Staying fit on vacation
Keep your healthy habits during vacation and beyond
It can be tempting to indulge on vacation and fall out of your usual nutrition and exercise routine. However, with a little advance planning and commitment, it is possible to stick to your weight control goals while you’re traveling.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you make healthier choices during spring break and beyond.
- Snack smart. Rather than waiting to buy something on the road, pack healthy snacks. Try a low-fat yogurt, whole-grain crackers or air-popped popcorn. Load your carry-on with grab-and-go fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas, or prep a bag of chopped vegetables to munch in the car.
- Stay active. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity. If your idea of vacation doesn’t include the gym, no sweat – simply making more active choices may help. For example, swim a few laps after relaxing by the pool; opt for a walking or biking tour when sightseeing; and use stairs instead of an elevator.*
- Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast daily tend to keep hunger at bay and may avoid overeating later on in the day. If your hotel won’t have healthy breakfast options, pack some healthy breakfast foods so you can stick to your regular eating routine.
- Limit alcohol. Those festive vacation cocktails may derail your weight control goals, since they’re often high in calories but low in nutrients. The CDC recommends limiting alcohol to one or two drinks per day, respectively, for women and men of legal drinking age.
- Catch some zzz’s. That’s right, sleeping in may be good for your health. In fact, lack of sleep may lead to weight gain. Research shows that adults who sleep fewer than seven hours a night are at higher risk of gaining weight than those with adequate sleeping habits.
- Get support. It’s important to surround yourself with people who support your healthy lifestyle. The same is true on spring break – so invite your friends or family members to join you for a special vacation walk, swim or bike ride.
Whether at home or planning a trip, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your individual “healthy weight” and physical activity goals. Together you may discuss body mass index (BMI) – an estimate of how much body fat you have, based on height and weight. Your healthcare provider may measure and record your BMI at least once a year. There are many factors that contribute to BMI, so be sure to discuss details with your doctor.
What to do next
Schedule a visit with your primary care physician to check your BMI (body mass index) and discuss what a healthy weight looks like for you.
*Talk with your doctor before changing or starting a new exercise routine.