Ah, summer vacations. As your Instagram feed starts filling up with photos of flip-flop-flaunting friends on tropical beaches and you find yourself pricing out flights to Paris when you should be answering your boss’ emails, you know you’re ready for a break.
But the last thing you want after your summer getaway is to feel like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation. Long flights, late nights, rich foods and too much sun can take their toll. And it can be tough to get out for your daily jog when you could just stay and eat gelato by the pool.
So how do you reap the benefits of a fun and relaxing vacation without derailing your healthy lifestyle habits? We’re so glad you asked! Here are five of our favourite ways:
Find Fun Physical Activities
Sure you can sneak in some treadmill time at the hotel fitness centre, but we think vacation workouts should be more fun than that. Rent a bicycle and tour your new surroundings instead of fussing with transit or cabs. Don’t just sit and stare at the ocean/lake/pool, get in and swim! Kayaking, waterskiing, beach volleyball, golf, tennis, hiking…you can get back to your regular fitness routine after your trip, this is your chance to shake it up and have some fun.
You’re on vacation, you should enjoy yourself. But that doesn’t mean everything you eat should be deep-fried, covered in sugar and served on a stick. Enjoy the cheeseburger, ice-cream cone, salt-water taffy, lobster roll, or giant turkey leg you’ve been craving…just not all in the same meal. Plan to treat yourself at one meal a day, offsetting that indulgence with healthier choices during the rest of the day. Thinking ahead and packing smarter snack options such as fruit, nuts, and granola can help you resist reaching for junk food when you’re on the go.
Stay Hydrated (More Water, Less Margaritas)
Long days and late nights can leave you feeling worn out. To help combat this, it’s important to stay hydrated, particularly if you’re visiting a hot climate. Your body will lose a lot of fluid as it sweats to keep cool, so replenishing those fluids with water intake is key. Those poolside Margaritas may feel like they’re quenching your thirst, but in reality the alcohol content is contributing to your dehydration. And the high sugar content isn’t doing your body and favours either.
Take Essential Vacation Vitamins
With all the excitement of a vacation, it can be tricky to ensure your body is getting everything it needs to be healthy and happy. Disrupted sleep schedules and dietary changes are common holiday complaints. If you’re suffering from jet lag, a melatonin supplement may be helpful in restoring your circadian rhythm to get you back on track. If digestive issues are a concern, adding a probiotic to your vacation routine can help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. Simply taking a daily multivitamin is also a good idea for nutritional insurance while you’re away.
Limit Sun Exposure
After a long, cold winter, feeling the sun on your skin can be a real treat. But like all treats, overindulging is not a healthy option. If you’re planning on hitting the beach, be smart: hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, sunscreen, beach cover-ups and plenty of water can help you keep your cool and prevent you from spending the rest of your vacation with heatstroke or painful sunburns. Limit time in the direct sun, particularly on the first day or two of your vacation, so you have time to adjust to the heat. Plan your indoor activities (such as shopping and museum visits) during peak sun hours then enjoy some time in the sand and sun when things cool down.