Sunday, January 21, 2018

Smart Tips for Healthy Travel

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

When traveling, don’t take a vacation from healthy habits. Pack these ideas to stay committed to your healthy lifestyle—even when you’re escaping from drudgeries of life …

Change the Mindset

Many use vacation as an excuse to break from their fitness efforts and healthy eating habits. “I’m on vacation!” they tout, as if this is good reason to go bad. However, when is there a better time to feel and look your best? Continuing healthy habits, even during the fun and relaxation, enhances your time. Proper nutrition and exercise delivers the physical and mental strength and energy needed to be able to lounge stress-free or ride waves.


Pushing this breaks a sweat, but isn’t exercise.

Vacation usually comes with physical activity. However, carrying cumbersome gear back and forth to the beach (was the lifeguard stand always that far away?) doesn’t suffice as a strength training-cardio combo. And applying sunscreen to that midpoint spot on your back may feel like yoga. It is not.

Allow time every day for fitness. A personal trainer can create a mini-workout for you for times like vacation when you cannot get to the Center. If you regularly work with a personal trainer, s/he will be able to customize that routine to focus on your essentials.

Dedicating even 15 minutes daily to formal exercise benefits on multiple levels. You’ll gain the physical benefits, including a well-prepared body for the fun activities of the day. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll maintain healthy habits. This will act as a catalyst, motivating you throughout vacation to continue making healthy choices. Your post-vacation workout also will be less daunting. You’ll return to the Fitness Floor or Group Fitness classes refreshed, recharged, and conditioned.

Ask a personal trainer for take-away exercises.
Easy ways to incorporate physical and mental fitness into your vacation:


  • Include mini-weights and resistance bands in your suitcase. Having them peek from beneath your skinny jeans or swimsuit can be a good motivator. If nothing else, they’ll make carrying your luggage a bit of its own workout.


  • Nature adds a new dimension to workouts.

    Grab a mat or towel and head to the sunset or sunrise for some yoga or Pilates. These particular fitness methods are enhanced when performed in unison with the earth. Perform your favorite movements of these disciplines, or learn some for just this occasion. You may develop a new ritual to help maintain inner-peace beyond vacation days. (Or during vacation, if you’re traveling with tiny tots or a tricky family member.)

  • Nature also provides a rhythm ideal for meditation. Get in touch with it on a personal level. Attempt to align your breathing with the ocean’s waves or a bird’s sweet song. Your internal rhythm should quickly fall into a beautiful dance with nature.

Dine Wisely

You’ll likely be dining out for many meals, whether vacationing at home or away. It’s a luxury most of us enjoy during vacation. Look for entrées marked as healthy options. Many restaurants indicate heart-healthy or low-fat alternatives on their menu.

Don’t restrict yourself to garden greens and a hardboiled egg. (Save that for the Monday you return.) To make a vacation meal special, try something different. If salmon is your healthful standard, try it prepared a new way. Or, choose something unique to the area, prepared in a healthy way. (That doesn’t mean something like Philly cheesesteaks with low-fat cheese.)

Pack Snacks

Grab-and-go snacks.

Keep blood sugar levels steady to avoid slumps, irritability, and unnecessary trips to rest stops and fast-food restaurants. The pool bar quickly becomes convenient for all involved when stomachs rumble and tempers become short.

Bring healthful snacks. Focus on nonperishable options like protein bars, fresh fruit (conveniently wrapped in their own skins), whole-wheat crackers, nuts, small bags of cereal, and trail mix. Even if chocolate pieces are sprinkled in, you still have a better option than the sugary, fatty stuff of rest stops or food stands. Save the splurge for something better, like that island piña colada.

Return on a healthy note.

You’re going to indulge during vacation. It’s a time to treat yourself. Just remember always treat yourself well. Keep the cheat meals, junk food, and lazy behaviors in moderation. You’ll be in top condition—physically and mentally– during your time off. You’ll also return in better shape to face the stress, work piles, and all that laundry. Considering what awaits your return, perhaps a trip to the Center should be your first post-vacation stop.


Image Credits

Vacation workout:

Beach yoga:


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