Vacations are supposed to be fun and exciting, but vacation can be scary for someone in a great routine of eating healthy and exercising. Odds are, you won’t be able to stick with your same routine, which could mean losing ground on your goals.
Just because you’re going to be away for a few days or weeks doesn’t mean you need to throw it all out the window (although that is a common mindset). However, if you’re truly committed to your health and wellness goals, here are 5 tips to keep your fitness and nutrition on track while still enjoying your vacation.
Prefer videos over blog posts? Watch FFIT’s Sylvia Darby break down how to stay on track with fitness and nutrition goals on YouTube.
1. Plan Ahead
Sometimes we sound like a broken record, but when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That couldn’t be more true than when you face the uncertainty of vacationing in a new place. So well in advance of heading out the door, start to think about details like:
- Where are you going?
- Who will you be with, and what do those people like to eat or do?
- What restaurants are close by?
- When do you plan to get up in the morning?
- What will your days look like?
- Are there times you can exercise?
- How do you want to feel while you’re on vacation and also when you return home?
- What do you want to experience while you’re away?
Think through the answers to these questions and use this information to make a plan upfront. Once you grasp where you’ll be and what types of things you’ll be doing, it makes it easier to decide how you’ll eat and where you’ll fit in physical activity during your trip.
2. Drop Your Excuses
If you go into your vacation saying, “I’m not going to be able to keep eating healthy while I’m away,” or “There’s just no time to exercise while I’m on vacation,” then that’s what will happen. Instead, drop those excuses and make the vacation what you want to make it.
Try flipping those excuses to say, “My eating might look a bit different while away, but I’m going to choose the best meals I can and commit to eating one salad each day.” “I might not be taking a group fitness class, but I commit to moving my body in some way for 30 minutes each day, whether that’s playing in the pool with the kids or taking a walk with my spouse.”
3. Decide What Really Matters on Vacation
Before you reach your destination, decide what matters most. Do you want to have new experiences? Do you want to try new foods? If that’s the case, find new, exciting restaurants and let that be where you splurge when it comes to your nutrition.
If mindless snacking on packaged cookies isn’t what really matters (after all, that’s not exactly new and interesting, is it?), then leave them. Instead, wait for the tastes and flavors you don’t have an opportunity to have at home and enjoy every single bite.
4. Figure Out How You’ll Be Active
If your vacation destination allows it, can you plan activities to get you and your family moving? Think about trying surfing, skiing, hiking, or other natural activity. If opportunities for movement are limited, then plan when you’re going to work out.
If you don’t think about it and plan for it, you won’t do it. Early morning is generally the best time to get in a sweat session, especially if you’re traveling with others. After everyone wakes up, your days tend to be at the mercy of other people, whether kids, friends, or family members. Keep in mind that you don’t have to get up and exercise every day, but try to get in movement more days than not. Doing so will give you more energy and leave you feeling better when you come home.
5. Plan Your Return Home
Have you ever gone on vacation and come home exhausted to an empty fridge and a jam-packed week ahead? Often, that first night you get back turns into ordering pizza or picking up food on the road.
Instead, set yourself up for success when you come home. Before you leave, figure out when you’ll get groceries or decide to have groceries delivered the day you get back. Decide what you’re eating the night you get home.
It’s also critical to plan those first few post-vacation workouts. Before letting your mind slip into vacation mode, decide when and what your first post-vacation workout will be. Will you go for a run the day you get back or get in a 20-minute bodyweight workout? Try to do something as close to arriving home as possible to shake off the vacation dust and get back into your groove.
The Last Word About Staying on Track With Fitness and Nutrition While on Vacation
When you’re committed to fitness and nutrition goals, you’re the only one that can get you off track. Of course, you won’t be able to keep the exact same schedule and work out at the same times as you do at home, but just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you need to be sedentary and eat terribly while you’re away. Planning ahead to stay on track means you’ll come home feeling well-rested and ready to crush your goals again.
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