• Monika

5 ways to stay fit on vacation

Everybody needs & deserves a break once in a while. Who doesn't like to lay on the beach, read a book and have an ice cold beer? I sure do and so does Oreo who spends most of his time at the beach digging for crabs or trying to catch birds.

He's not a fan of the water unless you yell "squirrel" and point towards the waves...he runs right in :)

Back to my point.

While on vacation, we all want to have a great time but also relax and get rest from daily stresses. Unfortunately, more often than not we come back from vacation needing another vacation.

We eat a lot, drink too much, go to bed late and try to fit 700 things in one day. Does that sound familiar?

While I've already wrote about minimizing weight gain while traveling (you can read about it HERE) today's article will discuss ways you can stay fit, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally (both often neglected), while on vacation.

Check out these tips.

1. Get up early

You may think that I'm crazy for saying this but while it may feel like sleeping in while on vacation is what you need, believe me, changing your regular wake up time can do more harm than good (for your circadian rhythm, energy levels and hormones).

Also, getting up early means you can do more, and we all know you will take a nap by the pool anyway, so may as well get a few more hours out of the day.

If you decide to get up early, you are also more likely to go to sleep early. You're on vacation to relax and rest, and that doesn't work if you are constantly sleep deprived.

If the location allows, I highly recommend you wake up early and see the sunrise. Once you are at the beach options are endless: you can walk, run, swim, meditate do yoga. You will have a huge sense of accomplishment and the best part is that it will only be 7am.

There is something magical about mornings at the beach, they will energize you more than 3 extra hours in bed.

2. Spend some time alone

I highly encourage you that you spend some time alone and practice doing nothing. Read that again.

In all of the books I've read on happiness, being able to do nothing is a skill. Skill that we need to learn and practice daily.

I will go as far as to say that you should block times during the day when you will be all by your lonesome - that means no people, devices or books. Just you and your surroundings.

Being on vacation with family or friends is fun but more often than not we don't take enough time to be by ourselves. To do nothing. To not be on anybody's schedule. To be quiet. To just be alone and breathe. These moments are crucial for mental and emotional well being.

3. Skip the gym

I highly encourage you to stay active while on vacation, but I'm not talking about spending half of your day at the gym or in front of an exercise app. Quite the opposite.

I highly recommend you take some time off your regular training routine and explore other activities that your destination offers.

Walking, jogging, hiking, biking, tennis, golf, swimming, SUP, snorkeling, scuba diving, kite surfing, yoga, kayaking.

Try something new, move your body in a way that it's not used to but don't kill yourself.

If you always do HIIT, slow down and try yoga. If you do a lot of strength training, go for a bike ride or jog.

Stay active, but give your body a break at the same time.

4. Ditch your phone

It's so tempting these days to keep all your friends updated on your every move while away and instantly share gorgeous pictures of all the places you're visiting.

It's hard not to do it, but think about all the time it takes to do so. I guarantee it adds up to at least 10 hours per week of unnecessary social media. That's over an hour per day to that you could spend exercising, reading, meditating, napping, or just doing nothing.

Taking time off from social media is one of the best things you can do for your health. Posting pictures can wait.

Use the "Screen Time" application in your iPhone to block apps, set "downtime" and set app limits. I use this function on daily basis to set my social media and screen time limits and I highly recommend it.

5. Eat two meals per day

Since most of the weight gain after vacations comes from eating out, not from inactivity, aim to have 2 meals out instead of 3. You can either skip a meal all together, or bring something super small to replace it such as a protein bar or a protein shake.

My favorite way is to have a healthy breakfast, protein shake for lunch and dinner out but if I had a super heavy dinner I may skip breakfast, have a light lunch, then dinner again.

If you are renting a place and can buy groceries that's even better because you can be totally in charge of most of your meals. If you are staying in a hotel (in the US), you can still pre-order groceries delivered to your room and cook whatever you want.

What about drinking and snacking?

If you don't drink alcohol, you could have two meals and one snack (about 200 calories), but if you do drink, drinks are your snacks.

This strategy is very simple and very effective and it has worked for myself, and many of my clients.

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