Vacations are a welcomed time to have fun, relax with family and friends, see fresh sights and try new things, but they are not an excuse to neglect positive choices for your health. You can still enjoy yourself and allow little indulgences without sabotaging your health goals. It takes a lot of planning and scheduling to keep healthy while traveling, but the hard work is worth it to maintain energy, focus and feel great.
Staying committed to my health routine is much easier at home than when traveling, but it is possible. At home, I have much more control of my food choices, sleep patterns and exercise options. My family and I recently traveled to Disney World for our vacation, and I tried my best to make it a fairly healthy one for all. We weren’t perfect with our choices, but I believe little treats are deserved, as long as everything is kept in moderation.
A lot of preparation was required to continue our physical and mental well-being. When packing for our trip, I included some snacks such as nuts, raisins, Ritz Crackerfuls and P90X Protein Bars. Shakeology packets, fitness DVDS, resistance bands and workout clothes made the trip, as well as some health essentials like vitamins, motrin, Benadryl, hand sanitizer, melatonin, lip balm and sunscreen. Taking Echinachea and drinking lots of water for a few days before our trip helped prevent illness. When we arrived at our destination, our first stop was to a supermarket, since we had a full kitchen in our timeshare. Stocking up on foods for our breakfasts(eggs, whole grain bread and english muffins, yogurt, milk, bananas, cereal, peanut butter), snacks (string cheese, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, nuts, fruit tray, apples, popcorn) and water ensured some positive options.
Maintaining good nutrition helped our moods, behavior and endurance through our long and busy days. Drinking a lot of water, combining the proper food groups, and paying attention to portion sizes with our 5 ( or 6) small meals every 2 1/2-3 hours helped keep our energy and metabolism running. Every morning, our backpacks were loaded with snacks to last the day, and we blended up Shakeology in throw away cups for our morning snack. When stopping for lunch or dinner, we utilized some better alternatives. In restaurants, we tried to hold off on sauces, get dressings on the side, and select baked, sauteed, grilled or broiled meals instead of fried, sometimes sharing meals since portion sizes were large. We ate a lot of salads and turkey or chicken sandwiches, eating only one slice of bread. Instead of french fries, we often chose apples, grapes, carrots, or salad.
Exercise was limited, but still possible. Walking around the parks was exercise itself. The amount of miles we walked each day was numerous. I had every intention of working out with short workout programs on my portable DVD player to TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme and P90X. Lack of space prevented me from doing my cardio workouts, but short strength training workouts(20-30 minutes) from ChaLEAN Extreme and TurboFire (with resistance bands) were feasible, as well as some 15 minutes of P90X’s Ab Ripper X or Abs 10 from TurboFire’s advanced series. On our “rest” day from the parks, we played hard at the resort with some tennis, basketball, shuffleboard and even our own version of tennis baseball. It was great having fun and getting a workout together with my children. My muscles were sore after those competitions!
Resting was essential to recharge. Disney World is definitely a fun, but an exhausting vacation. We took breaks when we felt our limits, stretching helped relieve my sore muscles and I treated myself to the jacuzzi a few nights before bed to renew. Melatonin and darkening the room assisted in getting a full and good night’s sleep.
Many memories were made on our vacation and good habits too. I strongly believe that as parents, we need to lead by example and show our children how to live a happy and healthy lifestyle making positive choices. My husband and I were thrilled when we saw our older kids knowing what to eat, and recognizing when their body needs to refuel properly to feel good. We smiled when we saw them ordering salads and choosing water for their drinks. We don’t expect them to choose healthy all the time, but I know they are noticing a difference in how they look and feel when they follow our lead. Sure, they want their ice cream, hamburgers, french fries, and soda, and I don’t mind treating them every now and then, especially if they’ve been eating well most times and continue to be active.
Life is about chances and choices and I choose health and happiness. I hope you’ll join me! www.beachbodycoach.com/fitwithmolly