Stay fit and keep it healthy on a vacation
N.B. This blog is also available in Finnish and you’ll find it here
As my Instagram followers for sure have noticed, we had a little family vacation some time ago. First we drove to Majadahonda, Madrid to do some shopping and visit Parque Warner Madrid amusement park. We stayed quite near to our old home, spent a lot of time at playgrounds, ran at empty streets of Majadahonda in the mornings and had dinners at our favorite restaurants. Gosh, that place still feels like a home <3.
After a long weekend in Majadahonda, we headed to Marbella, where we stayed at VIME La Reserva de Marbella. It was a perfect solution for us as we just wanted to relax after quite hectic days. The apartments had just been refurbished, and the resort area offered us everything we needed; breakfast buffet, pools, versatile lunch restaurant, peaceful environment and gym. We really left the resort only to have some dinner…
But even if I’m on a vacation, I like to keep certain things in the same way as at home. I like to indulge and taste all the new and different things, but I don’t want to take things right to the extreme. I would feel awful after vacation (both mentally and physically), if I hadn’t done anything that makes me sweat and can be classified as an exercise, and only been eating all the ice creams and croissants being on a sight!
I listed my favorite tips to stay fit and keep it healthy (or at least healthier) on a vacation, to make it easier and more pleasant for you, so that you can come back home well rested and satisfied with your own mirror image!
Water is your best friend. Travelling and being out in the sun more than your body is used to, can dehydrate you. So bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go, and keep all the systems in your body going by drinking regularly throughout the day.
Be active. Even being on a family holiday doesn’t mean you should take a whole week off from being active. We always find time for both of us to have a quick 45-minutes workout on a hotel gym or a morning run, while the other one can have quality time with our son. The workout doesn’t have to take hours, and it doesn’t have to be every day, the main thing is that you get your metabolism running.
And being active doesn’t only mean doing sports! Forget the taxis and put sneakers on and walk from the point A to point B; you’ll get to know better your holiday destinations, get fresh air and a little exercise on the side. Always choose the stairs instead of elevator, and have a quick dip at the hotel’s swimming pool.
Make your own meals. Book a rental house, AirBnB type of solution or apartment hotel where you have access to a fully stocked kitchen instead of a standard hotel room. Of course everyone wants to eat out when on a vacation, but sometimes it’s nice (and handy with a little one while he takes his naps) to make your own meals, knowing exactly what you’re going to eat and make it as light/ protein packed/ low carb/ whatever your normal diet requires.
Make better choices while eating out. I don’t say that you should forget all the burgers and crepes with Nutella and ice cream while on a vacation, I just ask you to make some better choices. Try to start every meal with something fresh, like salad or cold veggie soup, and avoid all those overly fatty appetizers. Usually, most things labeled on the menu as fried, buttered, crispy, sautéed, breaded, or creamy will only offer you high-calorie and high-fat bomb with hardly any nutrients. Opt for grilled, roasted, steamed, poached, or stir-fried instead.
If I should give some rule how to eat, I would say that go for 2/3 and eat at least five servings fruits and vegetables a day; eat 2 meals out of 3 aiming to hit your normal diet plan and the third meal is your splurge meal. Eat whatever you fancy the most 😉 . And those fruits and veggies in turn will provide a lot of fiber, keep your intestines regular and fill you up with antioxidants and important vitamins, so you are less likely to get sick.
Eating like this you don’t have to skip all the treats, but you’ll return home feeling better in your own body.
Pack your own snacks. This is what I always do, whether our destination is 5 hours in a plane, day on a beach or at amusement park, or only a one-hour drive. It’s not only a good way to avoid all of those bad decisions made in haste at the gas station or airport, but it also keeps my boys satisfied and well-behaved when the blood sugar stays constant throughout the day 😉 . And what’s even better, you avoid queuing and save money!
I prefer pre-chopped fruits, berries, different kind of nuts and raisins, whole grain or seed crackers, veggie and lean meat stuffed rye or whole wheat breads, energy and protein bars and smoothies. A small cooler bag is my best friend on a hot summer day 😉 .
Moderation in alcohol consumption. There’s nothing wrong to have a drink or two while on a vacation, but they aren’t for sure going to make you look or feel any leaner afterwards. Alcoholic beverages don’t offer you any nutritional value, but they do load you up with tons of calories, dehydrate you, make you look swollen, and you know what happens, when you have a couple too many drinks during the night… So my advice is to enjoy the vacation and have some alcoholic drinks, if those are the ones that make your holidays, but don’t have 12 of them during the dinner.
If you want to save some calories while drinking alcohol, go with sparkling wine, beer or dry wines, and skip all the bright colored, sugary drinks! You can read more about better choices from here, as all drinks are not equal when we talk about dieting and some choices are better than others.
Just relax. You can take a vacation, but will you actually be able to relax? There’s no reason to run forth and back the entire vacation. Both your mind and body will need that rest (there’s happening good-for-you chemical reactions in your body, when you get relaxed), and when you’ve taken care to eat well and stay active, it’s time reward yourself with something, that can improve your wellbeing. Have a slow morning, meditate, get a massage or pedicure, or just lay on the beach listening the world running around you. And leave Wi-Fi behind you, actually better if you shut down your phone for the entire day. And relaaaxx…
What is your secret to stay healthy and fit on a holiday? I would love to hear your ideas!