Summer is upon us, usually a great stretch of time to take a vacation and a wonderful opportunity to recharge your battery, reconnect with loved ones and explore areas both new and familiar.
It’s typical to throw caution to the wind and engage in behaviors outside your normal health routine, and a challenge to keep well-being rituals on track. But it doesn't have to be!
There are plenty of simple ways to incorporate movement and yummy nourishing foods into your activities without it feeling like a chore. Plus, when you get home you won’t punish yourself for being “bad”.
I just got back from a long weekend in Colorado and am planning to go to Iceland in the late summer.
While Bob will literally go from sea level to 13,600 feet in one day to get the blood pumping (which I don’t recommend for many reasons!), with some minor planning you will see the sights, dive into the culture, get some relaxation and come home just as fit (or even more so) than when you left.
How? Play! Consider these simple suggestions:
- Walk, walk and walk
- Take a walking tour
- Book a hotel near town, leave the car in the parking lot and hoof it to the shops, restaurants and sites
- Take public transportation – it’ll expose you to the locals and bump up your steps
- Incorporate a hike (we went on some fabulous hikes in Colorado)
- You’ll see spectacular views, and perhaps even wild life
- There are hikes of all lengths and levels. Even a short one will do the trick
- what a great time to connect with loved ones, have alone time, or do some breath work!
- ask the locals to recommend a favorite trail
- Go early to avoid summer crowds – plus by breakfast you’ll have already earned your chow
- Grab a bike
- Most cities have bike lanes and rental programs. Hop on and explore!
- Take it to the beach, to lunch or on a full day excursion
- Book a bike tour of the area
- Take advantage of the water ways
- Swim a few laps in the pool, lake or ocean
- Surf or bring out your inner child and boogie board
- Row a boat or kayak
- Play Frisbee or catch
- Hold running or swim races with the family
- Seek out local activities
- Many vacation spots offer outdoor classes like yoga, Pilates and boot camp for tourists and locals alike. Ask around!
- Tai Chi in the park? Give it a try
- Check out the local driving range or batting cage
Whether you break a sweat or not, participating in any activity boosts circulation, burns calories and make for great photo opps!
In regard to cuisine, we always eat well and drink some wine on holiday. It is vacation after all! It is easy to use the getaway as an excuse to eat everything in sight, resulting in weight gain, digestive discomfort and bloat. In the end, you’ll feel terrible so instead try some of my go-to tricks and tips:
- Eat local
- This time of year, the harvest abundant so there are many choices from which to indulge. Ask what’s local – not only will you support local farmers, but save the environment as well. While in Colorado I had trout, beets, spinach, steak, cheese, carpaccio, fresh bread, wine and fruit pie, all from local resources.
- If flying, eat minimally
- Your digestion gets all wacked out from the altitude and sitting for long bouts of time. If you can avoid eating right before and while in flight, do. Grab a large peppermint tea and sip it during the flight (the peppermint helps absorb gas). Once you land, snack on some almonds and get that lymphatic system moving with a brisk walk and you’ll feel ready to go!
- Hydrate – in the summer heat, you need more water than usual. Start to hydrate a few days before you travel, which will help avoid headaches, digestive issues and any altitude related side effects (if going to the mountains).
- I love herbal teas, and travel with my favorite kinds. It helps stave off hunger in between meals and keeps me hydrated!
- Make a pit stop at the market and grab some snacks to keep in the room. My go-tos are fruit, nuts, cheese (local!) and crackers, dark chocolate and water. Many markets have bulk departments where you can make your own trail mix
- If there is no fridge in your room, ask the hotel to store any items in their kitchen
- Don’t eat processed carbs at every meal.
- Scone for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner – yikes! Too many processed carbs a day will weigh you down. Save them for your favorite meal and savor them then.
- When in Rome – if, for example, fried vegetables the only available produce, well then I guess you’re eating fried vegetables. In that case, avoid dips and condiments which have a lot of added sugars and loaded with sodium. Baby steps, right?
Importantly, explore, have fun and focus on what will make you feel refreshed when you return. Find ways throughout the trip to mesh into the local culture and get the blood flowing.
Be playful and indulge in ways that bring you home energized. And please share your favorite vacay survival tips when you return.
Now I’m off to plan for Iceland…
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™