Traveling Light: Stay Healthy on Vacation

Daily Health Solutions, Featured Article, Healthy Living, Healthy Travel
on July 12, 2012

“Summer” and “vacation” go hand-in-hand, but taking a vacation doesn’t mean you get to take a vacation from your healthy habits. While it’s OK to indulge a little now and then, why ruin all the progress you’ve made with a week of sabotage? Even when you’re traveling and breaking your day-to-day routine, it’s still possible to get your workouts in and eat healthy. All it takes is a little planning. Here are few ways to take your healthy habits and fit lifestyle on the road.

Bring your exercise equipment with you.

Don’t worry; you won’t need to check an extra bag for this. You just need two things: workout DVDs and stretchy tubing for strength training moves. When there’s no gym in the hotel, or the hotel’s version of a gym is a treadmill in a closet, your workout DVDs will save you. Most home workout programs don’t require much space, and they get the job done well.

Continue your strength-training regimen by replacing your weights with tubing.  Tubing is very affordable, and while it may look harmless, by choking up on the band, you can create the same resistance as a set of free weights.

RELATED: How To Not Get Fat On Your Trip

Plan activities that keep you on the move.

Rather than lounging by the pool for an entire week, plan activities that keep you on the move as part of your vacation. Take a walk or jog on the beach, plan a hike, strike up a game of beach volleyball—find fun and creative ways to incorporate physical activity into your vacation. While on vacation with my family in Maui, we rent bikes for the week. It’s an inexpensive way to enjoy the island and stay active. Not only will you burn more calories, but you’ll create wonderful memories in the process.

Have your best playlist ready.

Music is a universal motivator, so have your iPod ready with your favorite tunes to get you in the mood to move. A great app to help you put together a killer playlist is FitRadio or simply type in “cardio workout” in the playlist area of your Itunes store.

Keep healthy snacks on hand.

Having healthy snacks prepped and ready to go can save you from splurging on greasy airport food. Instead, carry non-perishable foods like protein bars, raw almonds, freeze-dried fruit or a good meal replacement shake to help you stay on track and save those calories for a more satisfying night out. And don’t be shy about ordering a mini-fridge to your room. This will allow you to keep fresh food at your fingers tips instead of being at the mercy of overpriced, calorie-laden room service.

Be a picky restaurant eater.

For many of us, traveling means going out to eat for most meals. However, you can still find healthy options at most restaurants just by being a picky eater.  Don’t be afraid to ask how meals are prepared and politely ask for modifications.  Avoid foods that are fried or covered in sauces or butter. Ask that food be prepared with a cooking spray instead of butter, and request sauces and dressings on the side. Swap out a side of fries for a side of veggies. Many modifications can be made to most meals to make them healthier, and surprisingly, most restaurants are very accommodating to special requests if you make them politely.