Friday, May 17, 2013

Guest article: How to Stay Healthy while on Vacation by Cole Millen

Taking a vacation is a wonderful way to reduce stress and improve productivity at work and at home. Taking yourself out of the normal routine can be exhilarating, but many vacationers end up packing on those extra pounds they worked so hard to get off before their retreat. In order to stay healthy and fit while on your getaway, there are a few simple steps you can follow to retain that pre-vacation body.
Depending on how long you are in transit, one way you can maintain a healthy diet is to avoid indulging in that greasy airport food. Not only is this food expensive, but it’s also designed for speed and convenience. While this is great for travelers in a rush, it’s not good for your diet. One way you can eliminate these unnecessary calories is to eat before you fly. If you have a long day of traveling ahead of you, try and pack healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, and crackers in your carry-on luggage. This can be a great replacement that will curb your appetite. You should also avoid picking soda for your in-flight drink. Stick to juice or water––this will be better for you in the long run.
Since hotels are a staple for any vacationer, this can also end up being a destructive influence on your diet. When choosing a hotel, make sure you research the quality of the pool and workout facilities, since these features will help you stay slim during your stay. If you prefer not to be stuck in the gym, there are usually activities such as volleyball going on at the pool area that can serve as a good alternative. Although the primary goal on a vacation is to relax and socialize, you can always look for group fitness classes that fit your style. Some hotels have complimentary sessions or appointments with personal trainers. Make sure to look into all your options beforehand so you can plan ahead. I recently took a trip to Sin City and found a great site that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels. The reviews not only gave me insight into which hotels were perfect regarding amenities and offerings, but it also had reviews regarding the restaurants in the surrounding area. This allowed me to plan out how to remain healthy while in and out of the hotel!
One of the keys to having a successful vacation is to strike a nice balance. While you want to indulge, you can do so in moderation. Avoid temptation where you can. Refuse (or hide) the key to the minibar, which will help you stay trim and also avoid making a dent in your wallet. If your hotel has a continental breakfast, skip the pancakes and bacon. Especially if it is early in the day, stick to healthier options such as oatmeal, fruit, and whole grain toast. When eating out, be aware that most restaurants serve food that contains higher calorie content than the healthier food you cook at home. I suggest you research the restaurants near your hotel and check the menu offering in advance. Try and avoid chain restaurants and make sure to stay away from any meals that have stuffed, loaded, smothered, battered, creamy, bottomless, or fried in the description. Choose steamed vegetables as a side and if you have the option, pick salad over soup.
Since most vacations are more than just hotel living and restaurant food, you can use your exploring to your advantage. When out on day trips, try and walk as much as possible. Walking is the fastest and easiest way to burn calories while still enjoying your vacation. Also, eat when you’re hungry. It’s easy for busy travelers to forget to eat, but maintaining a regular meal schedule is especially important on vacation. Regular meals will help you cut down on snacking and keep your body in better shape as you sightsee. Drinking water is also very important. If you want to keep your energy up, staying hydrated is the easiest way to keep your body going.
It’s important to unwind while you’re on vacation, but remember to relax your body and mind without relaxing your diet. Stay disciplined, and you’ll come home to an even healthier you!

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