Health and travel: You don’t see these two words together often. I once heard someone say. “You don’t go on a trip to lose weight.” Because what is a beach trip without a swim-up bar Mai Tai? Or jet setting to a foreign country without eating a little (a LOT) of the local cuisine? I mean half the fun of traveling is the food options!
Food has the ability to heighten experiences, give you a taste of a new culture, bring people together, and then there’s also wine (a food group of its own in my opinion). If you can’t tell yet, I am a foodie at heart, but I’m also a fitness professional. Feeling healthy on a daily basis is a big deal in my book, especially on vacation!
Sure, having tacos on tacos is fun, but a taco hangover is not.
Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve made a list of how to stay healthy-ish while traveling. The reason for the “ish” at the end of “healthy” is because of what I explained before. Food and drinks are a BIG part of the travel experience. Trying to remain too rigid on a vacation will turn you into a fun-sucker. And no one wants to travel with a fun-sucker.
Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality
We’ve all been there. “Well I already had a mimosa, so I might as well drink seven more.” Or “Ugh, I totally messed up and wayyy over did it on the fries at lunch, so screw it I’ll start again when I get back.”
Balance is a super overused word, but I am going to say it anyway. Find some BALANCE! Having one or two drinks won’t make you feel like crap, but having eight probably will. It is vacation, so order the dessert and share it! Eat your favorite foods, but don’t stuff your face just for the sake of “being on vacation.” Find a middle ground between depriving yourself and going hog wild. It may take some time to find what that looks like for you. But I promise this will make your trip much more enjoyable.
Don’t underestimate walking
Walking doesn’t get the love it deserves. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, de-stress, or just be a healthy, functioning human being, walking will benefit you greatly. Taking walks outside combats cortisol levels (stress), can improve your mood, and increases your total daily energy expenditure.
Basically the more you can be on your feet and moving throughout the day, the better you will feel and the healthier you will be. Plus, walking is a great way to get out there and explore a new place while traveling. Little decisions like opting to walk instead of taking an Uber to dinner, going for a sunset beach stroll, or hitting the trails for a hike really add up.
Eat what you love, leave what you like
Some of you may say, “Okay moderation and balance sound nice, but I have some serious health/weight loss goals that I am working toward.” I hear you. So, choose to eat the foods that you LOVE and equate with being on vacation… but leave the foods that you just “like” or can do without. Basically pick your faves and enjoy those; don’t just eat something because it’s in front of you.
For example: If you equate eating dessert with being on vacation, and the restaurant you’re at has a chocolate lava cake that’s calling your name… treat yo self! Just try to make mindful, healthy-ish decisions throughout the majority of the day. Like I said, don’t get a case of the “screw-its” and use your vacation as an excuse to chow down on things you don’t even like that much.
Play a little
Vacations should be a time to disconnect from the daily demands of life. Our day-to-day schedules often include a lot of obligations. That’s why it’s important to use your time away to do the activities that rejuvenate you and bring you joy. This may look like just laying on the beach because you never get any down time. But I encourage you to look for opportunities to get out and play.
Take advantage of your surroundings, whether that involves mountains, beaches, or a touristy town. Rent bikes for an afternoon, play in the waves, soak in a beautiful view while hiking, or my personal favorite, go out dancing at night! Don’t force yourself to run intervals on a treadmill in the hotel gym unless you legitimately enjoy that sort of thing. Think movement instead of exercise — and have some fun with it.
So there you have it. Try these tips and I think you’ll find that you not only get more out of your trips, but also return home feeling rejuvenated and less “blah.” Stay tuned for tips on how to stay healthy-ish while traveling for work!
How do you stay healthy while traveling?
By Bradee Conley with Ben Higgins
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