By Samantha Clayton, Senior Director, Worldwide Sports Performance & Fitness, Herbalife Nutrition
August 3, 2017
Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway to visit family, a trip to a faraway land, or a stay-cation, time off is important to your overall wellbeing. Vacation is a chance to reset your brain and connect more deeply with friends, loved ones, and even just yourself.
Vacation is also a perfect time to increase your activity level by starting a healthy, active lifestyle plan. It can be difficult to start and maintain a fitness regimen in the midst of a hectic schedule, so as a trainer, I often recommend starting a new plan while on your personal vacation. I know many people view vacation as an opportunity to let loose and throw their diet and exercise routine out of the window, but if you really want to make new, positive changes in your life, your vacation can be a great time to start. And if you’re traveling with your family, friends or a loved one, you can be healthy and active together.
Here are a few tips for incorporating physical activity and healthy nutrition on your next vacation:
- Schedule workouts during the day. Whether it’s a quick trip to the hotel gym before sightseeing or a simple workout before bed, make time to get some exercise. Or you can make exercise a part of your trip—rent some bikes, take a hike or go for a swim.
- Find new foods. Mobile restaurant apps make it easy to seek out healthy local food. You can also hit the grocery store to experiment with snacks—maybe there are some fascinating new fruits and vegetables you can’t get at home. Try and find a cooking class to really learn about the local food. Another advantage to being in a new city or country is discovering new ideas on how to spice up your weekly menu at home.
- De-stress: Schedule time to rejuvenate, get extra sleep and have a relaxing soak in the bath. True relaxation and meditation can positively enhance your overall feeling of wellness and boost your results. You may even find that the extra “me” time helps you to get past an exercise plateau, because rest is such an important part of your fitness journey.
- Don’t use excuses. When you’re planning your vacation, spend some time looking for healthy food and activities in advance. As someone who travels for work and with family on a regular basis, I have found that planning ahead saves time. And if you put in the effort, you can always find a healthy meal option near you and find time to squeeze in some form of physical activity.
Just the act of going on vacation is healthy as well. Consider this:
- A Gallup poll positively associates taking vacation time to overall wellbeing, regardless of income or type of vacation.
- Studies show that people are happier when they’re looking forward to a trip vs. purchasing an item. It’s all about experiences!
- A relaxed employee who has time off is a more productive one. Research shows that vacations, when taken under the right conditions, can improve mood and productivity (stressful travel may actually negate the benefits, so plan well and early!).
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that when you take care of your body by eating well and exercising, you’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy and you’ll be more relaxed. And all those things make for a much better vacation.