With May comes the thought of vacation! Regardless of whether you spread it out and take several long weekend vacations throughout the year, or one (or two) big week-long vacations, this article applies to you. Due to our careers and our personal preference, my husband and I take several long weekends throughout the year. Being away from home for two or three days is just right for us. I want to share a few tips with you for staying healthy while you are on vacation.
#1: Change your vacation mindset. Going on vacation shouldn’t be viewed as an eat-and-drink-as-much-as-you-can event. Why? Primarily because it is going to make you feel pretty blah! You know what I’m talking about. That yucky (borderline miserable) feeling you get after eating and/or drinking too much. Vacations should be enjoyed, and having that bloated and miserable feeling every day isn’t my idea of fun. Change your vacation mindset to one of moderation. Instead of going out for ice cream every single day, choose one special night to go out for ice cream and enjoy it! Rather than ordering the most unhealthy thing you can find on the menu every night at dinner, consider ordering at least a semi-healthy option that you’ll still enjoy.
#2: Come prepared! We always pack plenty of snacks and/or run to the nearest grocery store as soon as we arrive at our destination. My snack list typically includes lots of fresh fruit, protein bars, nuts and dark chocolate. These snacks are perfect for in-between meals so that I’m not going out to lunch or dinner so famished that I could eat half the menu.
#3: Stay hydrated. Aim to drink (at least) half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need to drink 75 ounces of water each day. Whether I’m at home OR on vacation, I always drink at least 16 ounces of water right when I wake up. My rule is to finish my water (at least 16 ounces) before eating/drinking anything—even coffee! When going out to eat, aim to drink a glass of water before AND after your meal.
#4: Choose wisely when going out to eat. Just because you are on vacation, doesn’t mean that it’s against the rules to order a salad for lunch or dinner here and there. If you hate salad, consider ordering a protein with double veggies and skip the starchy side option. Perhaps you can split an appetizer or dessert with the whole table instead of ordering a whole appetizer or dessert to yourself. Most importantly, stop eating when you are full! Just because your dinner entrée cost you $30, doesn’t mean you have to make yourself miserable by eating every single bite of it.
#5: Get moving (maybe!). If you are taking a long weekend, by all means, don’t feel obligated to get an intense workout in every day. Use your long weekend for a couple of extra rest days. However, if you love working out and want to get moving over a long weekend, that’s great, too! Look up the nearest yoga studio and try a drop in class, take a long walk (or run), or do a quick and fun bodyweight workout (Pinterest is full of ideas). For me, it’s all about how I’m feeling. When I’m at home, I look forward to a good Saturday morning workout to start the weekend, but when I’m out of town for a long weekend, I usually take that time to sleep in a bit, drink my coffee and relax. If you are on vacation for a week or more, from my experience, you’ll feel better if you get moving for at least a couple of those days. Find a workout that you enjoy and get it done during your favorite time of day. Even moving for 10 or 20 minutes is better than doing nothing!
Keep these tips in mind when you are on your next vacation, but my most important tip is to relax and enjoy yourself! You deserve it!