Now I know what you’re going to say – who wants to work out while they’re on vacation? You’ve spent weeks dieting or exercising just so you can indulge shamelessly and guilt-free on your pizzas, pastas, and gelato. Well don’t worry, these tips are not about working out while on vacation, but more so just healthy habits in general to keep in mind while traveling.
Some backstory: I recently spent a month in Europe, and it was the longest time I ever spent without working out. Straying from my morning routine was tough, but once I finally let myself relax and keep these tips in mind, I came back only a few lbs heavier, looking happy, healthy, and tanned – oh how I miss my European tan! :'(
So here are my top 5 tips on staying fit during vacation, however long your trip may be:
#1- Drink lots of water.
If the tap water is not clean where you are, make sure you have mineral water bottles on hand wherever you are. Keep them stocked in the place you are staying so you can easily reach for them in the morning and carry one around with you during the day. Staying hydrated is what keeps your body in check, and aids in the digestion process. It also keeps you full so you won’t be tempted to overeat. Water = essential!
#2- Walk everywhere.
If your vacation is to just laze around at a resort on the beach all day, then walking will be a bit harder to do. Replace walking with swimming, since swimming is an excellent workout for your body. Try to walk or swim for each hour of lying down, just to keep your body moving and excess calories burning. If your trip consists of sight-seeing, take advantage of that extra movement! Skip the taxi if possible, and walk around the city and explore if you have the extra time, or take the bus if the distance between sights is too far. Sight-seeing takes up an incredible amount of your day, and you’re walking the whole time, so it’s an easy way to get those steps in and burn cals. My personal best? Over 25,000 steps! You bet I ate a celebratory spaghetti dinner that night.
#3- Pack resistance bands.
Resistance bands are an effective and versatile training tool that you can use absolutely anywhere. Bonus: they weigh practically nothing, so you can take them with you in your carry-on or backpack. For those of you who have never heard of these bad boys, they’re basically like giant, thick rubber bands which offer different levels of resistance – usually light, medium, and heavy. You can purchase mini bands which are ideal for lateral movement exercises, hip and glute activation, and various leg workouts. I packed my mini bands with me, but only used them a handful of times since I was so busy most days. If you plan on indulging quite a bit during your trip, I recommend bringing these bands as you can at least get some juicy booty gains out of it. Just try to fit in a 10 minute workout with them in the morning before you go out, and then you won’t feel bad about eating so much rich, delicious food throughout the day. It’s a win-win.
#4- Listen to your body.
Just because you may have access to an entire bakery’s worth of desserts, doesn’t mean you have to try them all. Do treat yourself, but listen to your body at the same time. If your body wants to eat a couple pastries for breakfast, allow yourself to indulge. But definitely tune in and listen to when your body tells you that it is full. We went to a restaurant in Nice that did these massive, size-of-your-head style personal pizzas. I ordered one and went all out with the intention of eating every bite, but didn’t even get close to finishing it. I barely even got halfway before I felt like I was getting full, and decided I was finished. I listened to my body, and that’s totally okay! If your body is sick of sweet treats and wants something a bit lighter and healthier, give it that too. Eat a salad, drink a green juice, or have a smoothie bowl. If you want to have that extra dessert or that extra slice of pizza, go for it. It’s all about balance. Just remember that it’s okay to eat what you want and indulge, so long as you listen to your body and stop when you’re about 80% full.
#5- Don’t stress.
Remember — you’re on vacation. If you can’t find access to healthy food, then don’t sweat it. You’ve worked hard for this time off, and now it’s time to relax. Stressing about every little thing you eat isn’t healthy, and will only bring you more suffering rather than peace of mind. It’s better to come back from your trip 5-10 lbs heavier, but a lot happier and fulfilled, rather than coming back the same weight, but full of regrets about not being able to eat the foods you wanted. My friend once told me she went to Paris with an eating disorder when she was young, and she wasn’t able to try the delicious breads and pastries the city had to offer. This was a huge regret of hers, and it hit me hard. I was sure to eat all of the carbs for her on my trip to make up for it. If you gain weight on your trip like I did – it’s not the end of the world. You will come home and work it off eventually. Or maybe, you might even like yourself a little curvier. So don’t skip that tempting dessert at dinner because you’re worried about gaining a few extra lbs. Your happiness is more important. 🙂
Now happy traveling! <3
The Mindful Strawberry