Healthy Tips for Your Vacation

Vacations are something we all love.  The mere word brings up mental images of white sandy beaches, blue oceans, and yummy drinks with little umbrellas.  Vacations are the perfect time to unwind, enjoy family and friends, experience new places, try new activities, and fully rejuvenate your mind and body.


Vacations can, however, make you feel a little uneasy when you are trying to get healthy and/or stay healthy.  Having a set routine is often what keeps people focused and on track.  When your routine is disrupted, it’s easy to get sidetracked.  Our sensibility surrounding daily physical activity and healthy eating seems to immediately disappear upon reaching our destination.


As difficult as it may seem, it is possible to have an awesome vacation and stay relatively healthy.  Here are some practical ways to stay on track while vacationing.


Healthier Eating


1.     Eating Out Smart: When at a restaurant, be aware of the portion size that you are served. You will almost always consume more calorie when eating out then when at home.  Perhaps consider splitting a meal. If possible, look at the menu before going and choose a healthier option.  Order first so you won’t be swayed by your companion’s choice.  Avoid going to buffets!

2.     Indulge but don’t overdo it: Go ahead and have that brownie sundae but share it with one or even two other people.  Most of the time, you will be satisfied after only a few bites.

3.     Drink alcohol in moderation. Calories and add up quick with alcohol. Choose moderate consumption and consider drinking a glass of water between drinks.

4.     Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit: These will fill you up and leave you less hungry for unhealthy foods.  If possible, visit the local farmer’s market to find fresh produce.

5.     Drink plenty of water: This will keep you hydrated and help you feel less hungry. By sticking with water you can avoid drinking your calories.

6.     Pack a lunch: This will save you money and calories.  It will also prevent extreme hunger that tends to promote overeating of unhealthy food choices.

7.     Find a balance: Follow unhealthy with healthy.  If you have an enormous stack of pancakes and bacon for breakfast, have a leafy green salad with lots of fresh vegetables and grilled chicken for lunch.

8.     Stay on track together: Everyone benefits from healthy lifestyle, even on vacation!


Staying Active


1.     Move more in your vacation space: If you can, take the stairs: it’s often faster and is healthy (15 minutes of climbing stairs expends about 150 calories).  If it’s an option, explore the area by walking.

2.     Use the hotel fitness center: A lot of resorts and hotels have fitness centers on site. This is a great place to unwind and have time to yourself, for yourself.

3.     Walk the airport: So much time is spent waiting for flights.  Take advantage of this time and get in some steps.

4.     Walk or jog on the beach: What a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery while on vacation! it’s beautiful and you won’t even realize you’re exercising!

5.     Play with your kids: Children never stop moving.  Play tag in the pool, run up and down the beach or jump some waves.

6.     Try something new: Surfing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling or go on a guided bicycle tour of the town.

7.     Try yoga: Vacation isn’t just about schedules and itineraries, but also an opportunity to replenish and recharge your mind and body.

8.     Get plenty of rest: Take advantage of being on vacation and get some quality sleep.  You will feel better and have more energy to be active during the day.


So, go on vacation, have a wonderful time, and come home feeling renewed!  


Jana Montgomery, RN, BSN