An action packed winter is finally behind us here at AFS! As a congratulations to myself for making it through, I recently took a short vacation to Tampa Bay, Florida for some rest, relaxation, and (inevitably for me) some sunburn. We all know that travel and time away from home can be tough on an exercise and nutrition program, but is it impossible to stay on track while you’re “off the grid?” I decided to find out! For my entire 5 day stay in the sunshine state I adhered to my diet and exercise program without infringing upon the other activities I had planned. Here are some easy tips I’d like to pass along to help you do the same on your next trip!
Admittedly, I’m not a born planner (just ask my girlfriend). In fact, just planning the time off for my trip and making it to my flight on time was nearly enough to exhaust my planning capabilities for several months to come. Luckily, I had just enough left in the tank to address the key fitness factors below.
1. Exercise: I know you expect me to tell you to find a creative way to incorporate a workout into your time on the beach, but let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen. If exercise is a priority, there’s plenty of time to fit in a structured session here and there. Many hotels have a small gym that often includes dumbbells, a bench, treadmills, and an elliptical. That’s not much, but if you’re an AFS client you have the luxury of having your practitioner write your workout for you! If you’re like me and need more equipment for your workout, fear not! I have a solution for you. Go online before your trip and find a gym near your hotel that offers a free week pass. Print out the pass and sneak a 45 minute workout session in at the beginning of your day well before the sun is high in the sky or the amusement park opens. Parents: many commercial gyms have childcare available for a nominal fee, or you could take turns watching the kids each day during exercise time.
2. Nutrition: I hear the following phrase all the time: “It’s impossible to eat healthy when you’re on vacation.” Challenging? Yes. Impossible? Not really. As we all know, eating healthy is all about being prepared. Before booking your hotel, make sure your room is equipped with a mini-fridge. Upon arrival at your destination (before checking in at the hotel) make a stop at the grocery store. Gather all of the healthy snacks you’ll need for the week that don’t require any time to prepare. Check out the picture above for some ideas. Each day, pack your snacks into a cooler and hit the road! Not only will you save calories, you’ll save money by avoiding restaurant food at every meal (more money for ridiculous souvenirs!). Inevitably, you’ll be eating out at least once per day, but that’s not enough to derail you from hitting your goals if you eat smart. Substitute your side of fries with mixed veggies, skip the dinner rolls, every healthy decision (no matter how small) adds up!
Save some money on gas and ditch the rental car whenever possible. Walking or biking to your destinations allows you to experience the culture of the city you’re visiting from an up-close perspective. This also happens to be a great way to increase your total daily energy expenditure. The more you explore, the more you experience, the more calories you burn!
I’m sure we can all agree that there’s only so much time one can spend at the spa or on the beach. The latter is especially true for fair skinned folks like me! Vacation is the perfect chance to do something you’ve never done before! You’ve got the time, take advantage of the unique opportunities your location offers. Below are some fun activities for various climates/landscapes along with the approximate calories a 150lb person burns while doing them for just one hour.
Snorkeling: 350 calories/hr. Rock Climbing: 570 calories/hr.
Swimming: 430 calories/hr. Mountain Biking: 600 calories/hr.
Kayaking: 357 calories/hr. Golfing: 320 calories/hr.
Hiking: 400 calories/hr. Downhill Skiing: 350 calories/hr.
As you read through this blog you have undoubtedly been thinking to yourself that all of the advice I’ve given is obvious, perhaps a bit elementary. Maybe that’s the point! Making good choices doesn’t have to be hard! Safe travels my friends.