You've got auto-respond set up on your email, the post office is holding your mail and your bags are packed. It's time to hit the road or head to the airport because you've got a little R & R planned. Before you undo all the work you did to look and feel amazing for your holiday, read through my top 10 tips to stay healthy when you're on vacation.
These are the things I do to not feel bloated, out of shape, 10 pounds heavier, or simply regretful of the previous few days of vacay.
I'm not saying you shouldn't let your hair down and have some fun, but it doesn't hurt to have a little back up planned for the fun in the sun, or wherever you land.
From workouts to supplements, I've got you covered. Follow these healthy vacation tips and you'll come back feeling refreshed, rested and, well...like you've been on a vacation.
5 Healthy Vacation Tips That You've Gotta Try
I've listed a total of 5 things to do when you're on vacation. I could have listed things like, avoid the bread basket at dinner or take a pass on appetizers, or don't eat dessert every single night, or move more.
It's true that so much of our health and how we feel comes from the foods we eat. When we have a bad day of eating, the reverberating effects can be felt for days!
You're reading this article, so I'm assuming you're already motivated enough not to do too much damage in the food department. Aside from that, you should be able to indulge a little bit, right?
These 5 healthy vacation tips go one step further to really help you refine things to feel 100% upon your return.
Four of things on the list take literally no time at all to do. It's just a matter of commitment.
One thing on this list takes 10 minutes (or a little more if you really want it).
Here we go! Save this article to use for your next vacation, pin it or share with a friend!
1 - Do This 10-Minute Workout Every Morning
If you were already planning on working out - great. Get to it. But if you're not, do this workout each and every morning. You don't even need to leave your hotel room, get out of your pajamas or put on shoes.
Your heart rate will come up, your day will feel brighter and you'll sweat out anything you need to sweat out.
Doing this workout everyday - starting in the morning before you walk out the door - will help to:
- raise your feel-good endorphins, improving your mood
- boost your metabolism a little bit
- tone and tighten all your major muscles
- naturally reduce your stress levels
You can cycle through this workout two or three times if you want something longer.
Throw on your headphones, find a couple feet of space and get ready to go. This workout is great:
- 60 Seconds Body Weight Squats
- 60 Seconds Jumping Jacks
- 60 Seconds Alternating Lunges
- 60 Seconds Push Ups (use wall if necessary)
- 60 Wall Squat
- 60 Seconds Rest
- 60 Seconds Body Weight Squats (yes, 2 times)
- 60 Seconds Plank (on knees if necessary)
- 60 Seconds Crunches
- 60 Seconds Plank
- 60 Seconds Crunches
Most of these exercises are common, including squats, jumping jacks, push ups and crunches. But to give you more clarity on what you're supposed to do, here are a few definitions:
Alternating Lunges: Just like a regular lunge, except you're alternating legs, lunging on your left leg, then your right leg. It's really important to remember to allow your knee to extend over the top of your toes, but not beyond your toes. Keep you back as straight as possible and tummy tight. If you feel like you're rounding your back, you're lunging too far.
Wall Squat: Picture a perfect squat in your mind. Now stand against a flat wall, walk your feet out about a foot, and drop down into a squat position. Your thighs should be parallel with the ground. Your quads (thighs) will be on fire after 60 seconds if you're doing this right. Do not let your heels come up or knees collapse into one another.
Plank: You probably know what a plank is, but it's really important to do it the right way. If you feel like you can't hold a plank for 60 seconds, then go to your knees. Keep your tummy tight and shoulder blades pulled back whether you're on your knees or your toes.
2 - Supplement with Magnesium
I really don't suggest supplements too often. I do have my favorites listed on my healthy living products page, but other than that, I'd rather we all start getting healthy by focusing on food first.
That said, magnesium has made a huge difference in my life, especially when on vacation, and absolutely makes my list of healthy vacation tips. I could not live without this supplement.
Magnesium is an important mineral found in our everyday diet. In fact, you probably consume a small amount of magnesium regularly everyday.
But food doesn't contain the amount of magnesium we need to be at our best, especially when we need to relax!
Magnesium helps us by:
- Improving digestion
- Reducing stress/anxiety levels
- Improving blood sugar levels (see point 5)
- Improve workouts/endurance
So if vacation or holiday trips make you stressed out and you can't relax, try magnesium.
If you're having problem digesting food or can't go to the bathroom, try magnesium.
If you want to be a badass and do 3 circuits of my workout to feel like a rockstar all day, try magnesium.
If you plan on having a couple drinks, again, magnesium. (Alcohol depletes magnesium and throws off blood sugar levels).
There are a lot of type of magnesium out there, but these are the two brands I’ve used and trust:
3 - Take A High Quality Probiotic
Taking a probiotic can do a lot more than just help keep you regular. There are a few big reasons probiotics can give you a boost when you're away from home, making this one of the top healthy vacation tips.
A probiotic in the morning and before bedtime can help to buffer the effects of traveler's diarrhea known for plaguing vacation-goers, especially those who travel to:
- Central & South America
- The Middle East
- Most countries in Asia
Travelers diarrhea is nothing to mess around with, so if you think you have traveler's diarrhea or are concerned about traveling to a country known for harboring bacteria that can trigger this condition, see a doctor.
Probiotics can also help boost to:
- Boost your immune system - keeping you healthier even when you're dealing with recycled airplane air.
- Control belly fat - yeah, another great reason to enjoy the benefits of probiotics
- Keep you regular - all those beneficial bacteria keep you going
If you're not certain what to take in the category of probiotics, this is what I’ve used and have benefitted from:
- Jarrow Jarro-Dophilus EPS (for me)
- Renew Life Ultimate Flora (if I need extra support)
- Culturelle Kids Chewables (for my kids)
Take a probiotic one to two times a day. If you've decided take magnesium, simply take your probiotic at the same time!
4 - Drink water like it's your job
Naturally, you should be drinking water throughout the day. I always tell people to drink a glass of water before every meal and snack. But when you're on vacation, chances are you need to stay a little extra hydrated, especially if hot weather or more activity than normal (such as walking, skiing, etc) are a part of your trip.
But drinking before bedtime is one of the easiest but most important healthy vacation tips you can follow.
When you drink water, you're helping digestion. Most people eat differently when they go away on vacation. Eating different foods or at different times of the day is usually the norm.
Even though these minor nuances from your usual day-to-day eating schedule might not be a big dealt to you, your digestive tract may not agree.
In fact, merely changing over timezones is enough to become constipated.
A backed up digestive system can lead to bloating, abdominal pain and general discomfort.
5 - If You Drink Alcohol, Avoid Sugar
I'm always hesitant to write about what to do if you drink alcohol, but I like a glass of red wine every once in a while, so far be it from me to suggest that I've never had a drink in my life.
That said, no one should ever start drinking for their health. Even though research suggests drinking red wine has its benefits through the antioxidant resveratrol, you'll find the same benefits in dark chocolate or even peanut butter.
So if you're thinking, but wine is so goooood for me. Nope - not as good as eating healthy foods with lots of antioxidants, which includes just about every vegetable and fruit known to man.
Now that we've established alcohol isn't a sustainable way to be healthy, if you're going to have a glass of wine or a cocktail, avoid sugar. The sugar + alcohol combo will never make the "healthy vacation tips" list.
Why is alcohol + sugar so hard on our bodies?
Alcohol destabilizes our bodies' ability to control blood sugar levels, which means the more you drink, the harder it will be to control your appetite.
Unruly blood sugar levels put the hormone, insulin, on a roller coaster of sorts, that's really hard to come off.
Avoiding sugar won't put the brakes on this hormonal roller coaster, but it will make it easier to manage. Super sugary margaritas, juice-infused cocktails or even a sweeter white wine is enough to throw your body off.
Not everyone has the same sensitivity to sugar. But if you have a few pounds to lose or have belly fat, it's a must that you curb the sugar + alcohol combo.
- Red Wine
- Red Wine Spritzers
- Vodka Sodas
- Or this refreshing no sugar-added Paloma
Here's a quick recap of everything:
- Follow my 10-minute workout - even if you don't feel like exercising. Your body will appreciate it and you'll feel great.
- Take magnesium glycinate to keep your body relaxed and regular
- Take a good probiotic to keep your immune system strong
- Drink water constantly to keep moving the garbage out of your body
- Avoid the sugar + alcohol combo to avoid unneeded weight gain and trashing your body
If, after you return from vacation, you feel like you really need to clean things up even more, pick up a copy of The Belly Burn Plan. It's a six week plan that takes aim at three (3) primarily areas:
- Moving the junk out of your diet
- Reducing inflammation
- Eating right for your body type
You'll also get six weeks meal plans, which helps especially if you don't like meal planning! And six weeks of workouts, which is great for keeping your body toned and strong.