Whether you are planning a local staycation, cross-country family getaway, or even an international excursion, for most Americans the summer and holiday months are full of travel. In fact more than half of Americans report that they intend to vacation in July, followed in quantity by August, June and September. With so many of us on the go, it is easy to be thrown off of a regular schedule and routine when it comes to your health and self-care. From overindulging in cheat meals and poolside cookouts to skipping weeks in the gym, the pitfalls are everywhere. However, creating a few easy and healthy habits can help keep you on track while on the move.
Food fueled fun
Creating healthy eating habits before you embark on your vacation can be key to maintaining an effective self-care regimen while traveling. Like any habit, healthy eating habits only take about 21 days to develop, if you are dedicated.
Planning healthy meals, even while traveling, is key to sustaining progress made. Decisions, like stopping at grocery stores and fresh markets instead of fast food restaurants on road trips, or going to the vendor that sells salads in the airport versus the burger stand, can make or break your momentum. In addition to making healthy meal choices, snacking is equally important. Eating small and frequent amounts of healthy foods such as nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables can help boost your energy and metabolism ensuring that you get the most out of your trip while maximizing your natural fat burning ability. Let your food power you through your trips, no one wants to be stuck with the “itis” and tired on vacation.
Quality over quantity sleep
One of the more overlooked aspects of general health is sleep and its importance beyond feeling well rested. When you sleep your body is actually busy at work repairing and healing damaged tissue resulting in lower levels of inflammation, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as type 2 diabetes due to insulin regulation, among other things.
While many of us go on vacation with rest in mind, often times we end up actually sleeping less on vacation than we do in our regular lives. It is true that you do not want to sleep through your experience in a new exciting place; however finding time to get quality sleep is vital, with an emphasis on quality.
Getting a few hours of good quality sleep can be more beneficial than long hours in the bed with poor rest. Whether you are getting your extra zZz’s in while in transit from one place to the next, or simply sleeping in a few extra minutes, your vacation and overall health will benefit from a rejuvenating quality sleep.
Much like dietary habits, routines that include regular exercise and physical activity take time (about 21 days) to develop but have benefits that extend far beyond those thirty minutes in the gym. Establishing a regular schedule that allows you to workout at the same time every day creates regularity that your body will eventually crave, even while on vacation and away from home.
Once the habit is formed, maintaining consistency while on the go is vital and may be a challenge. However, this may be the perfect chance to break away from the monotony of your everyday workout routine and incorporate exercises that you can do with little to no equipment virtually anywhere, like a hotel room.
A fun way to incorporate exercise into your trips may be to go for a walk or run at your regular workout time or morning to explore your new surroundings. So on your next trip start your days with a run on the beach, hike on a nearby trail or jog through the local town and see what the city has to offer beyond the window.