You get all your servings of fruits and vegetables every day. You stick with your workout routine week-in and week-out. You go on vacation—and suddenly everything goes off the rails.
While it’s important to let your body rest and rejuvenate over vacation, ditching everything that’s important to your healthy lifestyle will make it harder to get back on track when you get home, not to mention it won’t feel great to be bloated and sedentary when you’re used to your body being healthy and happy.
That doesn’t mean that you have to workout every day and eat healthy at every meal. Instead, make sure that you get enough water, pack small items that will keep you on track, and live like the locals.
When you take care of your body, you feel good. Use these six simple tips to stay healthy and have an even better trip.
Wear a Fitness Tracker
A fitness tracker is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of your fitness goals while traveling. Not only can you track your steps, which is the most commonly used metric, but some wearables also allow you to track sleep, hydration intake, heart rate and more. Decide what you want to track and then set goals for yourself so you’re more likely to stick with them.
For example, use a calculator like this one from Active.com to find your target heart rate for a long hike. Make sure that you maintain that heart rate by walking fast, jumping over a few extra rocks, or jogging during flat areas. You’d be surprised at how much active you are when you set simple goals like that.
If you don’t want to shell out for an expensive wearable, check out the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, which is only $45. Don’t forget to browse prices on Amazon as well, which was found to offer the best price for 40 percent of the wearables recently surveyed by CouponBox.com.
You can also take a tour of your cell phone’s health tracker—most come with one now—and see how you can use that to track your health while on the go.
Bring a Yoga Mat
If you’re driving, toss a yoga mat in the car. When you see it sitting in the corner of your hotel room, you’ll be more motivated to get active—“I brought it all the way here, I might as well use it.” Whether you’re doing yoga, a bodyweight workout or just stretching, you’ll be more likely to take time for your body than if you hadn’t brought it.
Use websites like FitnessBlender.com or the Nike Training app to find quick workouts you can do right in your room, or in a scenic spot outside. One or two workouts over the course of the week will go a long way in helping you stay healthy and enjoy your trip.
You can also use these:
Take Public Transportation
While driving yourself around is more convenient, it also allows you to be more sedentary. After a likely short walk from the hotel to your car, you sit for the whole ride and then park close to the entrance of your destination, which means you’re walking or moving minimally. When taking public transit, you end up walking more—to the bus stop/train station/subway entrance—and sometimes, even stand for the duration of the ride.
Not only does this allow you to be more active during your trip, but you also get a feel for the locals’ lifestyle, which is a part of the experience you don’t want to miss.
While this may not be possible for every trip, most major cities offer public transportation. Be sure to get a ride card to save on your trips, rather than paying for each ride individually, which can get pricey.
Eat One Healthy Meal a Day
Eating on vacation is an exciting part of every trip, but it can also quickly derail your usually healthy diet. Luckily, you don’t have to stick to salads and water all day to stay in check. Instead, plan to eat at least one healthy meal a day, which should include protein, veggies and a complex carb like brown rice or quinoa.
Make it more exciting by looking for a great local restaurant, where you can put a spin on the usual chicken, veggies and rice. You’ll feel great all day knowing you had one healthy meal, making the trip that much better.
Drink Plenty of Water
When traveling, you’re taking in more sodium and alcohol than at home, and water will help you flush your system and reduce bloating. If you don’t have a water bottle, buy one at your destination for a great souvenir or get at least two glasses at every meal. Starting your day with a cup of tea or hot lemon water has similar benefits, so add that in too if you can.
I always bring my own tea when I travel, just in case options are limited. Like the yoga mat, if you bring it, you’re more likely to use it.
Get Enough Sleep
On vacation, everyone’s sleep cycle gets thrown out of whack: we wake up early to get started with our busy day and stay up late enjoying the sights and sounds of nightlife in a new place. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep causes us to over-eat, make unhealthy food decisions and be cranky, all of which will make it hard to stay healthy while traveling.
While you’re anxious to see all that you can on your trip, think about your plans at least one day in advance to make sure you can get at least seven hours of sleep. If you know you’ll be out late that night, don’t put anything on your agenda until late in the morning on the next day so you can sleep in.