It’s that time of year again where people take time off from work to either relax at home, work on the ‘things to do list’, or go somewhere for some R&R.
Me, personally, I like to do the ‘go somewhere’ thing. I love the planning and logistics of it all.
I am always asked about training and nutrition while on vacation. What do I do or recommend. Well if you are staying at home, I say cut back on the training, stay active but give your joints and muscles a rest. If you are a consistent workout fiend, you need this rest. Vacation from work also means vacation from heavy duty exercise!
However, when I am away, out of town, there are several things you can do because diet also starts playing a role since you may not be able to prepare your own meals.
I like to plan for active vacations meaning lots of hiking, possibly water sports like kayaking or canoeing as well as biking. This allows me to cut back on most if not all, resistance training. Working out 5 to 6 days a week year in, year out, my joints need a rest.
In the morning, I may want to do some push-ups, walking lunges with no weights, etc. just to stay loose and keep blood flowing in the muscles.
If you are staying in a hotel with a fitness center, do some cardio. Again, I try to stay away from the weights but if they have some and you want to do it, I recommend going super light. You don’t know the equipment that well so there is no sense trying to go for a personal best. This is a great way to get injured while on vacation!
Since my vacations are activity based, the next thing to worry about or at least track to some extent is the diet. My first choice is to get a room with a small kitchenette. While they may be more expensive, in the long run if you have two meals a day there it becomes a wash compared to a regular room.
The most important thing about having a kitchen though is that you control your own destiny in terms of the food you eat. Not to mention that you also may get to experience different varieties of fruits and vegetables that you normally would not have at home.
In the case of this vacation, Oregon, there is a lot of farmland since we were doing the interior part of the state. This meant farm fresh eggs, grass fed beef and free roaming chickens. The meals were delicious!
So my itinerary over the next 7 days was as follows:
Day 1, fly out to Portland, what an ordeal, no easy non-stop flights
Day 2, Wine Country tour of the Willamette Valley, hey didn’t I say to relax???
Day 3, White Water Rafting
Day 4-5, Hiking, hiking and more hiking
Day 6, Beer tasting tour, hey you need to replenish all those calories lost from the hiking right?
Day 7, return flight…
So I will post about each day over the next several days to give you a flavor of how to have an active vacation plus eat as healthy as possible.
Day One…the flight
Since it was going to be an all day affair getting to Portland I pre-planned the meal stuff.
You can now bring on board and through security check points food. So we made sandwiches with good quality low sodium lunch meat like Boars Head, bread high in fiber, low in sugar, veggies for the sandwich as well as assorted nuts to munch on.
You could not bring in any water containers unless they were empty so we bought them once we passed the security check point.
The trip out had three segments, ugh, so we packed enough to have something to eat for each segment. We also brought with us protein bars that were again, low in sugar as a snack as well.
Each one of us carried our own meals on our carry on back pack.
Having food with you keeps you from the dreaded airport food that while they have improved over the years, still has too much temptation lurking around to ruin your vacation meal before you even get there!
So Day 1, while long, allowed us to eat healthy and keep our energy levels up.
Since it was also a long day, we made sure that we walked around the airport terminal while we waited for the next flight. The last thing you want to do is reduce the number of steps you walk in a day since you will be sitting in a plane for about 7 hour’s total. So take advantage of the layovers.
While flying, I like the aisle seat because it allows me to get up even if it just to stretch, bounce on my toes to get blood flowing through my legs and walking up and down the aisle to hit the restroom. You do not want to get Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) on long flights and it is a lot more common than you think and also life threatening!
So Day One was a successful day towards being…Fit Forlife!