With summer just around the corner, thoughts of your next vacation may be fresh on your mind. Whether you love the beach, the mountains or exploring a new city, you will want to make the best of your trip, and that means staying healthy while you are away. For many vacation-goers, the addition of a few pounds while trying new foods and lounging on the beach with your favorite adult beverage is par for the course. But, with a little planning and some forethought, you can totally stay on track with your goals of living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining your weight while you’re away. Here are my top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while traveling.
By: Ruth Ungerer AKA “Fit Mom”
N0. 1 – SLEEP, SLEEP, & MORE SLEEP!
The most important thing you can do while traveling is sleep. Your body needs rest when you’re physically traveling, crossing time zones, carrying luggage to and from destinations, walking all day, and so forth. Traveling is harsh on your body so make sure you get plenty of rest. How much is enough? Don’t set your alarm. Let your body wake up when it’s ready. Listen to your body. I usually run on 7 hours of sleep, but if I need a few more zzzzzs, my body will let me know.
N0. 2 – BEGIN YOUR DAY WITH BREAKFAST.
When eating out, opt for eggs with veggies, some turkey bacon and fresh fruit. The protein will keep you feeling full and the veggies will keep you regular while providing you with much needed vitamins.
N0. 3 – PACK HEALTHY SNACKS.
Snacks such as fruit, nuts, greek yogurt or turkey jerky will stave off those hunger pains and prevent you from overeating or indulging in processed foods that will keep those cravings coming.
No 4. – CHOOSE ACTIVITIES THAT KEEP YOUR BODY MOVING!
My idea of vacation is definitely one that involves excursions or exploring the area I’m visiting. If you’re near the water, try kyaking, rafting, paddleboarding, body surfing, or just fun beach activities like paddle ball or bocce. Even just standing will burn extra calories and will prevent you from mindlessly snacking. The bottom line here is just to move your body! Whether you are hiking, playing tennis or mini golf with your kids, you are getting your steps in and teaching your family that activity is FUN!
No. 5 – PACE YOURSELF.
Don’t try to see the entire city all in one day. If you plan to do a lot in a big city, consider staying longer to really take in the sights and sounds. You’ll also get to know the area more instead of just being able to say that you’ve “been there.”
N0. 6 – STRETCH
Whether you’re doing a lot of standing, lounging or walking, starting the day off with a good stretch will keep you feeling refreshed. Stretch your legs, back, arms, neck, etc. Better yet, find a pretty spot and wake up with a few yoga poses to not only stretch your body but to establish mental clarity. I love to find a quiet spot in nature where I can hear the birds and other wildlife. If that’s not possible, it is pretty easy to sneak in simple neck and shoulder stretches throughout the day while you’re waiting for your food, the bathroom, transportation, etc. It’s also a good idea to stretch right before bedtime because it relaxes your muscles and promotes a good night’s sleep.
No. 7 – EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES.
When eating out, be sure to include plenty of fruits and veggies!! Ask for a side of veggies instead of fries, order a salad with vinaigrette on the side, stop by a local market and pick up some fresh fruit. The fiber will fill you up and keep your colon happy.
No. 8 – HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!
Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Add some lemon or lime for a burst of flavor and sip throughout the day. If you are feeling sluggish and have a dull headache, you may be dehydrated. Water will keep you feeling energized and will keep your skin glowing. So, drink up!!! Your body will THANK YOU.
N0. 9 – WALK OR BIKE EVERYWHERE
Get your daily exercise and truly learn about a place at the same time. I love to take in the sights by foot, but if you have sightseeing destinations a little further away, renting a bike can be so much fun. Many cities have bike lanes and a place for parking. You’ll get your heart rate up, tone your legs, and see the city at the same time. Going to the beach? Even better! Rent a bike for the week and avoid the traffic. On the 5th floor? Take the stairs and skip the elevator. All those steps will add up and you’ll reach 10,000 before you know it.
N0. 10 – HAVE AN EXERCISE ROUTINE
If you are one who enjoys a gym, be sure to get a hotel with a fitness center. Personally, my favorite way to stay fit on vacation is to find a bench or a trail and do some body weight exercises. Think push-ups, squats, lunges, planks. You can work your entire body in minutes and it’s FREE!! I also like to go for a jog around the neighborhood I’m visiting. Make it a circuit and every other post or telephone pole can be an opportunity to do something fun (jumping jacks, lunges, side kicks, squat jumps, etc.) Just make it a priority. Start your day with intention and those good actions will help you make positive choices throughout the day.
No. 11 – TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
It can be difficult to eat a healthy balanced meal with all the essential vitamins when traveling, so take your daily multi-vitamins to supplement your meals.
No. 12 – PROTECT YOUR SKIN
Protect your skin from being outdoors by wearing sunscreen with minimum SPF 15. Reapply every two hours if you can. Nothing ruins a vacation like a tender sunburn, so lather up.
No. 13 – GET ENERGY FROM A PROTEIN SMOOTHIE.
Bring a protein powder and mix it in a magic bullet. My go-tos on the road are protein smoothies. Add some spinach and a little peach and you’ll have energy all day long.
No. 14 – BRING YOUR HAND SANITIZER.
The last thing you want on vacation is to catch a cold or virus. Keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse comes in handy when water and soap aren’t available, which can happen quite frequently when traveling
MEET THE FIT MOM:
Ruth Ungerer is a mom of three boys and has mastered incorporating health and fitness into very busy lifestyles. She has been training women in the Lawrenceville area for the past 15 years. Her passion is connecting with women, teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle and empowering them to be the best version of themselves. She trains her clients both locally and online, providing them with dynamic workouts, a detailed meal plan and tremendous support, so they are equipped with everything they need to be successful.
Ruth considers age just a number, and at 47, she is an avid tennis player, loves to run, bike, swim, do acroyoga, water ski and pretty much anything on the lake. She has coached soccer for 10+ years and has run speed and agility clinics for both tennis and soccer programs locally.
If you’d like more information about her programs, check out gethealthywithfitmom.com.