Healthy Vacationing

I’m going to go quite a few weeks back in time again and talk a little about our honeymoon. However, I’m not going to bore you with a recap, rather I want to talk about how you can make your vacation a little healthier. Don’t get me wrong- Zach and I drank more than our fair share of beer as we explored the rockies and the pacific northwest, and we definitely ate a lot of ice cream and charcuterie. Even with all of this indulgence though, we tried to keep our vacation as healthy as possible. With the Christmas holidays upon us many of you are probably getting ready for a winter vacation, so I thought I’d share a few tips on how you can stay active while away (at least to balance out the intake of junk- because let’s get real, you’re on vacation and I’m not going to preach “eat a salad!”)

    1. Go for a ride! Rent bikes and explore the city you’re visiting, it’s faster than on foot, it’s cheaper than renting a car (and easier to park!), great for the environment and a great calorie burner (bonus points for riding up steep hills). Zach I rented bikes and explored Stanley Park and Kitsilano in Vancouver. We were able to see so much in a matter of hours (side note: the bike lanes in Vancouver are so great! Take note, Toronto.)IMG_8308
    2. Choose “active” adventures. While helicopter rides and boat cruises can certainly be an exciting adventure on a trip I challenge you to try something that also challenges you physically. For me and Zach this meant some intermediate hikes with some solid inclines. We hiked up to Upper Joffre Lake just outside of Pemberton B.C. and instead of taking the gondola up Grouse Mountain in Vancouver we opted to hike up and tackle the Grouse Grind.IMG_8226 IMG_8151DSCF7447 IMG_8335
    3. Take breaks. While sometimes long drives and train rides can’t be avoided be sure to keep your blood flowing and take some breaks to move when possible. Remember, even on a road trip half the fun is getting there. Taking a break allows you to see something new and explore a place you may have never been before. For us, this meant some short road-side walks and hikes, or even just a nice stretch break. A short hike break isn’t tough when the view looks like this:IMG_8059 IMG_8094
    4. Lace up those shoes. We chose not to rent a car while we explored Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. While a car is definitely convenient at times, not relying on it means you have to rely on your own two legs (and public transportation) which means a lot of exercise. I find exploring cities on my feet makes the experience feel a lot more authentic instead of just driving from point to point. Again, it’s nice to see so many different things as you make your way to a destination. Sometimes this does take a little extra planning, but it’s definitely worth the money you’ll save and the activity you’ll get. While in Vancouver there was an ice cream shop that I really wanted to check out. It was pretty far away but we took a beautiful long walk along the water seeing so much. By the time we got there I felt a lot less guilty about getting a double scoop (which we then chased with some samples from a nearby craft brewery)IMG_8421 IMG_8294
    5. Eat a solid breakfast. This is easiest when you find accommodations that all you to cook up a hearty am meal but having a kitchen isn’t always necessary. We tried to start our days with some protein (usually eggs) or something that would keep us going. When cooking wasn’t an option we had some instant oatmeal packages that only needed some boiling water. These types of meals are really easy to find on the go as well. I found that when I started my day with a pastry or something indulgent I spent the rest of the day hungry and wanting more junk. Starting the day off right kept the junk cravings at bay, or at the very least, left my stomach much happier when I waited until mid-day for that pastry.
    6. Rest. While it’s fun to pack as much activity as possible into a vacation don’t forget the importance of some R&R. Remember, so much of living a healthy lifestyle means taking the time to relax, unwind, take a step back and rest up. Sleep in, take an afternoon nap or lay in a park with a blanket (like we did in Seattle, pictured below). Even if you spend the majority of your vacation doing just this, don’t feel guilty. It is rare that we get the chance to do nothing and if you let it, it can be very rejuvenating!

While our trip was perfect for the warmer weather, I realize these things may not all be possible while exploring an area that gets snow in the winter. If you’re in the wilderness, rent some snow shoes, go cross-country skiing, or simply put on some good boots and go for a winter hike. If you’re exploring a city, check out the outdoor skating rinks in the area. The possibilities are endless!

For those of you travelling to a resort this winter there are also a ton of ways to stay healthy too! Go for a beach walk, dance the night away at the disco, join the water aerobics at the pool, explore a nearby town on foot, sign up for an active excursion or just bask in all the relaxation (while wearing sunscreen of course!)

Above all else, ENJOY your vacation and don’t feel guilty about a little indulgence, you’ve earned it!

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