Vacation season is fast approaching, promising everyone a chance to soak up some sun, relax, unwind, and indulge. Summer holidays are always an anticipated break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, it’s easy for vacation to turn into a time to take a break from our health as well. These tips can help you find the balance between enjoying your summer getaway and keeping your vacation healthy:
Be mindful of what you eat in transit
Whether you’re flying or driving to your vacation destination, eating well while on the go requires planning and dedication. If you’re flying, try to eat before you head to the airport, as airport food options are often overpriced fast food courts. If you’re in a rush, you can pick up a healthier meal on the way to the airport or pack yourself a sandwich. While you can’t take drinks through security, most foods are acceptable. If your vacation includes a road trip, plan to map out stops along the way and allow time to stop for meals (and walks!) instead of scarfing down fast food while on the road.
Plan to cook
If you’re staying somewhere over your vacation that offers a full kitchen, don’t be afraid to bust out the pots and pans and enjoy a home-cooked meal away from home. Not only will you save money, it will be easier to monitor the nutritional values of your meals when you prepare them yourself. Pack your own seasonings and cooking ingredients from home and hit the grocery store once you arrive. You’ll get the chance to support local growers and find some ingredients you can’t buy at home. Give these 30-minute healthy dinner recipes a try to maximize your relaxation time.
Indulge when it’s worth it
Vacation is full of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and sometimes those opportunities come in the form of exotic dishes and desserts. Don’t pass up the chance to enjoy some great, local food just because it doesn’t fit into your diet. Plan for a meal or two throughout your vacation where you can indulge without feeling guilty. The trick is to not overdo it or waste your “free-pass” on sub-par foods you could get any time. Aim for fresh, whole foods like seafood and veggies! It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while, especially when you’re on vacation.
Remember to stay hydrated
Even if you’re spending your vacation surrounded by pools and oceans, it’s easy to forget to drink the right amount of water each day. Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining energy levels, especially if you’ve been laying out in the summer sun all day. This can also mean opting for water when you go out to eat instead of that tropical beach drink. Long days in the sun and alcohol can leave you feeling sluggish and take away from fully enjoying your vacation. Also, keep in mind that many people mistake thirst for hunger and end up overeating when all they really need is a cool glass of water!
Slather on the SPF
Don’t neglect the health and safety of your skin–especially if you’re in a warmer climate! SPF 45 is recommended for any days outside and you need to reapply every hour if you’re in direct sunlight. Look for formulas that have “broad spectrum” protection; this means that they will protect against UVA and UVB rays. And don’t forget to apply indoors and let it sink in before you hit the sand, water or pavement!
Get some scenic exercise
Even when you’re miles away from your local gym, it’s still possible to keep up with your exercise routine on vacation. Did you know that you exert more energy walking in the sand than on pavement? Spend an hour or so in the evening walking along the sandy beach and enjoying the ocean waves and sunset. Don’t have a beach nearby? Look into bicycle rentals at your destination and plan family bike rides through town. Perhaps your resort area offers complimentary tennis courts or sand volleyball. There are many ways to stay active and exercise during your vacation that can also add fun, unforgettable moments to your trip.
Resist the urge to check in at work
Vacation is meant to be a time to relax and reinvigorate yourself, both mind and body. Along with eating healthy, remember to focus on your mental wellbeing while on vacation. This means truly taking a break from work. Let your boss or co-workers know you’ll have limited access to your emails during your trip and try to complete or hand-off any projects that would be waiting on your desk when you return. If this isn’t possible, schedule and limit the time during which you check-in on the office and put your phone away for the rest of the day. You’ll find yourself more energized and refreshed when your vacation comes to an end.
How do you stay healthy during vacation? Share your tips with us below or on our Facebook page!