It happens - you finally get settled into a solid routine of eating great food, exercising regularly and meditating frequently and then just like that - you're on holiday and it all goes out the window!
It's OK, holidays are times to relax and break the routine of everyday life - unless of course it's your job to sit by a pool sipping on cocktails!
Although holidays are times to relax a little, they shouldn't be used as an excuse to let everything slide and allow bad habits to form. Did you know once you break a routine it takes the average person a minimum of 21 days to re-create that routine? Not so quick and easy to just pick up where left off, right? So don't. No need....Here are 10 tips to keep you on track while you travel so you don't have to worry about starting over again when you're back to reality!
TIP 1 - First things first. If you're travelling through different time zones - ADJUST to the time you are in! If you arrive late in the evening however your body clock is telling you it's time for breakfast - scrap the body clock and go by the real time of wherever you are. The longer you delay your body to adjusting to it's current environment, the worse off you'll be. Everything will be affected from sleeping and eating patterns to energy levels and emotions. Jet lag can only affect you if you allow it to!
TIP 2 - Wherever possible try to bring snacks from home. I'm one of these travelers that packs an entire case of carry on luggage with (books) and healthy snacks! We have ample supplies of nuts, unsalted popcorn, dried fruit, protein balls and other gluten free goodies. Make sure everything is sealed and try to buy snack size packs so you can take them out and about with you. Not only will you be saving heaps of $$$ when a hunger pang strikes, you'll also know what you're putting in to your body!
TIP 3 - Research research research! Before you depart, do your research! Wherever possible, try to stay somewhere nearby a supermarket or grocery store, especially if you have a kitchenette (or full kitchen) available. I'm not saying you should spend your holidays cooking every meal, however if there is an option to prepare your own breakfast why not? You'll start your day off with the right kind of fuel to keep you going and again you'll be saving which gives you more spending money! Interesting fact - the average person consumes 2-3 times their usual amount of food at a standard breakfast buffet - so unless you're doing plenty of walking to burn this off, it's easy to see how the holiday weight can creep up!
TIP 4 - Scope out the fitness options available to you. I don't know about you, but my intentions on holidays are always good! We ALWAYS choose accommodation that has an awesome gym and even if we only use it a handful of times, we know the option is there. When you combine a solid workout with plenty of walking throughout the day you're keeping your mind and body strong which is more than halfway to keeping you on track! Depending on where you find yourself, there may be bike riding or hiking tours which boost your fitness all while allowing you to explore a new part of the globe!
TIP 5 - If there is no gym where you're staying, or the weather doesn't allow you to get out and about, you're exercise plans don't need to fall by the wayside. There are heaps of great fitness apps that you can download for free (my fave is the 7 Minute Workout Challenge) which allow you to work out EVERYWHERE! From the comfort of your hotel room, you could find yourself able to do a complete workout without taking up much more space than your suitcase! Another option is to bring a set of elastic resistance bands with you. They are virtually weightless and take up no room and you can focus on every single part of your body. Don't forget about the pool either - a great low impact workout for those days where you need to take the pressure off your joints after all of that retail therapy!
No gym - no worries!
TIP 6 - Keep well hydrated. Staying on top of your water intake is key to feeling your best. Be sure to stay hydrated on the plane, as we all know that feeling of coming off a long flight with dry skin and a scratchy throat from not enough water. If you are exercising while traveling or headed somewhere which is warmer or more humid than your usual environment, be sure to take in extra water. As a bonus, staying fully hydrated will prevent your body from thinking it's hungry and could stop you from consuming too much food!
TIP 7 - Be sure to remember your vitamins or supplements!
If you regularly take vitamins and/or supplements, make sure you pack enough for the duration of your time away so that you can maintain your routine. When keeping up with healthy habits such as this you'll find yourself more motivated to make other healthy choices with respect to your food and exercise while on holiday.
TIP 8 - Stretch! If you know you have full days ahead of you, dedicate at least 5-10 minutes every morning to stretch before you start your adventures. Be sure to stretch your arms, legs, neck, shoulders and back. It’s easy to sneak in simple stretches throughout the day or before breakfast. How many times have you intended to explore the city for a couple of hours and 10 hours later you're still walking around? You may not feel it the next day, but by day 2 it can be painful to move! I also find stretching right before bedtime helps to relax the muscles and can provide a better night's sleep.
TIP 9 - Limit alcohol and sweet drinks. I'm not saying avoid these things completely - not at all! However bear in mind that alcohol and non-alcoholic sweet drinks are packed with calories and will make you feel tired and sluggish. For each drink that you have, back it up with 2-3 glasses of water straight afterwards. This will keep you hydrated and will still allow you to enjoy (and remember!) your trip.
TIP 10 - Eating plenty of veggies is key when dining out. Opt for healthier choices by selecting a vegetarian dish or add a salad to balance your meal. Eating too much meat and poultry can cause a clog-up in your bowels which in turn can lead to bloating and bouts of tiredness. Avoid heavy, fried foods to keep your energy levels consistent and if desert is a must - go for a fruit salad.
Make your health a priority. Yes, enjoy yourself and if you want that beer or cocktail have it. The key is moderation. If you can walk to the department store - walk. If you can have salad instead of chips - have the salad. Small choices make a huge difference and they all add up. Staying on track while travelling allows you to maintain your routine when you return.
Love and Light
xx Sandra Stoitis xx