How do you maintain your healthy lifestyle on vacation? Do you need to forgo treats? What is your balance?
When you are in the hot pursuit of a healthy and fit life, it can be easy to slide into one of two camps while on vacation. Either you keep up all your exercise and nutrition regimes or you throw every towel in and let loose! Neither is bad, and neither is good. Letting yourself live a little while on vacation can be very rewarding. Taking a break from your regular gym routine can be a blessing in disguise. I have 5 easy tips for encouraging you to find balance while maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle on vacation.
1. Wake up!
This is your golden opportunity to re-fill your sleep bank- allowing you to score 1-2 extra hours each night so you feel rested and refreshed. While it may be tempting to sleep in until noon each day, resist the urge! Vacation mode can throw off your circadian rhythm big time. Try and maintain a similar sleep schedule to when you are at home, working full time. Now if you are traveling far away, cut yourself some slack, and try and adjust to the new time-zone as soon as you can. Once adjusted to the time, wake up no later than 1.5 hours after you normally would, and try to go to bed at a reasonable time. (unless you are having a bonfire on the beach, then by all means, stay snuggled up, watching the flames flicker under the stars and count yourself blessed.)
2. Get Moving- early on!
Fit in a quick workout early in the day. This is an easy and tempting one to skip, but your body will really thank you for it AND you will sleep better at night. Win-win. Don’t make it complicated or long – unless you really want to of course- but do get moving. My favorite thing to do is go on a local run to check out the area, or a fun little circuit! It is easy to string together a bodyweight workout that will elevate your heart and build those muscles. Also, don’t discount active rest days. If you are someone who is always training and on the go (like me) then find your YIN based activities! Put that early wakeup to good use and do a morning beach yoga session. Or, rent a paddle board and go out on the water for a peaceful 30 min session. It doesn’t have to be long, or complicated; in fact, it shouldn’t be. This is the time to be kind to your body and really listen and tune in to what it is asking for. This is also your time to spend with your family and friends so invest into those moments, take everyone for a beach walk, and forget about the gym for a few days. My favorite ways to get my workout in while on vacation are SUPs (stand-up-paddle board), wake surfing, water skiing, beach circuits and short runs. All of these activities, with the exception of water skiing, are not too taxing on my body and they leave me feeling refreshed. Water skiing is a whole different sport! I do find it incredibly challenging, the first one or two laps around the lake. I slalom ski, so both feet are locked into one ski. It is basically like holding a squat, while moving very very fast, on water. It is a total body sport, so after 4 minutes, I am done! I absolutely love it though: I live for those glassy-lake moments at the crack of dawn when no one else is up!
I am literally walking away from my laptop as I write this to go get another glass of water.
Ok I am back.
Hydration is your best friend. Always- but in particular, when you are on vacation. Keeping your body hydrated while on the beach or walking about a new city will make your vacation feel that much better. We lose a lot of water through our skin when we sweat and in the hot temperatures, we sweat that much more! The water will also help to counterbalance the alcohol that will be consumed (no judgement, I am all for a healthy pour of chilled white wine while on vacation). If you want to go ahead and have a beer at lunch, then do so! Just make sure to re-hydrate with a glass or two of water after. Vacation is your time to let-loose a bit, just try to space out your alcohol throughout that day. Skip the sugar-laden beverages like pop, soda and mixed drinks and opt for sparkling water, vodka soda, a mojito or a nice dry cider or light beer.
I love making a great Gin & Tonic with Empress Gin or another locally made spirit. With a squeeze of lime, it is so refreshing! A good rule of thumb to remember is that the lower the sugar content, the better you will feel.
4. Balance your food!
I love joining my family at the local gelato spot while on vacation. I mean, a daily scoop of ice cream or sorbetto is a wonderful treat. If you are having a craving for pizza, find the best spot you can and indulge! Find your 80/20 “everything in moderation” balance while on vacation. A great tip is to ALWAYS have breakfast. This jump-starts your metabolism and is a terrific way to monitor your cravings for the rest of the day. Try to consume a healthy source of protein, fat and carbs with veggies and fruit. Smoothies, eggs and toast with fruit, and fruit cups with greek yogurt and trail mix are always easy and available breakfast choices. Having a balanced breakfast will set your body up the right way and will diminish the amount of cravings you will have throughout the day.
While on vacation in Osoyoos, my daily meal breakdown looked something like this:
- A morning tonic of lemon, greens powder and adaptogens blended up and knocked back
- Protein pancakes for breakfast
- a handful of cherries or apricots for a mid-morning snack
- a BIG salad with protein, fat and carbs at lunch
- more fresh fruit in the afternoon
- Wine + Terra chips
- Dinner: protein, multiple veggies, sweet potato
- a little after dinner treat!
5. Walk away from your phone!
This is a really tough one for me, but it is the most rewarding healthy vacation hack of them all! Because I value my family time so much, I want to remain present in every moment. I do not get to see them very often, so when we are all together, I really cherish each moment. While in Osoyoos, I did take a mini break from Instagram and did not post as regularly. I had zero interest in checking emails and the only time I spent on my computer was uploading my latest youtube video.
When was the last time you left your phone at home when going out with friends or family? To paint with a wide brush stroke here, we, as a collective society, have lost the art form of conducting stimulating conversation. I don’t know about you, but I love to be sitting across from, or right next to, my favorite people in the world, and having a real conversation. There is a connection that is generated that we cannot possibly recreate through social media. I am all about creating lasting connections with the people I love…and if that happens to be on a beach while I am on vacation, all the better for it!
So there you have it, my 5 top tips for having a balanced, healthy and fit vacation! I hope you all have time for an amazing vacation this summer. Practice my 5 tips and I promise you will have an awesome time away that leaves you feeling healthy and rejuvenated!