I hear it all the time, my friends and clients go on vacation and leave their healthy lifestyle at home. Whether they forget to pack it, or intentionally leave it at home with all of their other responsibilities, that’s where it stays. After one too many margaritas and laying on the beach like a baby seal for a straight week, they come back struggling to get into their normal routines that they have worked so hard for. So why not avoid this altogether by adding that healthy lifestyle of yours to your suit case when packing? I’m sure there is room and it can fit (and BONUS, packing it will keep you fit too)!
I recently headed down South to Tulum, Mexico (a gorgeous, and blissful place) and yeupp, you guessed it, I packed my health and fitness routine with me! I’m living proof it can be done and you will come back from your week of paradise effortlessly picking back up where you left off- At least as far as healthy lifestyle goes. With summer right around the corner and those travel plans booked, what better time to show you what you need to have a vacation that includes your health and fitness habits?! Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Before your trip, head to your local, health market and pick up your favorite snacks to last you for the plane rides and the days you will be on vacation. I packed snacks when I headed to Tulum and the only airport food I bought was some water and a banana. This also provided me with plenty of healthy snacks to choose from while I was in Tulum. Some good snack ideas?
- • Nuts/seeds
- • Health bars such as Larabars, Kind bars, or Gomacro bars
- • Peanut or almond butter packets- To be eaten with fruit
- • A banana, apple, and/or carrots- For the plane ride (also consider getting fresh fruits/veggies when you reach your destination)
- • Dark chocolate- When you start craving something sweet
- • Healthy chips or crackers like kale chips, black bean chips or Mary’s Gone Crackers (Mary’s are organic, gluten-free, vegan, and all others sorts of amazingness!)
Pack those Nikes (or workout shoes of choice), some workout outfits, headphones, and consider packing your favorite workout DVD, or even some dumbbell weights (maybe only 5 pounders, so you don’t end up rolling a 100 pound suitcase across the airport). Also, why not pack a few fitness-related magazines and/or a health book? You’ll have plenty of time to read while basking in the sun and this may be something you don’t have the luxury of doing when back home. Plus, this reading material will help to keep you on track while vacationing! I packed a few fitness/health magazines and books for my trip, and even tried some of the new workout moves I learned from the magazines, while working out in my hotel room.
KEEP YOUR REGULAR ROUTINE
Do you normally run, hike, yoga, or gym it? There is no reason you can’t do any of these forms of exercise while at or near your hotel! Set your alarm each night, allowing yourself 20-60 minutes in the morning to workout. Whether that’s hiking a local trail, running on the beach, or heading to the hotel gym. My hotel in Tulum didn’t have a gym, so I turned my hotel room into one. I did 20-30 minutes of my regular gym workouts inside and outside my room- Get creative! I also ran a mile every morning from my hotel to this awesome smoothie place I found. After you start your morning with your normal workout routine, you’ll find yourself feeling accomplished and open to whatever the day has in store because you’ve already taken care of your body’s needs.
FIND LOCAL, HEALTHY FOODS
Every destination (especially now days) offers some form of healthy fare, it is just a matter of finding it. Once you get to your hotel, Yelp some healthy food options or ask the front desk for recommendations. I was lucky enough that my hotel offered a good variety of healthy options to eat like omelettes (I skipped the cheese), fruit, ceviche and guacamole (I got both served with sliced cucumbers instead of chips- GENIUS!), and tons of fresh, fish dishes. The only thing missing was my daily, green smoothies. As mentioned, I ended up finding this amazing, smoothie joint (thank you Yelp) and each morning was able to get myself a green smoothie. I even had a green, smoothie bowl one morning, which was full of local flavor and tasted heavenly. If you eat your healthy snacks you packed, and make two of your three meals healthy, you will have room to splurge a little on one of your daily meals- Whether that be at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
TRY NEW FORMS OF EXERCISE
When vacationing, do as the locals! Maybe the local thing to do is surf or play volleyball. Do some research and plan to do a local activity or two; you’ll be trying something new, while working that body out. I had planned to surf and paddleboard while on vacation (my normal, favorite activities when visiting Hawaii), but wasn’t aware that these were not local activities in Tulum. Clearly, I didn’t do my research! So instead, I took a yoga class at the next-door hotel (there were tons of yoga studios in Tulum). I also biked to and then hiked up one of the Mayan ruins- A great workout! Lastly, I swam in quite a few of the majestic Cenotes that Mexico has to offer (these are beautiful above and under-ground natural wells of water). These activities worked and challenged, new muscles that I don’t always work out. Push yourself to be a little adventuress and daring on your next vacation, and you may just come back with a new, favorite workout or hobby!
LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL
I’m not saying alcohol is healthy, by any means, but let’s be realistic, some of you will likely indulge in a few adult beverages while vacationing. If you plan on drinking, make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water and avoid those touristy-appealing drinks (AKA Pina Coladas and Mai Tais- Both full of sugar!). Designate a day or two to indulge in a few (meaning two) drinks, but don’t make it a daily activity while on vacation. I admit, while in Tulum, I enjoyed a few Mojitos, but they were made with real fruit and did not have any fake or sugary syrups. In my opinion, you can find alcohol any and everywhere, but you won’t always find yourself in a beautiful, new destination- Wouldn’t you rather enjoy the new experience, instead of experiencing something that is always, readily available?
There you have it, the surefire list of essentials to give you a healthier vacation and bring you back to reality feeling good and ready to pick up where you left off at.
Britt Martin is a California native who is passionate about health and nutrition. She has her Communication degree from Cal State Fullerton and is currently pursuing her goal of becoming a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Britt’s aspiration is to make the world a healthier, happier place by helping people live more nutritious lives. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking and her dog-children. For inspiration, workouts, motivation, and lots of health tips and recipes, follow her nutrition-focused social media accounts: @FitBrittNutrition, Website, Facebook.