Whether you’re escaping to the great outdoors, sipping pina coladas on a beach or exploring the city, taking a break from your hectic routine can be an excellent thing for the mind and body. However, with endless options for cocktails, local cuisine and sweet treats, your fitness and diet routine can quickly go out of whack.
This read isn’t about fitness routines you can do while on vacation. It’s tough to watch what you eat (and drink) while traveling -- and who wants to stick to a strict fitness plan when you’re supposed to be relaxing?
Instead, here are five easy hacks to keep a healthy lifestyle when you’re enjoying some much-anticipated downtime.
Book a hotel with easy gym access
When planning your vacation, one of the first things you should do is book a hotel that’s located near easily accessible walking/running trails and has a gym or offers a concierge fitness program. Properties that cater to the fitness conscious can help you squeeze in a quick sweat sesh when on the road. A hotel with a gym prevents you from using the excuse that you don’t have time.
It literally takes five minutes to walk down to the hotel gym. Do a quick 20-minute interval workout and go about your travels. Here's a killer interval one you can do in your hotel room:
– 10 squats
– 15 squat jumps
– 20 pulsing squats
– 25 burpees
Complete five rounds as quickly as you can, safely and with no rest in between, and then go about your day.
If you’re big on running, don’t focus on your strict routine. Instead, use your training time to sight-see the town. Strava is a great app to help you map out scenic run routes. Alternatively, check with your concierge.
Explore the town and try something new
Mix it up. Whether you want to walk, bike, swim or run, schedule your days so that they include a little sweat. “The best thing to do when traveling is to plan adventures every day that involve moving your body. That could involve running to a destination or renting a bike to check out a trail or anything that gives you the satisfaction of dipping into the location and ... moving your body,” suggests Jax Mariash, ultrarunner and founder of Stoked Roasters.
Abide by the three-bite rule
If planning isn’t your thing, Cate Ritter, owner of Cate’s Nutrition, recommends that you comply with the three-bite rule. “This is exactly as it sounds: Enjoy three bites of anything you like and then call it quits. A relaxed attitude towards eating is going to be much healthier for your sanity, which will make it easier to stay on track the rest of your trip,” she shares.
Those who frequently restrict their eating habits create more stress on their lifestyle, which can contribute to indulging even more. Commit to your treats and savor each bite or sip.
Plan out your meals and indulgences
On top of the three-bite rule, map out which meal will be your cheat meal. If you know you’re going out for dinner one evening, stick to your healthy eating habits throughout the day. “I recommend planning your indulgences ahead of time so your whole day or even your whole trip [doesn’t] end up being one big splurge,” suggests Ritter.
Have breakfast in your hotel room and pack healthy snacks for the day. If you want something sweet during the day, ask yourself if you’d rather have a treat during the day or dessert after dinner. If you’d rather wait, then forgo the afternoon delight.
Don’t forget to sleep
Typically, you go on vacation to unwind and regroup from a busy nine-to-five, so it’s incredibly important to get your ZZZ’s. Sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and keeping active. In fact, a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that those who don’t get at least seven hours of sleep a night are more likely to consume 500 more calories a day than those who do. Lack of sleep can make you feel groggy, frazzled and stressed, according to SleepScore Labs.
“Rest can greatly help you start your morning with success and make it much easier to make healthier choices the rest of the day,” says Ritter. Plus, getting a good night’s rest can help you be more awake to enjoy all the sights you’ll see on your trip. So, go ahead and turn off your alarm and sleep in -- without feeling guilty.
More tips on staying in shape on the road