.
Keep it Fun
Vacation is supposed to be fun and relaxing and your workouts should be the same! Don’t stick to your same cardio and free weight workout routine that you’d do at home. Hiking, rock climbing, and water sports are amazing physical activities to enjoy on vacation that won’t feel like work. Try going for a morning run or walk with partner and find yourself exploring your destination. If you’re traveling a bigger city with tourist-attractions, skip the cab or subway and walk or bike! Add site seeing to your itinerary through nature walks, museums, or historic sites to increase natural movement throughout the day while having a great time. There are so many ways to move more while on vacation that you won’t even realize you’re working out half the time.
Ultimately, stay healthy, happy, and have fun! Treat yourself to the occasional indulgence and keep your workouts social. Enjoy!