Summer is upon us and with warmer weather comes the allure of summer vacation and travel.  Whether your summer vacation is a romantic getaway or a jaunt with the family to visit Grandma, you don’t need to give up your healthy habits you have worked so hard on creating.  Think about all the time and effort you have put in to get here, not that taking a week off is going to negate all that, but it will be much easier to return to your regular routine when your vacation ends if you keep it up to some extent while away.  Here are a five tips to keep you on the road to your best health and fitness life, vacation style:

1) Think about how you can incorporate fitness organically into your vacation in a fun manner.  Planning to do some sight seeing?  Skip the car, and find out if you can you do it on foot or via bicycle, kayak, paddle board, or other human power modality?  Or maybe you can add some of these activities into something you already have planned.  A day at the beach is great, but playing frisbee, or football with the kids makes it extra special.  Or take some of the time on your towel and practice yoga or an workout to earn that cool dip in the ocean.

2) Research fitness amenities before you go ensuring you have a plan ahead of time.  If you are planning to stay in a hotel or resort , does it have a fitness facility and/or pool?  If you are staying at a home, camping, or another type of lodging what is near by?  Depending on the type of vacation you are on you may find great places to run, or hike. Playgrounds and parks are fantastic workout spots and you can keep the kids happy at the same time.  Maybe there is a great fitness facility nearby that offers day or week passes.  Know before you go, so you can make an informed decision about your lodging and have a plan for how you will get those workouts in so you are not giving yourself an easy out because you don’t have a place or space to exercise.

3) Bring lightweight and easily packable equipment along.  Things like resistance bands, a yoga mat, or a TRX strap can be easy to travel with and can make for great motivation to get it done.  You brought them along so you better use them, right!?!  Put that mat right where you can see it everyday on your vacay as a subtle yet effective reminder to get it done!

4) Bring healthy food and snacks if possible.  If you are traveling by car, bring a cooler and keep it well stocked with health snacks and prepared foods.  My clients often ask me for ideas on what to bring while traveling and my answer in this scenario is an enthusiastic, “Anything!”  If you have a cooler you can bring along all the faves and I highly recommend you do, because no matter how careful you are you cannot fully control foods you do not prepare. Hidden calories and unwanted macros in foods can add up.  If you can, always bring your own.  Activities like camping offer a fun challenge to cook healthy foods in a new environment, and nothing tastes as good as pancakes made on the camp stove before a day of hiking and exploring!

5) If preparing food is not an option scope out your food options ahead of time, know where the healthy picks are and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need when it comes to the way foods are prepared.  I’ll often ask for sauces and dressings on the side to avoid over dressed food, and choose baked options over fried.  Know your and look at menu options as blocks rather than complete meals and order accordingly.  For example you see they offer salmon, broccoli, and quinoa in separate dishes or as sides.  You know salmon is a protein, broccoli a green veggie full of fiber and quinoa a complex carbohydrate would make a well balanced plate, ask if they can be served together.  Boom!  Healthy food on the go.

The idea of vacation is to have fun and take a break from the norm.  That doesn’t mean you have to throw all your gains out the window, it also doesn’t mean you don’t get to indulge a bit or have a great time.  Coming back from vacation and returning to everyday routines can be daunting as it is, keeping up with your fitness and nutrition regimen while on the go will make the transition that much easier, this is a lifestyle after all!  Remembering that food is fuel for adventure and activity, and moving your body will lend to experiencing a place in a richer more rewarding way is key.  Don’t get caught on the sidelines of your vacation and let it run you, take the reigns, plan, move and enjoy!!!

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christine doing yoga in a beach grove

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