Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
April 22, 2012    

The Travel Season

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Amy Culver

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The Travel Season

Travel season is just around the corner and with it comes the challenge of how to continue to eat well and get your exercise in while away from home.  Although it is good to have a change of pace and scenery, and even a break from your diligence, you can easily undo months of hard work in just a couple of weeks of travel.  Remember, healthy living is about lifestyle changes, and that means maintaining them even when you travel.

With exercise, for instance, it generally takes 4-6 weeks to get used to exercising, but only 1-2 weeks to get out of the habit.  If you don't look for ways to stay active during your vacation, exercise just feels sluggish and difficult when you return. 

Now, should you get up and go to a local gym every single morning?  You can, but that's not necessary.  What is better is to look for ways to have active fun, preferably things that include the people you are traveling with. 

If you are going on a cruise, look for excursions that are active, such as walking tours, rather than bus tours.  Most cities have self-guided walking tours that allow you to see things in more detail than you would if you were driving.  Contact the tourism bureau and ask for guides, or look online before you go.  

Will you be near water?  Many lakes have canoes and paddle boats you can rent.  My experience has been that when I do these activities while on vacation, I have a deeper appreciation for the hard work I do at home to stay fit.  I find the activities less work and more enjoyable because I am fitter and better able to do them.  That in turn helps encourage me to continue working to keep my body fit and healthy.

But what about food while traveling?  After all, aren't vacations the perfect excuse to indulge in treats?  Yes and no.  You can certainly indulge some.  You don't want to come home feeling deprived and as if you didn't get a chance to enjoy yourself a bit.  That doesn't mean you need to stuff yourself full of treats at every single meal and have snacks in between. 

Pick one meal each day during which you will have a special indulgence and eat more moderately at the other two.  If you want to have dessert, share it with one or two other people.  And remember, there is no "clean plate" rule.  The temptation to clean your plate is sometimes stronger because you are traveling and can't take home leftovers.  Consider though, that if you eat it just for the sake of a clean plate, you are going to take it home anyway!

With a little careful planning and consideration, you can come home from your vacation rested and ready to get back to life, rather than dragging, sagging, and wondering which of your clothes will still fit.

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