Monday, July 12, 2010

Vacation Danger

Summer time is known for warm enjoyable weather and vacations. Whenever I am training a client and they mention that they are going on vacation or out of town for a while, I always get concerned. They almost always come back with excuses of how crazy things were and that they couldn't work out and ate too much and the wrong kinds of foods. Healthy living can be a challenge when you are traveling and being hosted by friends or family who wine and dine you.

It's a similar problem that people experience over weekends. When you are not in your usual weekly routine, it's easy to let your guard down. That is one of the reasons Monday is the busiest day at the gym. I think many people are trying to burn off what they ate over the weekend or make restitution or penance for their weekend indiscretions. It's kind of like going to confession.

If you have been training hard and consistently for several months, then taking a whole week off could actually be a beneficial thing to keep you from over training, but I think few people are in that situation. Most are still trying to stick with a fitness program and get going. So how can you avoid the dangers of getting out of your routine and losing momentum while you are on vacation? Maybe you can't, but there are some things you can do to have a healthy vacation and minimize the damage done.

1) Drive safely and wear seat belts. Plan breaks to stretch and walk so you don't arrive feeling crippled once you get to your destination.

2) Drink plenty of water and watch how many calories you drink while on vacation.

3) If you are going to eat out, choose healthier entrees or share them to cut down on the serving sizes.

4) Plan ahead to see if your hotel or host has access to a gym. Pack some resistance bands if you won't have access to a gym.

5) Buy healthy groceries at the store and take them in a cooler so you are not dependent on fast food while you are traveling.

6) Find a new version of physical activity to do while you are on vacation. Enjoy the outdoors by walking, swimming, biking, or hiking.

I think vacations are a great way to rejuvenate and "sharpen your saw", but you don't want to lose the progress you have made or lose the good habits you have developed while you are on vacation or out of town. You might even persuade those you are vacationing with to adopt a healthier lifestyle because of your good example.

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