Traveling should not ruin a healthy lifestyle, it actually should contribute to gain new insights, get away from stress and learn from others and their efforts for a balanced life. I think people just lose the war even before going into the battle, there is some kind of resignation and common acceptance that vacation is a time to forget everything, to eat everything and to gain a lot of weight. This is a false premise and here are some quick tips about what to do.
1- Do not lose your exercise routine. Even traveling should not be an excuse to change certain patterns that are basic for life. If one exercises everyday for 40 minutes this should continue happening, even if one is making a transatlantic flight: walk in the airport, walk in the airplane, walk in the hotel, use the gym! First off, exercise actually helps us to adapt more easily to our destination, to beat jet lag and to prevent health problems related with lack of movement.
2- Know what you are eating. Vacation should not be synonymous with eating anything and everything that is served in various restaurants and familiar fast food chains. It is a great time actually to explore new flavors, to learn about new food, to try exotic fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins. Read about your destination and what great healthy meal opportunities you can find there.
3- Do not break your sleep patterns: rest well, go to bed at the same time as your home routine, this will help you to stay relaxed and keep stress away, at the end you will enjoy more everyday.
4- Do not overindulge yourself. The fact that one is walking a little more does not give license to eat 2,000 calorie meals. Just eat enough to enjoy your time, to experience new culinary traditions and to not get sick.
5- Enjoy the outdoors, walk in the beach, hike a mountain, ride a bike… try to do something new everyday, vacation is the ideal time to explore the outdoors and to fall in love with new hobbies.
6- Plan ahead what you are eating, read about restaurants in the area you are visiting, learn about organic supermarkets and alternative grocery stores. If you have not planned your day ahead including your meal stops you will end up eating 600 calorie donuts with a latte coffee (another 200 hundred empty calories).
7- One has not to eat everything that is served in the airplane: most of the food served in the air is highly processed, with a lot of salt and very dehydrated. The ideal is actually to avoid as much as possible this kind of food. In many airlines it is possible to pre-order healthier options (many times without extra cost).
8- Why not experience local farmer’s markets: in place of going to an expensive restaurant why not go local? In farmer’s markets it is possible to find great organic products, that are really affordable at the same time its a great way to support local, sustainable initiatives. Just do not forget to wash your fruits well.
9- Don’t be too afraid of getting sick because of fresh products: there is a sense of panic when one is eating a fruit or a vegetable, but almost everybody overlooks how bad over processed food can be, especially fast food with all the fat, empty calories, sugar and everything else…. That is something that will make you sick at home and when traveling.
10- Enjoy life: vacation is a time to get well, not to kill yourself. So plan ahead, even before choosing a destination think about how well it will be for your life and for your health, and decide how you will keep a healthy lifestyle when traveling.