Contributing authors: Thanks to Kendra Thornton (Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman) and Jamie Gold (The Healthy Beast)
Spring break is around the corner. It’s time to let everything go and enjoy life with your family, but wait, you’re supposed to be on a diet. You don’t have to fear. Before every vacation, I take some steps to prepare my body and mind for the adventure ahead. It’s taken a few road trips and vacations to understand how my mind works when I want to indulge, but I have it pretty under control. It helps if you have your family on the same healthy eating and fitness track. These are a few ways that I maintain my fitness sanity when headed to vacationland.
1. Be Picky at Restaurants
I never wanted to be the person who has to order everything separately on the menu, but I realize that it’s important to make simple changes to dishes sometimes in order to get a healthier meal. For example, ordering something without the cheese is a simple fix and most restaurants are happy to change something for your dietary restrictions. After all, you’re paying them to make you a great meal. When you do go to restaurants on vacation, change out sauces, stay away from bread sticks and pick water over soda. You’ll be happier when you get home and realize you don’t have extra fitness work to do because you indulged too much on vacation.
2. Research Menus
Doing some research on the location you are visiting, will help lead you in the right direction. Look up menus at local restaurants to see what is being served. For instance, a menu might give you insight to whether or not there are any healthy options. You may also find reviews of places online to avoid going somewhere you won’t be happy with.
3. Simplify Your Beverages
Be wary of exotic drinks, both alcoholic and non. A fruity smoothie can be equivalent to a meal in calories, and loaded in unneeded sugars and carbs. Mixers in cocktails and fancy liquors have the same issue. Stick to diet sodas, club soda, fresh lemon or lime, and don’t be afraid to add lots of ice or water to make that drink last longer!
4. Bring Water and Coolers
Buying a case of water and cooler is cheaper than buying a bottle of water at a hotel or stopping at the airport to get a bottle of water to share with four other people. If you are going on an airplane, it’s a little bit more difficult to bring a case of water with you, but that doesn’t stop you from buying water when you’ve arrived. To stay hydrated and keep your body in healthy order, water is essential.
5. Plan Fitness Days
There has to be some time on your vacation dedicated to taking a walk, hike or fun run somewhere beautiful. This can be a whole family thing, or you can do it on your own. One of the more fun ways to explore is to walk through trails or jog down miles of beach to see the different piers and shops along the shore.
6. Pack Your Favorite Snacks
For families, you have to think ahead about snacks and prepare little meals that include veggies, fruits, granola and nuts. These are the healthiest things that you can bring along with you, but you might have some other ideas for staying away from the munchies on the road.
Going traveling doesn’t have to ruin your diet or end your fitness. You can even get your family involved by getting together to plan out healthy activities while on vacation. I also always like to book hotels that have a nice gym, mainly for convenience but can also be helpful on rainy days. With so many hotels in Orlando, sites like Gogobot allow you to read user reviews so you can find the right hotel for you and your family.
*Photos from ThinkStock