Going on vacation fills most of us with all sorts of feelings: excitement, anticipation, hope, possibly nerves. If you are among those of us trying very hard to lead a healthy lifestyle, dread can also top the list of emotions.
Why? Mostly because what seems hard in everyday life – avoiding, say, the triple chocolate cake oozing delectably in a shop window – can become nearly impossible while cruising around, eating at restaurants every day, living out of a suitcase, and curtailing your exercise routine.
Believe me, I know. I just returned from a long trip through California, which involved cute beach towns, visits to family, and a sojourn in the Napa Valley. None of these destinations are calculated to add much to healthful living, and they certainly make already instituted habits and resolutions harder to keep.
So what’s the answer? Well, first and foremost I believe that some amount of indulgence on vacation is probably necessary if you don’t want to go insane with jealousy and longing. That doesn’t mean, however, wholesale approval to eat your face off three times a day. Try deciding ahead of time what you feel comfortable letting yourself do, whether it’s something sweet once a day or skipping an extra workout or two per week. Setting limits on your vices beforehand will help keep backsliding to a minimum.
In terms of exercise, try working it in to your trip before you even leave. If you’re staying in a city, get a hotel that’s within walking distance of a few of your top destinations (in the countryside you really have no excuse either way). If you’re outdoorsy, check out bicycle or kayak rental places, or make time for nearby hikes.
Lastly, make sure you don’t unintentionally set yourself up for failure. Shape Magazine recommends packing right and tying your sense of adventure to your exercise – that way you won’t be without the necessary equipment, and you’ll never be bored!