Taking a vacation does great things for both your mind and body. This is why some *smart * employers require vacation. Here's some of the benefits you could experience from taking some time away from your every day:
1. Improved physical strength
2. Reduce stress
3. Prevent heart disease
4. Decrease burnout
5. Improve sleep
6. Increase productivity
7. Decrease depression
8. Prevents metabolic syndrome
9. Improved mental resilience
10. Increase satisfaction with life
Where are you going to next?
1. Plan for the travel time. Unhealthy choices commonly start at the beginning of vacation during your commute. Correct me if I'm wrong but most airport restaurants and fast food joints don't have the food you want to splurge on so try to stick with healthier options during the commute.
2. Have yummy food! Vacation is for fun and relaxation. Don't let your "diet" ruin your dining experience at a nice restaurant.
3. Be active. Vacations offer plenty of time for exercise or outdoor activities to burn some calories. Anything you can do to mitigate your caloric excess and promote health while you're on vacation is important!
4. Sleep. Don't forget those 7-9 hours a night.
5. Don't stress. Taking time to relax is really important for your mind and body.
6. Eat a salad or smoothie every day. It's not always possible, but eating in at your rental during vacation is a great way to make sure you're getting a really nutrient (instead of calorie) dense meal every day.
7. Have goals. Going into vacation with a goal in mind whether that be to maintain weight, exercise a certain number of days, eat one healthy meal a day, anything to keep you healthy living focused will be beneficial.
8. Really take time to relax. Rest your mind from all the worrying and "to-do" lists and just rest.
9. Before you leave for vacation, plan your meals and make your grocery list for when you return from vacation. This will save you from continuing your vacation eating for another week after you return.
10. Hydrate with water. Keeping your body hydrated will help your body deal with any insults to the immune system, GI tract, etc.
Many of you are headed out of town for Spring Break soon. Some of you will just be taking some time off work to stay home with kids. Regardless, this week of being out of the normal routine can leave room for bad habits to creep in so I wanted to share some strategies to keep your health a priority.
1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep.
Staying up late playing video games, watching Netflix can allow time for late night snacking and promote inflammation in your body disturbing its normal time to reset while you sleep. Having a fun late night with some snacks on occasion isn't going to destroy your health but keeping it to one night and choosing health(ier) snacks is wise.
Don't let your extra time off cause you to forget about exercising. Staying in your routine is helpful to burn a few calories and will also help you make healthier choices during the rest of your day.
3. Eat your vegetables.
Yep-I'm saying it again. Eat your vegetables. At MINIMUM 5 servings/day. You really should be getting 7-13 servings. Keeping your vegetable intake up will leave less room for the junk food you're tempted to eat when you're out of routine.
4. Make smart choices at restaurants.
Going out to eat may be part of your traveling but it doesn't have to destroy your efforts towards healthier living. If you'd like a quick guide to lower calorie options at fast food restaurants you can go here.
5. Drink water.
Drinks other than water are typically pretty unhealthy for you- with the exception of black coffee and black tea. You should be drinking an ounce per kilogram of body weight but 64 ounces is a good rule of thumb. If you don't feel like counting, drink until your pee is clear.
We've all been there. On vacation, trying to have a fun time but also trying not to destroy our healthy habits. Here's my take on how you can have vacation victories when it comes to your health.
First, you should sit down before you go on vacation and have a little bit of an idea of what your food options will look like. Are you going to be at restaurants every night? Will you be cooking your own meals? Fast food? Airport food? Then sit down and be strategic about what choices you will make in those situations,. If you know you're going to an amazing restaurant one night then make sure you reserve your unhealthy eating for that night. Who wants to order a salad entree when you can order whatever you want?
Then, try to view as many of the menus as possible of the restaurants you plan to eat at or that are in the area. Plan ahead of time what you will eat (in general). You should still focus on getting in raw fruits and veggies when you can. Many fast food restaurants have good salad options. This may be difficult to eat if you're driving so plan to stop for like 15 minutes so you can scarf down some good food. Sometimes it's just as easy to stop at a grocery store that's right off an exit and make your own salad at their salad bar, buy an apple or some pre-cut veggies and use that as your meal. If you need to wash produce, head to their floral department and ask to use their sink for washing. Most of the time you'll find a happy employee that's willing to let you wash your produce there. If you have a Norwex fruit and veggie cloth and some water, you can wash your produce really easily anywhere you are.
If you have the opportunity to cook for yourself for any meals, take it. Whatever you prepare at "home" is going to be healthier than a restaurant. Smoothies are a great "go to" on vacation if you have access to a blender. They're quick, convenient to take with you and will keep you full for hours if you make them right. I love the smoothie recipes by Kelly LeVeque. If you go to her website she has tons of free recipes for you to try.
The other important thing to maintain while you're on vacation is EXERCISE! I know- not always easy. Schedule it in your day to make sure it happens. Even just getting in a good sweat for 20-30 minutes will help maintain your metabolism and energy while you're gone. It'll also prevent that loss of momentum that taking a week off of exercise while you're on vacation can do.
Lastly, make sure you have planned a "refocus" plan for when you get back home from vacation. Write down your exercise and diet goals for the week you get back from vacation to get you back on track and into your normal routines.
Don't forget to have fun while you're on vacation. It's all about relaxing and enjoying the people you're with so you can refresh your mind and soul.