A new year usually brings to minds better ways to maintain and improve our health, along with the habits that contribute to it. The first step is to go ahead and book that getaway because the good news is that science says taking a vacation is good for you!
Once that’s done, we’d like to recommend some simple ways to stay healthy while you’re away on vacation. These tips can apply to a vacation anywhere, but we’re going to tailor them toward a beach vacation since we’re biased in that area.
1. Walk Every Day
Taking a beach vacation makes this one a no-brainer. Get those toes in the sand and see the shoreline. Maybe you prefer an early morning walk to see the sunrise or maybe you’d like to end your evening with stroll after dinner. Or maybe a midday break from lounging in the sun is just what you need.
If you’ve been on the beach all day and are looking for a change of scenery, explore the town you’re vacationing in by foot and see the sights. Check out any local parks or nature preserves in the area and enjoy the views.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get some exercise in on a daily basis and it requires no extra equipment to lug along with you on your vacation. Walking is good for any ability level, can be done anywhere, and is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. Walking can extend your life expectancy and only 30 minutes a day has been shown to improve your heart health.
It’s one of the healthiest habits you can adopt whether you’re on vacation or not. Go for it!
2. Eat Responsibly
You’re on vacation, so it’s okay to indulge a little. But do you really need to go out to eat for every single meal? No. This is particularly true if you’ve chosen a beach vacation rental. Make the most of your rental kitchen by whipping up some quick, healthy meals instead of purchasing them elsewhere. You can better control what you’re eating while also saving time, money and calories.
It’s also a wonderful time to check out the local farmers markets, beach markets, and seafood markets to see what is available to you. You’ll find some of the freshest, tastiest, local flavors there so it’s well worth the trip.
If you have a busy day of sightseeing, prepare ahead by bringing some healthy snacks along with you. It will curb your hunger pangs and prevent you from making impulsive, hunger-driven decisions that may not be the best for your health.
Planning ahead is a helpful step toward being prepared. You don’t have to be rigid about it, but look at your day or even your week and have a game plan in mind when you’re thinking about meals. Decide which meal you want dine out for and then plan what you’ll do for the others. If you’re going out for a big breakfast, do you really need lunch or can you snack until dinner? If you’re planning to dine in a couple of nights, make a quick list of dinner ideas and a shopping list of items you’ll need to buy.
Limit yourself to one treat a day to prevent overindulgence. Also, keeping alcohol and sugar intake at a reasonable level are good goals to keep in mind.
Being proactive is the key to eating responsibly. If you don’t have a plan, then you’ll be easily led into temptations along the way, which may end in regret. Don’t let that happen. Here are some more tips on how to eat healthy during your vacation.
3. Sleep In
According to the CDC, insufficient sleep is a public health problem in America. We can all admit to not getting the rest we should. Why not use your vacation time to get a jump start on better sleep habits? You won’t have the demands of daily life to distract you, so it really is the perfect time.
Forget that alarm clock for awhile, and wake up when your body is ready. Sure there’s a lot you want to see and do on your vacation, but don’t overschedule your time. You won’t be doing yourself any favors. Instead take it easy by catching a few more Zs, go to bed when you’re feeling tired, get up when you feel rested, and by all means take a nap if you so desire.
Getting fresh air each day, taking a daily walk, and eating responsibly are all contributing to factors to better sleep. See, you’re well on your way to healthier habits and we’re only on #3!
4. Try Something New
Routine is great but sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Vacation time is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons and try something new. Benefits of embarking on the unknown include mustering up some courage, learning something you didn’t know, overcoming boredom, opportunities for growth, increasing your confidence, pushing the bounds of your comfort zone, and sometimes even overcoming a fear.
What are some ways to try something new while you’re on vacation? Write a bucket list and start checking off items. Do something you may not be able to do while at home: parasail, take a surfing lesson, go deep sea fishing, or partake in any of the many on-the-water adventures available to you during a beach vacation. Seize the day!
5. Press the Reset Button
By implementing all of the above steps, you’re already in the process of resetting. While it’s important to reset your habits, it’s also necessary to reset your mind. You’re on vacation so it’s the ideal time to mindfully think about your habits, your lifestyle, your strengths and your weaknesses. What are you doing well in? What do you need to improve? What are your goals?
Once you start taking more time to think about these things, it becomes much easier to act on them.
Intentionally set aside your work worries during your vacation, limit your impulse to check your email, and try to limit your technology time in general. These are only some of the things that will limit your ability to relax, refresh yourself, and achieve the full benefit of the pushing the proverbial reset button in your life.
You can read more about why it’s important to hit the reset button in your brain and see why it’s so vitally necessary for your mind, body and soul.
What healthy habits do you implement during a vacation? We’d love to hear about them! Cheers to a happier, healthier life!