Is It Possible to Live The Healthier Life on Vacation?
Summer is almost here which means it’s time to plan summer vacations! The beach. The lake. Camping with the family. Summer offers countless opportunities to get away and see new (or familiar) surroundings. While our destinations may change each summer, one thing stays the same … vacations can wreck the healthier life. Fear not! With a little bit of planning and research you can keep your vacays from undoing all of your hard work.
Staying active is probably the hardest thing to do while on vacation – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are few easy ways to keep moving while on vacation.
1. Hit the trail
One of the absolute easiest ways to stay active on vacation is by exploring the area’s nature trails. Nature trails offer both an informative and fun way to see a local area while burning between 225 and 480 calories/hour (depending on whether the trail is flat, hilly or “extreme”). Websites like Trails.com and Traillink.com offer easy-to-use trail finders that locate trails and hiking paths based upon zip code, city or state. Best for: Mountain/lake/beach/city get-aways.
2.Take a kayak or canoe excursion
Most lakes and public beaches offer kayak and canoe rentals and excursions. Kayaking burns an average of 320 calories per hour and, because it is an amazing upper body workout, you are able to sneak in a little weight training! Paddling.net allows users to locate paddling locations all across the U.S. and Canada. Best for: Mountain/lake/beach/city get-aways.
3. Ride a horse
Let you inner cowgirl out and saddle up! Horseback riding is a great way to see the beauty of the local area while burning around 250 calories/hour. Best for: Mountain/beach get-aways.
4. Try-out a walking/biking tour of the city
Seeing a new locale doesn’t have to happen in a car or a bus. You can explore new locales with a walking tour (around 200 calories/hour) or biking tour (around 380 calories/hour). Sites like Viator.com offer organized trips (for a fee) while most local visitor’s bureaus or tourism offices offer free self-guided tour. Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory is an absolutely wonderful site for locating tourism offices all across the world. Best for: City get-aways.
5. Climb a rock.
For the adventurous types, rock climbing is an amazing way to stay active on vacation. Rock climbing can burn up to 700 calories/hour! Rockclimbing.com allows you to search for natural and indoor rock climbing locations all over the world. Best for: Mountain get-aways.
6. Visit the animals
Who says staying active has to be boring? By walking around a zoo for two or more hours, you can burn around 400 calories (even more if the zoo has a hilly terrain). Best for: City get-aways.
7. Go fishing
Although not a huge calorie burner (between 125 – 200 calories/hour) fishing engages your core, back and upper body. For more of a workout, try deep sea fishing – where fighting against the waves add to the calorie burning effects. FunFix.com has a list of horseback riding locations across the country. Best for: Mountain/lake/beach get-aways.
8. Take a swim
It almost seems like a no brainer, but swimming is an excellent vacation (and every day) calorie burner. You can burn between 385 (splashing around in the water) and 700 (swimming vigorously in the ocean) calories/hour. Plus swimming is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that doesn’t put added pressure on your joints. Best for: Mountain/lake/beach/city get-aways.
9. Enjoy a jog
Jogging is a great way to explore a new city. MapMyRun.com has a database of over 25 million running routes around the country (bonus: most of the routes are added by locals). If you are going to the coast, jogging on the beach is an intense (and strangely relaxing) way to stay active.. Because of the uneven surface of the sand, jogging on the beach increases resistance and can increase your calorie burning level by 10%. Best for: Lake/beach/city get-aways.
Other suggestions include scuba diving, zip lining, white water rafting, paintball, renting jet-skis, bungee diving, hang gliding, skiing (in the water and on the snow), snowboarding, wind sailing … the list goes on and on. Luckily FunFix.com has resources for just about any outdoor adventure you can think of. And if all else fails, you can hit the fitness center at your local hotel.
Believe it or not, it is possible to eat well on vacation. The most important step is to tell yourself that going on vacation is not your opportunity to eat like a pig. Why undo all of your hard work because of one week? Eating healthy isn’t a punishment, it’s a way of life. And besides, have you ever eaten fried foods after not having touched “junk” in a few months? I have and I spent four days sick to my stomach and unable to eat or drink anything without getting sick. Not the best way to spend a vacation. Here a few suggestions to keep you on track.
1. Research restaurants in the area
By knowing what the area has to offer, you can make healthier dining choices. RestaurantRow.com allows you find restaurants based on the city, cuisine or restaurant name. It’s a great way to know what your options are before ever leaving your house.
2. Rent a room with a kitchenette
I know, I know… cooking while we are at home is hard enough, why would we want to do it on vacation? This is one of the easiest ways to monitor what you eat. When my family goes to the coast, we always stay in a condo with a kitchen. We don’t eat every meal there, but we usually always make breakfast and lunch at the condo. Not only does it allow us to control what we are eating, but it saves a ton of money!
3. Pack a lunch
If you know you are going to be out for most of the day, pack a lunch. This is especially true if you are going on a hike or a kayak excursion. A picnic is a great way to take in the sites while fueling your body with healthy foods.
4. Bring snacks
If you aren’t one for packing lunches, then make sure you have snacks on hand. Ensuring that you have something to eat while you are out will stop you from overeating later. Tours take longer than expected, you can get lost or you can simply lose track of time and before you know it you are starving because you haven’t eaten in several hours. When we are extremely hungry, we make poor decisions. Having snacks on hand is an easy way to stop from sabotaging your healthier life.
5. Make smart choices
In a perfect world, we can control what we eat. When we are in new places it becomes more difficult. The main thing to remember is to make smart choices. If your travel companion absolutely has to have pizza while in Chicago then by all means have pizza! But instead of eating 2 or 3 pieces of the supreme deep dish pizza with extra cheese, have one piece and a salad. Eating a salad beforehand is an easy way to fill your belly with lots of fiber, making it easier to feel satiated quickly. Almost all restaurants offer salads – just be sure to ask for the dressing on the side!
When all is said and done, having fun is the most important part of any vacation! Eating well and staying active is a vital part of the healthier life, but having fun is what makes it all worth while.