If you’re like me, it’s easy to slip into bad eating and exercise habits while being on vacation. Then, when you return home, you just stick with the unhealthy patterns and before you know it, you’ve gained ten pounds.
However, when we go on vacation, we want to be rejuvenated. We want to be refreshed. So, why not use your vacation as a reset for positive, healthy behavior instead? There are ways to do this. Here are a few:
- Pack your own breakfasts and lunches. This will save you money too, but you can easily pack cereal, oatmeal, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, eggs, yogurt, or bran muffins each day for easy, healthy breakfasts that don’t cost much money. For lunch, deli meat sandwiches, grilled cheese on whole wheat toast, bean and cheese wrapped in tortillas, mini pizzas (pizza sauce and mozzarella on whole wheat English muffins), hummus and crackers, or bepo bars could easily satisfy hungry tummies, be cheap and be easy ways to stay healthy while traveling. Oh, wait, what in the world are bepo bars? Let me explain. When I was a little girl, my mom volunteered at a local natural foods co-op. They had peanut butter energy bars there that I ate all the time called bepo bars. I have since learned how to make them myself. Just combine 1 ¾ cup quick cooking oats, ¾ cup peanut butter, ¼ cup honey, and chocolate chips. These make great snacks too.
- Choose healthier dishes at restaurants. You can order fish, vegetables, or chicken dishes instead of half pound burgers when you go out to eat. Try iced tea instead of soda. And if you need dessert, try frozen yogurt instead.
- Walk as much as you can. If you’re traveling to a tourist destination, take public transportation combined with walking if you can. Walking can be cheap and keep you healthy. I walked miles each day when I traveled to Washington D.C. and New York City. When I went to Charleston, I walked downtown just to see the architecture. And you just feel good while walking and touring. Your legs feel strong and your lungs breathe deeper.
- Choose one active tourist attraction each day. I exercise regularly, but when I’m on vacation, I plan so many activities that I don’t have time to run or lift weights. So, you can take a beautiful hike, bike, walk along the beach, swim, ski, kayak, rock climb, or join the kids at a trampoline park instead. It’s an exercise adventure, which is just a little more fun.
- Don’t forget some quiet time too. Being healthy doesn’t always mean being active. Finding some quiet moments to sit at the beach, swing on a porch swing, sit on a bench and journal, pray, meditate, listen to music or just sit and think can help you concentrate and de-stress. Take some time to set some goals for yourself. Make plans or routines you want to stick to when you get home. Reset and recommit. So, plan some downtime during your vacation too to gain a fresh perspective on life. Spending these quiet moments in nature can also help you destress.
If you take the time to plan healthier choices into your vacation, you’ll return home feeling refreshed for sure. You’ll have taken the time to take care of yourself, reset, destress, and clear your mind. Maybe when you return, you’ll fall into healthy routines instead this time.