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Summary: While taking a break from the “real world” and spending quality time with your loved ones is a great thing to do during this time of year, if you’re working hard to build a healthier lifestyle then vacationing might make you nervous about derailing all your hard work.
Summer is officially here and along with it comes the smell of sunscreen and bug spray, the feel of the sun on your skin, and taste of fresh watermelon, home-grilled burgers, and lemonade. For many people, summer is a slower season at work, or they choose to take advantage of their children's’ break from school, making it the perfect time for a vacation. While taking a break from the “real world” and spending quality time with your loved ones is a great thing to do during this time of year, if you’re working hard to build a healthier lifestyle then vacationing might make you nervous about derailing all your hard work.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that one meal or even one week “off-plan” will not ruin everything you’ve worked for over the past few months. It can, however, make you feel uneasy as well as make it a lot harder to get back into your healthy habits when you return home, especially if you’re newer to your lifestyle. If you want to enjoy a vacation but stay more on track with your fitness and nutrition, here are five strategies for a healthier summer vacation.
Select a walkable city. Sure, a cruise can be fairly relaxing, but if you want to keep up your activity without formally working out on vacation, choose a beautiful city that’s walkable. You’ll spend your days exploring and enjoying the sites while also keeping your heart rate up and burning calories without even realizing it. Just be sure to pack comfortable shoes!
Stay somewhere with a kitchen. Room service is great and eating out is fun, but try to choose to stay somewhere with a kitchen (like a home rental or Airbnb), so you can make your own breakfasts and avoid those sugary pastries. You can also decide to cook at home one or two nights of your trip to not only eat healthier but save some money as well.
Pack your own snacks. When you’re walking around an unfamiliar city, it’s easy to get wrapped up in what you’re doing and suddenly realize how ravenous you are. That’s the point when you grab whatever is in sight, no matter the sugar content. Fuel yourself well during your trip by packing your own bars, packets of peanut or almond butter, homemade trail mix, or fruit.
Look at menus ahead of time. Have friends recommended certain restaurants to you? Did you already make reservations at a few places you’re dying to try? Go for it, just be smart. Look at the menu ahead of time and decide on one or two options that would be a healthier choice. Also, choose two out of three - bread, wine or dessert - so that you can enjoy but not overdo it.
Schedule active things to do. There are always active things to do no matter where you go. Look for a local hike or even a day or half-day adventure like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, kayaking, etc. Not only will it keep you moving, but you’ll leave with amazing memories and a sense of exhilaration as well.
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