A little over a year ago I experienced a complete change in my health, relieving me from 5 years of horrific migraines. I have no plans of reverting. Starting out I often ran into challenges when away from home with my gluten free, soy free, dairy free, no beef, and no pork lifestyle. Being healthy is a lifestyle. I’m excited! Vacation season is here, and our lifestyle change shouldn’t prevent us from enjoying time away from home! Everyone deserves a break! Vacationing is a time to relax and take a break from work, stress, and our usual routine, but you don’t take break from healthy habits.
With a little planning, we can enjoy our vacation and still maintain our current weight and fitness level/goals. I tell my clients we can avoid packing on those dreaded vacation pounds by packing some healthy foods and workout gear instead. I will share a few things that have made my life much easier, in hopes it will help you as well.
I am my provider.
I take my own snacks everywhere I go; road trips, plane rides, short or long distances. This keeps me from away from convenience stores and yucky packaged foods. It also prevents me from getting hungry when traveling with family and friends because hardly anyone thinks of me, “picky” eater. Nuts, pretzels, vegetable chips, apple chips, chopped raw vegetables, hummus, and fruit make great travel snacks. Yes, we are able to carry packaged healthy snacks through airport security as long as it’s not opened.
Fuel up at the beginning of the day.
It’s true; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I make sure I fill up on healthy foods at breakfast and/or brunch. In preparation, I try my hardest to stay at a location that serves breakfast. Focus on getting plenty of fresh fruits, salads and greens, and whole grains such as oatmeal with flax. If I am forced to eat less healthy meals throughout the day, I will have at least eaten plenty of produce and fiber in meal number one for the day.
I choose sit-down restaurants instead of fast food establishments during my travels. Although this may take extra time, it works best for me with my special requests when preparing my healthier meals, such as leaving out ingredients, dressings on the side, grilled or broiled instead of fried and substituting vegetables/salads for fried side dishes.
Be wary of fast food and roadside restaurants. If you have no other options, choose the healthiest possible items and keep portion sizes small.
Seeking out local restaurants in advance has helped. I look for restaurants that use local products. The less distance our food has traveled, the more nutrients it typically retains. Also, restaurants that pride themselves on local products often provide healthy options, such as meals focused on the use of local fruits and vegetables. These foods are usually prepared in a way that maintains their natural flavor, not covered in high-calorie, fatty sauces and toppings.
Physical activity is essential.
Instead of sitting around while waiting to board my plane or parking close to entrances I use the time to walk and take the stairs if possible. I arrive early enough to fit in 15-20 minutes of walking, so I take advantage of it. As the demand for healthy eating and exercising rises, hotels are accommodating us, their guests, more. There’s no reason not to work out or eat right just because I’m away from home. So, I book hotels with a gym to get in my daily workout. Working out only takes up a very small portion of the day, allowing us to feel good and still enjoy the vacation. Did you know if your hotel does not have an onsite gym, you can ask if they are affiliated with a nearby local gym? Many will offer day passes at a discount for hotel guests. A morning walk around the hotel while enjoying the sights and fresh air is an alternative to working out as well. If there is a pool depending on the weather I use swimming a few laps for my workout.
Another option is to design our hotel room to workout. All we need to pack is some lightweight, cheap equipment: resistance bands, a jump rope and a sticky mat. Most bands will come with illustrated exercises. We can also do push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats and triceps dips on a chair. Remember to pack walking shoes, a swimsuit, exercise equipment and loose, comfortable clothing.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Ask your concierge, local business owners about healthy restaurants, markets, parks, trails and maps for your area.
Family Fitness for Vacation Time
By: Kendra Thornton
Keeping my family healthy is one of my top priorities as a mom. I help my kids make healthy food and exercise choices. At home, I work to provide deliciously healthy food options. On vacation, the challenge can grow even bigger. After years of practice, I’ve developed a few tricks for keeping my family healthy on the road.
I always have plenty of water for my family to drink. Sometimes we pack bottled water in a cooler. Often, we rely on refillable water bottles. Each family member has their own. Before leaving, I often place the filled bottles in the freezer for a while to get them good and cold. Dehydration is no joke. If you plan to be in the sun much at all, you need to have water handy to replenish what your body loses.
2. Pack Snacks
Kids get used to routines, but sometimes vacation plans interrupt those routines. To ward off grouchiness stemming from rumbling tummies, bring dry snacks such as homemade trail mix, dried fruit, fresh veggies or granola. While I try to make sure the snacks I pack are healthy, I always slip something fun and sweet into the mix as well. Munching on these goodies will also keep you from overindulging later on.
Vacation doesn’t usually accommodate regular fitness routines. However, there are always ways to get a good workout. Walking is the best option. Whenever possible, walk rather than ride to local attractions. The kids can run off their extra energy during the walk. Mom or Dad can build some extra muscle carrying a tired little one on the way back.
4. Pick Calorie-Burning Activities
When planning your vacation, plan activities that burn calories. Scuba diving is one of the greatest calorie-burning activities available. Although this workout takes some endurance, it provides some fabulous underwater views as well. The entire family can participate. When you see the beauty beneath the sea, you’ll completely forget you’re getting a workout.
Staying fit as a mom can be challenging. Helping your entire family remain fit and healthy is even more challenging. With our upcoming trip to Disney I will surely be practicing these healthy tips. Another recommendation is to find a hotel with nice gym, just in case it rains. There are so many hotels in Orlando so finding one can be a bit overwhelming. Sites like Gogobot make that process easy as you can read user reviews so you can see just what you will be getting into. With a little advance planning, you can successfully keep your family moving and eating healthy on any vacation.
To Your Health & Success,