Healthy Vacation Planning
Having just returned from vacation – a cruise with over 30 family members – I was reminded how much vacation planning can affect your normal routine. It’s not just the days you are away – it starts prior to traveling – long days at work trying to “get ahead” so that you don’t come back to a mess; packing; arrangements for flowers to be watered or pets to be fed; bills paid up, etc.
Then comes the sacred vacation days that you fill with as much as possible so that you “get the most of your vacation” (not to mention half the time is spent behind the lens of a camera capturing the memories), followed by a return home to reality with mounds of laundry and if your email inbox wasn’t virtual, a similar heaping commitment.
If the laundry and emails weren’t a big enough burden on your shoulders, you’ve also got the guilt that comes with completely obliterating any ounce of willpower during your time away, with the fear of weight gained and fitness lost in such a short time span. If this sounds like a typical vacation routine in your world, I hope you will find the following tips helpful in planning for your next healthy, relaxing vacation:
Wiggle room. Determine what kind of “wiggle room” you are going to allow yourself on your vacation, in regards to your nutrition and fitness plan. For example, if you’re going to allow yourself desserts, set some type of limitation to it (i.e., allow yourself dessert after dinner… not at breakfast, lunch, nor in between). On my cruise, there was a “spa” option every night at dinner – and I must say, they were delicious! I did not feel that I was making any sacrifice by choosing that option.
Fun. Brainstorm some fun activities you’d like to include in your vacation (for example: walking tours, jet skis, snorkeling), as well as a few last resort options (resistance bands, crunches, etc.) in case a day does not allow for an exciting activity. Doing something at least helps maintain your commitment level.
Appointment. Sign up with your personal trainer or make plans with a friend for the week you return home – this appointment will help ensure you will get back to your fitness routine quickly. Don’t allow the stress of returning from vacation prolong you from getting back to your routine – have faith that everything will get done.
Plan ahead. Prior to leaving, prepare a meal plan for the week you return. This will allow you to get your grocery shopping done quickly and successfully without unnecessary cravings from vacation appearing on the list.
Express yourself. Communicate effectively with fellow vacationer(s) so that you are not dealing with unnecessary temptations nor the food police. You do not need the nightly temptation for a glass of wine, or the nagging of why you chose to have that piece of chocolate cake. Remember, often the other person is trying to make your vacation enjoyable or be supportive, but it is up to you to communicate whether or not they are being successful at that.
I hope you find these tips helpful before embarking on your next journey! I wish you a vacation filled with the perfect balance of adventure, relaxation, and rejuvenation – that’s what VACATION is all about!