Vacations are the best. It’s time to relax, sleep in, be lazy, eat and drink…but when you’re trying to lose weight or stay fit a vacation can be a challenge.
My vacations are typically pretty active. Michael and I enjoy hiking so wherever we are vacationing I pre-plan some hikes we can do. It’s a great way to see the area, enjoy some time together and do something active.
Let’s tackle some of the dilemmas.
Dilemma: Flying somewhere poses different challenges: food temptations in the airport and those snacks on the plane that are not only pricey but not good for the waistline.
Dilemma: No gym/pool etc.
Tip: Do something else! Go for a walk and see new sites. Go for a hike. Rent bikes and see the city that way. There are great ways to sneak in exercise while on vacation. Pack a jump rope in your suitcase. Doing the jump rope for 20 minutes when you first wake up will kick your butt!
I am a self-proclaimed gym rat. When I went to Vegas with my friend Robyn we used the gym in the casino we were staying at. Since we booked massages in their spa we got a free pass to the use the gym! We worked out, then got massages and had a great time.
The last time I was in Vegas with Michael we stayed at The Palms. I wasn’t too enthused with the idea of paying $35 a day to use their gym. Solution: I went for a run outside! I ran around the neighborhood near The Palms. I got in a fantastic run, saw parts of Vegas I’d never see, and it was by far one of the best memorable runs.
Dilemma: You don’t want to do your traditional workouts.
Tip: Often doing a new activity altogether is a great way to break up a fitness rut. If you’re vacationing at the beach try swimming, snorkeling, beach running, etc. Take a frisbee to the beach. In the mountains or on a lake? Rent a canoe or kayak. Vacationing in a new city? Check out the local drop-in yoga studio, or take a guided walking tour. Walking for several hours will wear you out! Great workout.
Dilemma: You don’t have time on vacation to workout.
Tip: When you first wake up, do a bunch of push-ups, sit-ups, tricep dips with a chair. If you travel with a laptop, do a yoga video in your hotel room.
In terms of food, the biggest pitfall of vacations is the temptation to indulge. I definitely fall victim to splurging on foods that I wouldn’t normally eat at home. I also drink things I wouldn’t normally drink. My typical adult beverage is wine or a vodka tonic (lower in calories than mixed drinks) but on vacation in Arizona I indulged in a Ghost Orchid–a high calorie “girly” drink. But I just had one and it was recommended by my friend.
The one good thing I did on my recent vacation: eating at home as much as possible. We ate lunch at the house every day (healthy, normal breakfast) and we usually ate lunch at home. Eating out only a few times saved money and calories.
If you’re staying in a condo/hotel/house that has a kitchen take advantage of that. Buy some healthy groceries, cook a few meals at home and try to maintain your normal eating habits (with a few indulgences).
My blog is more about “living in moderation” than anything else. Yes I maintain my fitness on vacation and yes I try to count my calories on vacation–but I still enjoy myself. Splitting that huge piece of birthday cake with 3 other people was much better than making myself sick by eating it on my own.
QUESTION: Do you exercise on vacation? How do you stay fit when on vacation?
About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.