The Fit 5: How to Stay Healthy and Happy on Vacation

5 May
Rock climbing in Utah.

Rock climbing in Utah.

Part Two in a two-part series on staying active and healthy while on vacation. If you missed Part One, click here.

Turn off your cell phone, slip into something comfy and channel your inner Olivia Newton-John, ‘cause we’re about to get physical. Why return home tanned when you can return home toned, energized and more joyful than ever? Here are five simple tips to stay healthy while you relax and recharge.

  1. Savvy Sights. It is easy and fun to stay active at a resort or national park. Take advantage of hikes, water sports, cycling, rock climbing, yoga and skiing. Is an Urban holiday more your taste? No problem. Skip the taxi and walk as much as possible, visit plenty of museums, zoos or amusement parks and book a hotel with a gym, swimming pool or outdoor playground (Monkey bar pull ups and elevated single leg swing seat squats anyone? Yes, please!) Always have fun with creative play and movement—whether you are enjoying the beaches of Carmel or the grassy patch in your backyard.
  2. Snack Smart. Planes, trains and automobiles—whatever your mode of transportation, pack healthy treats to keep energy high and blood sugar levels stable. Before your trip, purchase raw nuts or seeds, fruit (apples and pears are durable) and individual nut butter packets. If you have a cooler, you can also add hummus, cut vegetables, plain greek yogurt and pre-made wraps for meals.
  3. Keep Cool. Booking a hotel with a kitchen or even a mini-fridge is a great way to save money and your waistline. Once you reach your destination, go to the grocery store and stock up on staples for breakfast, snacks and even lunch. Possibilities are endless with a kitchen, but with a mini-fridge you can still fix delectable delights like yogurt parfaits (greek yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts), make portable wraps by purchasing plain cooked meats at the deli (chicken, salmon, etc.), cut veggies, hummus, guacamole or cheese and buy plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated.
  4. Divide and Conquer. Resorts have buffets, cities have fancy-pants restaurants and you always have a choice to enjoy delicious and nutritious food without depriving yourself. Ensure every meal has vegetables (bearer of bad tidings: corn is not a vegetable and potatoes are starches) and protein with a small portion of “oh my gosh, I must have this!” side item or split a dessert four-ways. Not trying to be a fun-hater, but avoid battered and/or fried foods and make sure your vegetables and protein are not drenched in cheese, gravy or creamy sauces.
  5. Drink Water. I’m talking bowel movements, people. Ya know how traveling can disrupt your normal routine? Who wants to be bloated and dehydrated on vacation? Not I! Plane rides, warmer climate, activities—they can all dehydrate us, even cold weather activities like skiing. Pack water bottles, opt for water over soda or alcohol at meals and sip herbal tea instead of dehydrating coffee or fruit juice in the morning. Your bowels will thank you.
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