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It can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling. We get into an “I’m on vacation!” mentality that makes us forget the consequences that our actions may have. For those of us who have struggled to get in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it starts to feel like a choice between losing weight and enjoying our travels. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy a trip without undoing all of your hard work. Here’s how.
Build Fitness into Your Fun
Whenever you’re making plans think: how can I make this more active? Walk, bike, or run to get where you are going whenever possible. Canoe or kayak rather than hopping on a speed boat. Ride a horse rather than sitting in a carriage. Get creative with your vacation activities and you may find that you’re not only burning more calories, but you’re having more fun too. Or you could sign up for an active vacation, such as a Surf and Yoga retreat in Portugal.
Work Out in Small Increments
No one would expect you to spend hours in the gym on your vacation. But you can work in very small doses of activity throughout each day. Remember that every little bit counts. You don’t have to go for a 30 minute run, but you could jog 10 minutes to your next destination rather than taking the bus or use the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Break up hours of laying on the beach with swimming a few laps or going for a quick run.
Learn a Local Workout Routine
If your current fitness regime is getting a little old, spice it up with a lesson in a local activity. Learn Flamenco dance in Spain or learn the art of fencing in England. Changing up your routine will also challenge your body and help it burn more calories.
There are lots of options for doing a quick in-room workout with tools that you can easily pack in your luggage. A jump rope provides a challenging cardio workout but takes up virtually no space. Resistance bands are also lightweight, but will give you the strength workout you need. You can even buy inflatable dumbbells that fill with water for weight, or just do simple moves like crunches, jumping jacks and push-ups without any equipment at all.
Chose Your Battles Wisely
Dieting is all about knowing when to splurge and when to save your calories for something better. Make choices so that you can indulge when you want and eat a little more healthfully at other times. Pick one meal of the day, or one or two days on the trip, when you can have anything you want. At other times, use your judgment and try to eat as well as you can. Apply the same principle when it comes to working out. If you want to eat a more “sinful” meal, commit to a longer exercise session to work it off.
Remember that everything is okay, in moderate amounts. If you want to indulge in a rich dish, go for it, but only eat half – split it with a friend or have the waiter take it away as soon as you are done. Be cautious when it comes to alcohol too. Booze calories can add up quickly, and lowered inhibitions and self-control mean you are likely to eat more or make poor food choices when you drink. Try to limit your consumption by alternating water with drinks.
There’s no reason why traveling should mean you can’t stay in shape and continue to make healthy nutrition choices. Just follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy all the culinary delights of your destination in a healthy way.
Written by Katie Hammel for EuropeUpClose.com