We just got back from a family vacation to Marco Island and a few days at Disney Parks. There’s no denying that we practice healthy habits more at home than when we travel. Vacations present challenges and many temptations. It’s easy to pig out, become sedentary, ignore bedtimes, and forget to hydrate. Here are five tips for staying healthy on vacations you can travel to in a car.
Find a good water source.
Hydration is key, especially in high altitudes or hot summer months. The first thing I do when I arrive at a condo or hotel is to locate a clean, filtered water source. Generally, every hotel or condo has a hydration station somewhere. Sometimes they are in fitness gyms. Recently, I found a filtration station at the bottom of the elevator. A quick trip down and up assured us of clean, fresh-tasting water. Sometimes there might not be one. That’s when we opt for the spring water in the portable 2 ½ gallon containers. Practice the same hydration practices that you do at home. I even travel with my Gigi’s lemonade in a 64-ounce container with ice. We don’t leave home without both of us having our Yeti’s filled up with healthy drinks/water. Long road trips contribute to dehydration if you are not prepared.
Minimize eating out and prepare ahead.
Please understand that most restaurant foods are not healthy. They are designed for taste and not nutrition. In addition to high calories, they contain mainly processed foods and lots of added sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. You’ll certainly have to be wise with your choices such as choosing grilled over fried and low pesticide asparagus and broccoli over vegetables with high pesticide residue. Eating out a lot drives up your vacation bill! I’m a freeze-and-store baker meaning that when I make a dish, I make 3-4 of them and freeze the extra for vacations, etc. I never go on vacation without a cooler packed with nutritious premade food. I also take my Vitamix with me so I can make my nutrient-dense smoothie each day. On a family vacation, everyone wants some of my “schmoozie” as my granddaughter Ashlen calls it!
Find ways to eat clean food.
We generally make both a Costco and Whole Foods stop on the way down or after we arrive. This assures us we have a good supply of organic and healthy food. As soon as we arrive and unpack, I make fresh salsa and cut up fresh vegetables and fruit. I also bring along my own recipe of Chex Mix with lightly roasted nuts, seeds, and whole grain cereal. This encourages us to eat healthy and grab foods high in nutrients. Any items I know will be hard to find come with me in bags.
Keep normal sleeping hours.
A vacation is a great time to catch up on your sleep. It’s not a time to get your sleep cycle out of whack. With no work demands, sleeping in and taking naps are permitted. We try to keep our same sleep schedule of 10 pm to 6 am during our vacation time. It’s also a time when we love to watch the sunrise and grab a nap nearly every day.
When we’re on vacation we love to ride bikes, swim, and walk in scenic areas—especially on the beach or on a mountain hike. It’s not unusual for us to ride bikes up to 12 miles a day. One week at Hilton Head Island we clocked over 60 miles. Hiking, biking, and swimming in nature, or what we call “green exercise” is good for the body and soul. By staying active, we usually don’t gain weight.
Vacations are usually a time when most people gain too much weight and feel terrible at the end because they don’t practice moderation and plan ahead. Come away from your vacation refreshed and invigorated instead of tired and bloated.
What tips can you share for staying healthy on your vacation? Next time, we’ll explore ways to stay healthy when your vacation involves air travel.
For Your Health,
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Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.