Labor Day weekend is almost here! Millions of people will be celebrating with BBQ, picnics, traveling, spending time with loved ones, and relaxing as we bid summer farewell, and for some, begrudgingly give into pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.
Hello again! It's Teri. I myself am going kicking and screaming into autumn. I live in Minnesota. I know what's going to happen. It will snow in October.
Back to business. How do we keep our Labor Day festivities healthy? Heck, how does one keep healthy while on vacation? I'm so glad you asked!
Whenever I plan to go on vacation or travel for that matter, I plan ahead. Here are my top tips for keeping in shape while still enjoying your time off.
1. Meal Prep.
For those truly dedicated, you can meal prep and take your meals on the road. If it's a very long road trip, reload your cooler with fresh ice from time to time, or get the type that can plug into a car a/c adapter. Like this one.
When I was in prep for a bodybuilding competition, I had to travel to Texas. I packed meals for a week in a cooler and had to do a dump and reload with ice A LOT. On the way, we stayed overnight at a hotel. Which brings me to another point.
2. When traveling, get a hotel room that offers a microwave and a mini-fridge.
Booking a room with these features means you are trying to make a commitment to staying on top of your health goals. You can stop and shop for food on the road or before you check-in.
3. Try and get in a workout.
Yup. Again, if you are traveling, see if there is a gym nearby and if you can get a day pass if you do not belong to a gym that is nationwide. Or, book a hotel with some cardio equipment. Weights are awesome if they have that option.
I've mentioned before in last week's article that I pack a pair of resistance bands so I can get in a full body workout anywhere. Here's a workout you can do right in your hotel room, Teri approved!
No resistance bands? Try this full body routine. The minimum I want you to do? Get in your 10k steps. I know I talk about this all the time. It's free, it gets you moving, it keeps your cardiovascular health in check. Another thing you can do is plan a fun activity that takes you on a hike, a bike ride, or some sort of activity that gets you moving.
4. Didn't have time to meal prep? Then make good decisions.
With smartphones, it's really easy to find a restaurant's menu and nutritional information for chain establishments when on the road. There are even apps like MyFitnessPal that have a lot of information pulled from menus.
Commit to what you will eat before walking in and placing your order. You can also find grocery and convenience stores along the route and get a salad to go or find a bunch of other pre-packaged fruits, veggies, eggs, and other options. You just need to look for them.
5. Don't forget to eat.
When we are traveling, enjoying a hike, or when we're on a long adventure, we push our meal times out. While that works for some, it can cause the hunger monster to come out, which can lead to over-consumption of calories. Keep a healthy snack on hand like a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit like an apple. Pair it with a protein if you can. It will hold off the hunger and keep you level.
6. Stay hydrated.
Yup! I mean water. When we get dehydrated, cravings set in. Making sure you get your daily intake of 8 glasses a day - more if you workout - will help keep you full, happy, hydrated, and keep the snackcidents at bay.
7. Get enough sleep.
We try and pack so much in when we go on a trip, that we can be exhausted when we return. At times, we feel like we need a vacation from our vacations. Who does that?
I'm guilty! I have stayed up late, ran myself ragged, you know, the usual stuff. Make sure you get enough rest. That way you won't overdo the caffeine, you will more likely make better decisions, and enjoy your trip. I get downright crabby if I am not well rested. What fun is that?
8. Share the health.
Attending a get-together? Bring a dish that is healthy that you truly enjoy, and make enough to share. Heck, if you want, bring two! You will enjoy your own meal and stick to plan.
9. Don't forget to enjoy.
I realize...it's vacation, celebration, time off, whatever. Taking time off helps relieve stress and recharges your mind. Indulge here and there, but don't make it the entire time. You'll feel better by staying on track going back into your normal routine, and your body will thank you!