You Can Have a Healthy Vacation Without Sacrificing Your Trip
Summer vacations may be known for fried festival food, cold dairy treats and lazy days spent by the pool, but that doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from your self-care practices.
Actually, your vacation can be an excellent time to break away from office life and be used as an opportunity to incorporate even more movement into your day. In order to stay healthier this summer, your friends at Park North Physical Therapy put together this guide to help you maintain an active lifestyle while still enjoying your getaway.
10 Ways to Stay Healthy on Vacation
1. Take a Dip
Beaches and hot tubs aren’t just great for relaxing. They can also be great therapeutic tools. When planning your vacation destinations, Dr. Sam Morjaria recommends that his clients make use of oceans, lakes, pools or other water-related activities since New Yorkers don’t usually have access to these features in the city.
“Do stretching movements in the pool that you normally wouldn't do, use hot tubs to relax any muscles that could be tight,” Sam advises vacationers. “Even just sitting on the beach helps engage your core as the waves of the ocean push against you.”
Water destinations like the beach also are great for your feet. Walking in sand helps your balance and builds foot and ankle strength.
2. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
While vacations often offer an array of tempting cuisines, stocking up on healthier snacks and light meals can help you maintain a balance between indulgence and healthy eating. Opt for accommodations that provide fully equipped kitchens, allowing you to prepare your own meals. This way, you have control over the ingredients and can ensure that you have access to nutritious options like salads, smoothies and healthy snacks when you don't feel like dining out.
3. Indulge, but Don't Overindulge
Vacations are a time to enjoy yourself, and that includes treating yourself to some delicious food. However, it's important to maintain balance. If you decide to indulge in a pasta dish for dinner, offset it by choosing healthier options for breakfast or lunch. Find a middle ground that allows you to savor the local cuisine while also taking care of your body. Additionally, be mindful of sugary drinks and opt for water with heavier meals.
4. Go Easy on Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages are often flowing freely during vacations, but excessive drinking can leave you dehydrated and affect your overall health. It's essential to find a balance and avoid overindulgence. Enjoy a drink or two, but also prioritize staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This not only helps you feel better but also counteracts the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
5. Stay Hydrated
Aside from avoiding alcohol, keeping yourself hydrated is crucial for overall well-being, especially during active vacations. Carry a water bottle with you to replenish lost fluids throughout the day. Consider adding a pinch of salt to your water bottle to replace electrolytes lost through sweating. If available, opt for coconut water, which is packed with essential minerals and helps in optimal hydration. Hydrating well is especially important if you're enjoying a few drinks during your vacation.
6. Boost Your Immune System
To ensure you stay healthy and illness-free during your vacation, continue taking your regular vitamins and supplements. Boost your immune health with vitamins C, B-complex, D and Zinc. Probiotics can also be beneficial in bolstering your immune system while traveling. Prioritize your well-being by maintaining your supplement routine even while on vacation.
7. Movement Your Itinerary
Make your vacation more active by choosing daily outings that incorporate some kind of movement or summertime sport like hiking at local parks or paddleboarding at a nearby lake. If you prefer nightlife, find a local club that offers dancing for some cardio. The key is to incorporate movement into your day and find activities that align with your interests and the local surroundings.
8. Try Equipment-Free Workouts
You don't need fancy equipment to stay active on vacation. Here’s a sample workout plan you can do while on vacation:
Day 1: Total Body Circuit
- Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps.
- Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.
- Plank: Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.
- Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Bicycle Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps per side.
Day 2: Cardio and Core
- Power Walk or Jog: Go for a 30-minute walk or jog, exploring your vacation destination at a moderate pace.
- Plank Twists: 3 sets of 10 reps per side.
- Russian Twists: 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Leg Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps.
Day 3: High Intensity Workout
- Stretching: 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching
- Jump Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps.
- Burpees: 3 sets of 10 reps.
- High Knees: 3 sets of 30 seconds.
- Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 15 reps per leg.
- Plank Jacks: 3 sets of 12 reps.
- Bicycle Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps per side.
9. Take Time to Disconnect
Amidst the hustle and bustle of vacation, it's easy to get caught up in endless activities. However, taking a few moments each day to meditate and practice mindfulness can help you stay grounded and centered. Use your vacation time to turn off your phone and disconnect from your work emails. Dedicate some quiet time, especially in the mornings, to find inner peace and maintain mental well-being while on vacation.
10. Get Adequate Rest and Sleep
While it's tempting to explore every corner of your destination, remember to prioritize rest and sleep. Overexerting yourself can lead to fatigue and impact your overall trip experience. Allow your body time to recover and recharge. Try adjusting the room temperature, drawing curtains and using white noise sounds or ear plugs to create a soothing sleep atmosphere.
Remember, vacations are meant for relaxation and enjoyment. By incorporating these tips into your travel routine, you can strike a balance between staying active and indulging in the pleasures of your getaway. This focus on mental and physical health will help you avoid injuries and fatigue so you can enjoy the vacation to its fullest!
If you’re looking for more inspiration about how to stay healthier this summer, check out our blog for more movement tips and visit one of our physical therapy clinics in Upper Manhattan to get the right movement programs based on your specific needs.