Vacation. The time to “escape” from reality and have some fun. But alas, it can also break that nice little routine you may have going with your workouts and eating. So how do you prevent a vacation from a setback?
The answer may not appear simple. There are so many vacation scenario’s – an all inclusive cruise or resort; a trip to a major destination (Hawaii, Paris, The Caribbean, etc.); visit family; camping….and more. Each poses it’s own issues with regards to keeping up with your workout program, and more importantly can really throw curveballs at your nutrition (I was just in Oahu, Hawaii, and the food choices were wide and varied and all so tempting – and I think Hawaii has the best food of anywhere I’ve ever travelled to).
But there is a simple answer. That simple answer is: Think ahead and plan accordingly. Think about your particular trip and what’s available to you, and adjust your plan of attack accordingly.
Here’s a few thoughts on scenario’s I have experienced first hand:
On cruises, many ships have fitness facilities, so there is no problem getting in some sort of exercise. You can jog around the deck or on a track if the ship has one. Also, see the next paragraph for in room ideas. Regarding food, you can order off the menu and ask for less butter etc. Just portion control, and hold back on licking the plate clean if the portions are large, and indulge in a few bites of the delicious deserts instead of devouring the whole thing. I haven’t been to an all inclusive, but I assume it’s somewhat similar.
If you travel to a hotel with a kitchen, great. Make your own breakfast and lunches to save $$, and maybe even a dinner or two. Make something fancy – you’re on vacation. At restaurants, try to order smart. Request cooking in little or no butter, get dressing on the side, don’t get desert. Look for hotels with fitness facilities as many have them, even if they’re small. Buy a set of exercise bands for travelling. You can find discounts at local gyms if there are any. You can jog. If there’s a pool, swim laps for 1/2 hour. You can find simple routines on the internet to workout in your room – combinations of crunches, squats, lunges, burpees, jumping jacks, push ups with variations, mountain climbers, sprinting in place. These are all things that can be done in any room without equipment.
Camping is no different. When you treat yourself to a restaurant, there’s usually healthy alternatives for you. And cooking and camping go well together. Chicken, pork, fish. Salads and steamed veggies. As far as exercising, same as with hotels (minus the fitness facilities). You can bring bikes along. Maybe you’re into kayaking. In my case, I take my exercise mat, DVD’s, and my laptop along and workout at the campsite.
In short, there’s really no need to treat a vacation much differently then at home. Maybe you’re escaping work, or family issues – a vacation is about cleansing the mind. But with your own body, nothing should be different. Nutrition wise it may be more challenging if your only alternative are restaurants, so you just have to commit yourself to ordering healthy and maybe not finishing everything. Any supplements you take at home should come for the ride and be taken every day as you always do. Maybe you have to modify a protein shake if you use a blender, but with ice and water and a shaker cup you should be at a minimum good to go. There is always a way to workout wherever you are. It may not be your regular routine, but something is better than nothing.