By: Josh Davidson
Spring Break is upon us! Now is the time when families escape to warmer climates to recharge before summer and the end of the school year. For those of you that have to stay in good ole’ Indiana, sorry. It looks like Mother Nature was playing tricks on us in February with that warm weekend. Spring Break is a time when most people think about taking it easy and relaxing. But just be sure not to take it too easy or you’ll risk undoing all the work you’ve already done.
Challenges and Solutions of Spring Break (or any other vacation)
While Spring Break provides its share of benefits like relaxation and stress relief, it also has its fair share of challenges to living a healthy lifestyle. Need some examples? Don’t worry cuz here are some ways those Spring Break trips and other vacations tend to challenge us.
Extra Intake of Alcohol
Let’s be honest. Vacations usually go hand in hand with alcohol. You get the island drinks with the little umbrella or try the local beer. It’s a part of the carefree island life that most of us join when we travel to these tropical places like Cancun or the Bahamas. Even if we stay stateside in Florida, there’s the sense of “letting loose” and enjoying yourself. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t! You’ve worked hard and this is your time to relax and take time off. I just want you to remember that alcohol leads to dehydration, so be sure to keep up with the water intake as well. Especially when you’re hanging out in the sun all day!
Who wants to cook while on vacation? I know I don’t. But as you already know, eating out at restaurants can be dangerous for the waistline. Again, I’m not saying you should cook every meal yourself because that’s work. But maybe shopping and preparing some local cuisine yourself once or twice wouldn’t hurt too much. Depending on where your travels take you, many places have great selections of fresh seafood to eat. Eating out at restaurants is great too and encouraged since they know how to make local fare and delicacies. Just remember to watch what all is going on your plate. Maybe ask for fresh vegetables instead of fries. Or choose grilled or baked entrees instead of fried ones.
I’ve already touched on this in regards to alcohol consumption. Even if you don’t drink alcohol on vacation, you’re probably out in the sun or being more active than normal. Be sure to keep up with the water consumption! It helps keep the body working efficiently. I would say it is probably the biggest obstacle most people will face and not realize during vacation.
Nowadays, any hotel you stay at on vacation is going to have a gym or exercise room. I would tell you to try and make a trip down there, but let’s face it, it probably won’t happen. And it doesn’t necessarily have to either. You probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out. What do you usually do on vacation? From talking with a lot of members, I know you hike, swim, walk around towns, go ziplining, deep sea fishing, and much more. You’re not sitting around all day doing nothing. In my personal experience, I’m probably more active on vacation through swimming, snorkeling, and walking around town. So instead of going to that small little gym, go swimming throughout the day. You’ll get a full body workout and some cardio at the same time outdoors in the sun!
Everybody needs a vacation, so enjoy it! Leave all the stress of work and life at home. This is your time to relax and work on your mental health which is just as important as your physical and nutritional health. Just don’t completely forget about the physical and nutritional side. Follow the tips laid out above and you’ll be fine, but don’t stress about it! And if you need additional tips, Courtney has made a handout on nutrition tips for vacationing which can be found outside her office. The staff at PTI wishes you the best on your travels and will be waiting to hear about them when you return.
HAVE FUN AND ENJOY YOUR TIME OFF!