Whether you’re hanging out at the beach, exploring a new city, or backpacking through another country, vacations can be a great mental and physical break from the everyday stressors of life, but they can also make maintaining your fitness difficult. By holding yourself accountable and making smart decisions with these six tips, you can enjoy your time on vacation and come back feeling just as good as when you left.
1. Book for Fitness
When booking hotels, choose locations with fitness centers or guest passes to nearby gyms. If you can roll out of bed and be at the gym minutes later, you’ll give yourself the best insurance that you’ll fit fitness into each day. Plus, working out every morning will increase your motivation to eat more healthfully throughout the day.
2. Schedule Physical Activities
You may not be hitting the weight room or blasting through a 5 mile run while on vacation, but by choosing to partake in physically active events you can burn some calories and get your heart rate up while having fun and trying something new. If your vacation is on the coast, try snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking or surfing. If you plan on visiting a city and sight-seeing, choose locations that will require a good amount of walking.
3. Take the Stairs
Skip the elevator and escalators and sneak in some extra cardio. Sightseeing attractions such as churches, buildings and towers will have staircases and large hallways that allow for some physical activity while seeing attractions.
4. Pack Snacks
When you plan to be out all day, bring along your own healthy snacks to stave off hunger. Packing snacks will keep money in your pocket and away from unhealthier options such as fast food, sweet treats and convenience foods. Almonds, protein bars, fruit, baby carrots, celery sticks or even PB&J sandwiches are all healthy, portable options.
5. Drink Wisely
It’s best not to consume your calories through alcohol, but if you are going to have drinks, make sure you are accountable for their calories. A drink can pack anywhere between 100-1,000 calories per drink depending on what you order. Make sure that you limit your caloric intake from food to adjust for the calories from alcoholic beverages. If you normally eat 2,000 calories and plan to have two cocktails each at 250 calories each, then you should only be consuming 1,500 calories from food that day. Choose low calorie drinks like vodka sodas, gin and tonics, or simple martinis to limit calories and stay away from overly sweetened and high calorie beverages like piña coladas, margaritas, and craft beers.
6. Dine Healthy
Do your research before your trip and aim to schedule meals at locations that offer a health conscious menu. Call ahead and use services such as Yelp and Urban Spoon to find locations that will meet your dietary needs. By planning ahead of time you will be more likely to stick to your nutritional health goals and you will save valuable time when deliberating on where to eat.