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Healthy Vacation Tips for Summer Travel

No matter how you plan to get there, traveling can be a fairly overwhelming adventure for some. All the planning, budgeting, shopping, packing and even arranging a sitter for the dog can leave you feeling like you really do need a vacation. Not to add one more thing to your crazed pre-trip task list, but we don’t want you to forget to keep your health in mind.

You’ve likely spent the first half of the year shedding winter weight and eyeing that hot new bikini so that you could take this trip without worrying about love handles and arm jiggle. So don’t hang up your hat now. Taking your diet and fitness habits on the road with you is as good an idea as packing your passport and plane tickets.

You might ask “How do I balance the lazy days of vacation with not falling off the wagon?” Well, the answer is you do just that – balance. Whether at home, the beach or some place in between, a healthy lifestyle is all about practicing balance and moderation. We’ll show you how.

If you’re traveling by plane, try this:

Stock Your Carry-On. Carry sturdy fruit like apples or bananas, raw nuts, whole grain crackers, crunchy veggies and even some dark chocolate. You won’t feel hungry on the plane and hand over five bucks for a canister of potato chips or a giant cookie.

Stay Hydrated. Ask for water or club soda with lime, and forgo the rest of the drinks from the calorie cart. With plane germs and the altitude change, you’ll be doing your body three favors in one by sipping H2O.

Watch the Seat Belt Light. When the pilot turns it off, get up and move! As long as the calorie cart isn’t blocking the aisle, you can walk laps. On a longer flight, do this once an hour for about five minutes.

If you’re traveling by car, do this:

Plan a Picnic. Skipping road-side fast-food will save calories, money and even add an element of fun to your trip. Fill a cooler with sandwich making, then stop at a road-side picnic spot for turkey sandwiches on wheat bread, fresh veggies and hummus and a fruit salad.

Be a Tourist. Try to stop every one to two hours to walk and stretch. Small towns that dot the interstate make great pit-stops and photo opps.

Stay Hydrated. Again, keep drinking that water! Each time you stop to refuel the car, refuel yourself. Take reusable water bottles and refill with water in the gas station.

When you’ve reached your destination, do this:

Keep Moving. Plan activities that require you to move. Whether that be golf, tennis, kayaking, swimming or even a stroll to a tourist hot-spot, doing more than lounging all day will burn those vacation calories.

Indulge… Just a Little. Don’t make every single meal a vacation celebration. You’ll no doubt hit local dives and even splurge on a fancy dinner or two, but you don’t have to do it three times a day for a week. If you eat at a greasy beach spot for lunch, have a lighter dinner. If you order a bottle of wine with dinner, skip dessert.

Sleep. One of the best things you can do for your body is stay rested. With the hustle and bustle of getting to your destination, the jam-packed vacation schedule, new time zones and even dietary changes, your vacation can take a toll on your body. Take advantage of your time off and squeeze in a nap, and try to get as much quality sleep at night as possible.

April 19th, 2010

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