Summer is upon us which means most of us will be taking a vacation in the next few months. The question I am asked most often is, “How do I enjoy my vacation without gaining weight and completely missing out on exercise?”
If you want to be successful on vacation, the first step is to plan your schedule ahead to make time for exercise and maintain a relatively healthy diet that has wiggle room for some delicious treats. Here are some ideas on how to stay on track when you’re on vacation:
Start early. This is one time that you’ll benefit from fitting your workout in at the start of the day. Life happens, and you may find that things that you plan run longer than they should, allowing you no time to get your workout in at the end of the day.
Be flexible. Don’t let the fact that you cannot do the type and quantity of exercise you normally do deter you. This is a great time to try something new; and remember, a little is exercise is better than none.
Be creative with your exercise. You do not need to have access to a traditional gym to get a great workout. Lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk or do one hundred jumping jacks to get your heart rate up. For strength, all you need is a sturdy chair to do dips and squats and try doing planks and pushups from the floor.
Use technology to achieve your fitness goals. Smart phones and fitness tracker are great ways to keep track of your activity level throughout the day.
Don’t skip meals. You may think you’re saving calories, but you’re likely to overindulge on the next one.
Drink plenty of water. It's better to have an eight-ounce glass about half hour before each meal. It will help you feel full and you’ll eat less.
When eating out, be the first to order your meal at your table. You’re less likely to be influenced into making unhealthy choices by others.
Spread out your indulgences. Choose one treat to splurge on every day. It could be an appetizer, desert or wine, and allow yourself to savor it slowly and truly enjoy it.
Keep portions in check. Portion size matters, especially when it comes to higher calorie items. For truly decadent things, try just taking one bite to satisfy your craving.
Go green. Make your green vegetables the most prominent item on your plate. If you’re serving yourself, put veggies on your plate first followed by your protein (meat) and finally your carbohydrate(starch).
Finally, have fun and create new memories that will last a lifetime!
Oris Martin is the Fitness Director at St. Andrews Estates, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Boca Raton, Florida. This column appeared in the June edition of the Boca ViewPointe newspaper.