Fitness and your vacation – ways to avoid diet and exercise pitfalls

Spring is here and so is our annual family Spring break vacation. I love vacations b/c it really lets you change up your schedule, enjoy family time and see new destinations. This vacation we visited the Amish country and Hershey, PA. We had a blast but like most of the time when you travel it is hard to eat right and fit in a workout. I had never seen so many smorgasboards (not sure that I spelled that right) in my life than I did in the Amish country. The food was great, but I am not a huge fan of buffet style eating. It can make portion control very difficult.

Hershey's Chocolate World

Hershey’s Chocolate World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a few days we made a side trip to Hershey’s chocolate world!  Talk about temptation! Those temptations came home with us because my  husband filled up a basket full of various types of chocolates since we saved money not going on the paid tour :).

Fitness, eating right and vacations can be very tricky, and I do think that you should let yourself enjoy some indulgences. Over time I have learned some ways to enjoy myself on vacation while still holding on to some level of moderation and sensibility. In fact, I took a vacation from my usual workout routine on this trip and gave my body a few days break. After some pretty intense training the last few weeks, I think my body breathed a sigh of relief – mentally and physically.

Here are a few of my tricks I use while traveling to enjoy my trip but not completely throw in the towel on health:

1. Indulge one meal a day and plan it ahead of time: I love to eat out and try new foods, but I try to limit myself to indulging for one meal a day – usually dinner. Plus I can’t really enjoy sightseeing if I am constantly overfull from a big breakfast/lunch.

2. Fit in shorter workouts when you can: You may not want to completely take a break from working out on vacation, but lightening your load or the length of your workouts will be a nice change. Run a new route where you are staying or hit the hotel gym for a brief session. Try renting a bike  if you can for your sightseeing trips.

3. Bring healthy snacks: This may be obvious, but keeping a stash of fruit, nuts, granola bars and other healthy options will keep  you from visiting that pretzel stand at 3:00 in the afternoon.

4. Swap “me time” with your spouse to exercise: Vacationing with kids can be stressful since there is not a lot of down time. Every parent needs a little time to enjoy the quiet or take some alone time. Giving each other even just 20-30 minutes to go for a walk or a run is good for for the mind and the body!

5. Remember your goals! It is hard enough to come back from vacation, but coming back with extra pounds and farther from your goal is even harder. Have  a good time, but keep those goals in the back of your mind!

Do you have any good fitness travel tips? Please share!

It is so important to enjoy your time off and make new memories with your family. Although food is a big part of vacation, try to focus on the other aspects that make it so much fun as well. If your plan completely derails – just get right back on it when you return! Don’t look back!

Happy Spring traveling!

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