Hi friends, what are your best tips for staying fit while on holiday? Spring Break is right around the corner for us, and I’ve been thinking about how holidays break up your routine, for better and for worse. While they provide a much-needed break in every way, taking too long of a hiatus from your fitness routine (healthy diet, regular workouts) can make it harder to come back to those good habits.
So how can you maintain your fitness while on holiday, and still enjoy, and be refreshed by, your time away? The following 5 strategies work for me:
1. Be active every day.
No matter what type of vacation you take, you can be active. At the beach? Rent a kayak or paddle board. Hire a guide for a jungle hike. Take a long walk or easy jog down the beach. Swim! Do some beach calisthenics. Learn skim-boarding if you’re brave… the possibilities are endless.
City excursions lend themselves to activity, because sightseeing is best done on foot. Get a good map and walk rather than cabbing it to your next destination. Many cities have bicycle rentals available as well. Take advantage of city parks for long walks or leisurely morning jogs. Sometimes you end up walking more on your city tour than you do at home!
2. Eat until you’re full (not stuffed.)
Part of being on vacation is enjoying a break from your regular eating routine, and hopefully your vacation spot has fabulous food! On the other hand, you don’t want to indulge so much that you feel heavy or bloated while you’re away, or come back weighing more than when you left. I’ve found that I can enjoy what I like, as long as I don’t overeat. We all know the difference between pleasantly full… and stuffed. It’s a fine line, right? But eating slowly helps… so savour your food, enjoy the company, take in your surroundings, and you’ll wind up eating slowly… and feeling satisfied as well, without eating too much. So eat at that fabulous restaurant, order that item you’ve been dying to try, indulge in that treat you love and never get… and enjoy!
3. Hit up a grocery store for fresh fruits and snacks.
Most accommodations these days have at least a mini-refrigerator in the room, or you may be lucky enough to have a full kitchen. Do your health (and your wallet!) a favour by making a quick trip to the local grocery store for some goodies such as fresh fruits, sliced veggies, hummus, whole grain crackers, rice cakes, & raw nuts. These foods will help keep you energised throughout your day without having to rely on restaurants or snack vendors all the time. Plus, you can pack up the nuts & crackers for your trip back home!
4. Monitor (or moderate) your alcohol intake.
Vacation is a time for relaxing, and for many of us, this includes having a glass or two of wine or a cocktail in the evening. But it doesn’t take much to cross the line from “moderate” drinking (1 drink per day for women, 2 for men), which studies have shown be beneficial to your health… to “heavy” drinking (more than 3 drinks per day or 7 per week for women, or more than 4 per day or 14 per week for men, as defined by the CDC.) “Heavy” drinking has many health risks, including high blood pressure, liver disease, and larynx & throat problems. And of course, alcohol contains empty calories, stimulates your appetite, and lowers your inhibitions about your food intake. Plenty of reasons to keep it moderate! So enjoy your wine or cocktail if you drink, just try to keep it in moderation.
5. Feel no guilt!
With all this said, holidays are a time to relax, enjoy yourself and your family & friends, and recharge your batteries. Whether you exercise or not… whether you eat a huge burger dripping with cheese or just eat fruit & kale chips… feeling regretful about your choices is the last thing you want to do on vacation! The beautiful thing is, we can deviate from our normal eating and exercise routine with great benefit to ourselves, if only we don’t feel guilty about it. The best thing about vacation is really getting away from our day-to-day lives and being present in the moment with family & friends.
Maintaining fitness in a “non-routine” way such as the suggestions above will help you feel your best while on holiday. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to dive back into your regular routine again.
My family is off to Vancouver in a couple of days… I’m looking forward to cool weather, outdoor markets, fabulous restaurants, bike rides in Stanley Park, walking around the city, and a day or two of skiing in Whistler. I don’t plan on doing any pushups or bootcamp exercises, ha! But I look forward to fitness & food in a different & refreshing way.
See you there, folks!