Balancing Health and Fun on Vacation


I thought this would make the perfect topic for today's post, being that I am about to go on vacation this weekend. I know there are hundreds of articles out there that will elaborate on "how to keep up with healthy habits while you travel" but I find that they aren't very practical and don't leave much room for fun in the equation (which is the point right?). Here are a few common examples of tips I found around the internet along with why I disagree and what I would recommend instead:

The most important thing you can do while traveling is sleep. Be sure to nap and also keep up with normal sleep routines

My response: On my vacations I find that some of the best memories are made late at night when everyone is playing games and drinking wine, which usually happens past my normal bed time (which isn't saying much, but still). I would say that while yes, sleep is a very important part of a normal routine, I don't think it hurts to stay up later (and probably sleep in later) than you normally would for a few days. Plus, think of the benefits that you get from bonding with friends and family.

Make time for your exercise routine

My response: While I give people who do this credit for prioritizing what makes them feel good, I personally don't crave going to the gym on vacation (or any time really). Something I do encourage is walking as much as possible and planning some active adventures, like scenic hikes or kayaking, in addition to the more sedentary ones (like eating all the food). This helps you get the best of both worlds. Keep in mind that you won't totally lose all fitness gains in a weekend or even a week for that matter, but in the end do what feels right for you. 

multnomah falls.JPG
Limit alcohol because it's "loaded with calories"

My response: Isn't this what vacation is for? Just kidding. But seriously, I think there is a happy medium here. Vacation is about indulgence and treating yourself so it hardly makes sense to limit fun foods/drinks. I would however say, be mindful of how many drinks you are having so you don't end up wasting the next day feeling hungover - there is nothing worse! Make it a point to stay hydrated throughout the day, which can be easy to forget when you are bumming around and having fun. Then whatever your drink of choice, remember to savor it, then check in with yourself after each to gauge if you really want another, or if water would do the trick. 

Make your own meals as much as possible

My response: When I'm at home, I couldn't agree more! But when I'm traveling, my favorite part is eating my way around the city and finding all of the best restaurants so I couldn't imagine following this tip. One thing you can do is make it a point to include some produce in each meal. This could be a side of fruit at breakfast, a salad at lunch or adding some veggies to your pizza at dinner. You could also share heavier items so you still get to taste everything without feeling "Thanksgiving full" at the end. Whatever ends up happening, remember that tomorrow is a new day and having the all-or-nothing mentality is not necessary.