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October 02, 2018

Mindful Vacations: How to Travel and Stay Healthy

So you're finally cashing in on your hard-earned vacation time and taking a nice long break. Fantastic! You're excited to plan your trip and cant wait to begin your adventure. But all that time you spent getting in shape and eating healthfully can't all be for naught. How do you keep your new diet and lifestyle in tact so that you don't have to start over when you return?

How to Stay Healthy on Vacation

Keep a stash of supplements.
The immune system can easily get compromised during travel. From lack of sleep to recirculated plane cabin air, a day of travel can take quite a toll on your body. Bring along some immune-system supporting vitamins such as vitamin C, and stay hydrated as much as possible.

Bring along healthy snacks.
Travel always takes longer than you think it will. You might factor in the length of the flight itself, but what about waiting for a checked bag, or on a Lyft ride to take you to your final destination? That can tack on a lot of additional time and if you're already peckish on the plane, you'll be starved (and cranky) by the time you get in a car. It can be difficult to find healthy options at the airport so you're better off bringing along a few emergency snacks.

Some great simple snacks to toss in your bag are:

Keep moving.
Have a plan in place ahead of time to fit in exercise while on your trip. Get in a short jog or utilize the hotel gym before you head out for the day. Use movement as a way to get around as well. Walk everywhere rather than taking public transportation, and rent bicycles to tour around town. You'll get in plenty of activity every day just by being a tourist!

Remember to rest.
There is a tendency to get excited and try to pack a lot of activities into every day. All the walking and sightseeing can get exhausting pretty quickly, so it is important to remember take the time to relax and soak in the scenery. Take plenty of breaks and be sure to get your sleep. Many cultures even take nap breaks (or a siesta) during the day, so when in Rome do as the Romans do!

Get adventurous with different fresh foods.
Italy may have delicious pastas, but have you tried their fresh melon wrapped in prosciutto? You can still eat decadent meals that seem indulgent just by exploring the fresh foods that thrive within the region you're traveling. Think ripe fruits for breakfast, grilled vegetables or meats from a street vendor for lunch, and fresh seafood at dinner. It's a wonderful opportunity to explore the flavors of the world.

Enjoy dessert.
This might seem like a strange tip, but if you desire dessert when you're out to dinner on your vacation order it and enjoy it! Yes, you should be aware of your sugar intake, however resisting the temptation of that sweet treat could cause you to overindulge on your next meal (we've all made the "I'm on vacation!" excuse). Enjoy every bite of that delicious dessert and stay mindful of your eating habits throughout your trip.

You may fall off the health wagon here and there while on your trip, but remember to be forgiving of yourself. It's more important to relax and enjoy your time away than feel stressed about whether or not you're doing everything right.

Simply be aware of eating habits and daily movement, remind yourself to relax and breathe deeply, and you'll be able to enjoy your vacation from start to finish.

[Credit: Wellington, Roger. 16 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling. Huffington Post.]
[Credit: Wells, Katie. 7 Tips to Eat and Stay Healthy on Vacation. Wellness Mama.]