Top 5 tips for staying healthy on your summer vacation

June 26, 2014

Summer is finally here! If you live in a locale that experiences all four seasons, you have most likely been anxiously awaiting the return of hot temperatures, sunny days and longer daylight hours.

Another perk of the arrival of summer is that it’s a time when individuals, couples and families plan a vacation. Trips are a great way to spend quality time with loved ones, take a break from the stress of everyday life and allow yourself some time to truly unwind.

However, it can be a challenge to maintain fitness schedules while on a holiday. Normally, you’re making time in your week to hit the home gym equipment, eat well (with lots of lean meats, fruits and veggies) and strive toward your goal of weight loss, running a race or becoming stronger. Taking a vacation doesn’t have to derail these plans.

Before leaving, be sure to put in extra time on your home treadmill and focus on a nutritious meal plan so you’re feeling fit and ready before you travel. Here are some helpful tips for you to stay healthy and focused while on vacation:

  1. Start the day with exercise: Many hotels offer fitness equipment, or you can opt for an outdoor workout to mix things up. Even though you’re on vacation, it can be a good idea to start the day early with a run, bike ride or even weights. That way, you’ve accomplished your session, and you’ll have more energy and a faster metabolism during the day. And remember, quick workouts are still efficient if you opt for high intensity, so even 20 minutes of hard work will be better than nothing. You might even be able to find a fun fitness option that’s unique to where you’re vacationing such as running or walking along the beach or an outdoor boot camp.
  2. Pack snacks: It can be useful to pack snacks to take along with you. Plenty of healthy options like almonds, apples, carrot sticks, string cheese and other snacks are easily transportable, whether you bring them from home or pick them up at your vacation destination. Having snacks on hand might also deter you from grabbing whatever is available, which can throw off your calorie intake for the day.
  3. Don’t worry about indulging: While you don’t want to go crazy indulging on meals, it’s OK to enjoy a dessert or a cheat meal without beating yourself up over it. You’re on vacation after all! A splurge here and there won’t derail your overall plans, especially if you continue to fit in fitness throughout your trip.
  4. Try not to drink all of your calories: Partaking in libations is often a staple of taking a holiday, especially fun ones that are served in coconuts and pineapples, but alcohol often has a lot of sugar and empty calories. If you are planning on drinking, try to do so in moderation, as the caloric intake can add up quickly and push you over your daily allotment.
  5. Plan active adventures: Relaxing in the sand or on a hammock is truly a perk of taking a vacation, but it can also be fun to plan some active outings. Hikes around the local natural attractions allow you to see the sights while getting in some exercise, walking through the area’s downtown is fun for window shopping and if you are in bike-friendly spot, you can ride around town.