Pack your bags, dust off your tents and tune up the RV — August is here, and it’s vacation time! Everyone deserves quality time to kick back and relax, but it’s all too common for a short vacation to transform into a free-for-all binge session, causing all previous fitness progress to evaporate. Don’t allow a vacation to force you two steps back with your health and fitness goals.
Stock a large cooler
What’s the worst way to break the bank while on vacation? Eating three meals a day in restaurants. By the time a family of four has finished an uninspired breakfast of pancakes and lukewarm eggs, you’ve shelled out $60. And what’s worse? Your order of biscuits and gravy is now bloating your belly enough to postpone your hike near the Grand Canyon or that bike ride you promised the kids. The best way to avoid this scenario is to pack a large cooler with provisions for multiple meals and healthy drinks for hydration. Once you arrive at your destination, shop locally to purchase a few days’ worth of groceries. Cold cuts, fruits and veggies, cheese and crackers will establish your mini-kitchen. Plus, most hotels provide an ice machine to fill your cooler. If you’re heading out for the day and not returning to your hotel until night, pack that cooler so lunch and a snack is covered. A little bit of planning with meal prep can save you money and time.
Lighten up libations
Let’s say you don’t want to put in the work toward meal prep, and you prefer to relax by chowing down on pizza and boneless wings. And what pairs best with bar food? A pitcher of beer, of course. However, with this evening out, you’ve downed over 10,000 calories in just one sitting. Running one hundred 100 meter sprints wouldn’t even put a dent in that! While relaxing on vacation, consider skipping the booze and just enjoy the couple of slices of pizza. Or flip it and skip the food. Drink up, but be sure to call an Uber.
Embrace all things new
If the point of a vacation for you is to explore new territory, then uphold the same philosophy when it comes to your activity. If you’re headed to Colorado, be sure to do some hiking in the wilderness. If you’re traveling to a coastline, brisk walks along the beach will invigorate. Take advantage of new activities you probably wouldn’t do at home: cross snorkeling or parasailing off your bucket list, paddleboard with a GoPro, or go climbing on different types of terrain. The possibilities for memorable journeys are endless.
Pack light, pack right
An unknown author once said, “Vacation is a period of travel and relaxation when you take twice the clothes and half the money you need.” Over-packing is all too common, yet totally preventable. If you’re looking to remain active while away from home, only pack athletic or walking shoes (as well as socks), and wicking, comfortable clothing. A comfy pair of shoes will allow you to walk from place to place while seeing a new city or town from a different perspective. Only traveling a few blocks for dinner and a show? Don’t waste money on a taxi. Hit the sidewalks and burn a few calories while trekking the town on foot.
Take advantage of freebies
Most hotels these days are equipped with decent basement gyms or swimming pools. Wake up an extra hour early to hit the gym in the facility — you’re paying for it in your room cost. If you’re concerned about time, try bodyweight circuit workouts or inclined intervals on the treadmill. You’ll be huffing and puffing in seconds. Once you’re finished, stop by the hotel lobby to fuel up with a complimentary continental breakfast. The choices you’ll find here aren’t half bad, and many hotels these days are purchasing more health conscious brand names for foods like yogurt and cereal. A soft boiled egg over a slice of wheat toast and peanut butter makes a meal with a complete protein and sustaining energy that will serve you throughout the day.