Let’s face it, keeping your health goals can be a struggle. It can take a lot of work, planning, and motivation in your already busy life.
Throw vacationing into the mix and it may seem like achieving your goals are next to impossible. Even those that succeed in their health goals on a regular basis, can find vacations a time when your priorities get a little blurry… a time when goals go out the window.
However, we’ll show you that it is possible to have an amazing vacation while still maintaining your goals. Who knows, sticking to your goals may actually make your trip even more enjoyable!
Why Is It So Hard to Keep Goals on Vacation?
We go on vacation to escape or “take a break” from reality, schedules, appointment, meetings, responsibility, goals…
While it’s definitely encouraged to take a break from many of those things for mental health, completely leaving your physical health goals high and dry may end up causing more stress later on, especially if negative symptoms return and you see your progress slow or reverse.
Going on vacation and staying on track with your health and wellness goals need not be mutually exclusive. It’s definitely possible to keep your goals while on vacation, but here are some of the reasons it can be a challenge:
Peer pressure: Our friends and family are not always the best at supporting our goals, with comments like: “Come on, don’t you want dessert?!” or “You definitely want the diet Coke!” and worst of all “Will you share this double stack funnel cake with extra caramel sauce with me?
If possible, let your family or friends know of your goals. If they are not respectful, remember, It’s not snobby or silly to want to stick to your goals. Don’t be afraid to say stand up for yourself. You get to decide what you eat and what you do not.
Schedules: When we are at home, we are in our groove and our schedule is our own. On vacation, when we are not on our regular routine, temptations may arise that aren’t typically present.
Without proper planning, it is easy to get stuck as a result of circumstance: no healthy food options available, no time to workout, etc.
Think ahead and make the hard decisions before you leave on your trip. Pack your workout shoes and make a healthy grocery list beforehand.
A Break: It’s natural to feel like you want some freedom while you’re on vacation. You may even want a break from your health “restrictions”.
We’ll show you that you can still have an enjoyable trip (and even splurge a little bit) without blowing your goals and that maybe your health goals aren’t restrictions after all.
6 Ways to Stay on Track While Still Enjoying Vacation
Exercise: While you’re on vacation, you may not want to spend hours at the gym, but it can be fun to try out the hotel's gym, pool or nearby yoga studios! If all else fails, simply follow a quick HIIT workout in your own space.
There is no equipment necessary and even a quick 15-minute workout will start your day on the right foot, get your heart rate up, keep you energized throughout your day, enhance your metabolism and so much more!
Healthy Snacking: Whether you’re out sightseeing or lounging on the beach, bring your own snacks. Having a few healthy options on hand can prevent the number of cafe runs or convenience store stops. Healthy snacks will keep you will keep you feeling well and energized.
Here is a reference for healthy, Lakanto approved snacks. Several of these would be great while traveling.
Walk: Hippocrates once said, "Walking is a man's best medicine". He was right! Walking has a plethora of health benefits such as: fighting dementia, improves mood, protects the heart, and more (Telegraph Reporters, 2017).
And conveniently, the easiest (and cheapest) way to enjoy the local life of a city-- is to walk it. By doing so, you get to experience the city and notice details you never would driving.
Try walking to sights and activities that may be close to where you are staying so you aren’t constantly hopping into the car all the time! Take time each day to walk!
- Don’t Overindulge: Whether you’re going on a cruise, hitting the beach, or sightseeing in D.C., it can be all too easy to overindulge! The average weight gain on a cruise is a whopping 5-10 pounds per person! A helpful rule: just because it’s there in front of you, does NOT mean you need to eat it!
Keep track of what you’re eating and drinking to avoid wrecking your goals.
- One Active Activity a Day: Each day of your vacation, strive for at least one physically active activity. That could be biking through the park, hiking through the woods, kayaking on the ocean… or walking instead of driving when possible (hint: walking is your friend)!
This is a great way to enjoy yourself and explore your surroundings- while still taking care of yourself!
- Stay Hydrated: Don’t forget to drink water! Staying hydrating is often a forgotten part of good health. Bring along your favorite water bottle and diffuse lemons, mint, or ginger to encourage drinking plenty throughout your day!
Don’t think of your vacations as a time to “cheat” on your health, but as a time to actively experience the world as your best self!
Perhaps the easiest way to stick to your health goals is to not think of them as “restrictions” but just how you live your life. Make your goals a part of who you are and they will no longer be a struggle… not even on vacation.
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