Vacation doesn’t have to be pure decadence and no one wants to return home from any trip in an unhealthier state than they left in. Of course, when traveling, you may eat differently than when you’re at home and you may have more alcoholic beverages – of course, vacation is also a celebration! After a spring full of happy travel, I had to come home and share my 4 strategies to energize your next vacation.
I feel about vacation similarly to how I feel about the “holidays” – we need to find a way to have fun and enjoy social events without gaining weight and being inactive! If you’re like me and you enjoy a good party, travel a lot, or eat out quite often, you find ways to adapt to that lifestyle but maintain your health. Here are my best tips for how to have an active vacation and still have an absolute blast.Click To Tweet
How to Have an Active Vacation
Choose an active location
I may be among the few people willing to travel to the arctic circle in the middle of winter, but Finalnd this past February was a blast! We were able to be outside every day downhill and cross country skiing, taking long walks in the snow and even dog sledding. Alternatively, seek a vacation where you have warm outdoor activities like swimming, golf, hiking volcanoes, snorkeling or scuba diving. Even if thrilling activities aren’t your speed, you could find an activity-based cruise, somewhere with rolling hills to explore, or seek a yoga or fitness retreat where you can go at your own pace. The possibilities are endless!
Make physical activity part of each day
Even on travel days, get out there and get active! My Fitbit has been very helpful in understanding my activity levels on different days when traveling. I understand that if you’re flying, you’re sitting but take advantage of doing some laps at the airport or hitting the ground running with a fitness class or hike is critical for these big days. I will drop into an Orange Theory or Soul Cycle class when I’m on the road – check out my post about how to do that with ease here.
Taking public transportation is an easy way to get more activity and also see the sights when traveling. Go on an active tour – some of my most memorable recently are Alcatraz in San Francisco, Dachau in Munich, a biking tour of New Orleans and a hike on the bluffs in Mallorca. When you plan an educational, sight-seeing activity, you stay on your feet and also have powerful experiences learning about the place you have traveled to.
3.Make the best choice you can at each meal
It’s not always easy – I know it! I have some food allergies and some specific dietary needs and certain places are easier to accommodate that than others. One thing I DO know is that you make a serious choice at least three times per day regarding what you put into your body. When you’re looking at a menu, choose the healthiest thing you can while also exploring local cuisine. When we landed in Finland, I was happy to learn that they have lots of veggies there and perch as well! I had a some lovely salads with those foods as well as Finnish cheese and local berries – it was wonderful – and lighter than a slab of reindeer. New Orleans was a sincere challenge and when you find yourself in a decadent culture, manage your portions, make the best decisions you can and feel free to indulge a little without guilt.
4. Focus on sleep
The only way to truly be active is if you feel well enough to do it. Jet-lagged and low energy or sick, you’ll be spending time indoors instead of out exploring. If you’re flying across several time zones, strategize sleep on the plane or staying awake when you land so that you can adjust quickly. If it speaks to you and you’ve checked with your doctor, you can always experiment with a supplement like melatonin. Create normalcy to your sleep schedule. On the plane, get “ready” for bed by brushing your teeth, drinking tea or any other rituals that may help tell your body that it’s time for rest. Travel with an eye mask and ear plugs and have an app or calming music ready if you need it. Focus on sleep to optimize your physical activity on vacation.
What do you think? What are your strategies to energize your next vacation?
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.