50+ Health: Stay Fit Right Through Vacation

You’re in a fitness routine that’s working and are enjoying a heart healthy diet, but vacation is just around the corner. You fear that your progress might be derailed – or worse yet, you’ll gain five pounds! But take heart, with a little advance preparation and the desire to keep your healthy routine on track it may be easier than you think to stay fit even while on vacation; you may even come home a few pounds lighter.
Here are a few strategies to help you stay on track while you enjoy the sights and experiences of the vacation you’ve been looking forward to!

Get mentally prepared
Most of us look ahead to vacation as a well-deserved break from work – and it is! So don’t think of your workouts as work – they are a positive part of your healthy lifestyle and one of the best decisions you’ve made for yourself. As you plan your trip, decide in advance that your dedication to health and fitness will accompany you wherever you go.

One of the best ways to stay on track while away is to prepare while packing your bags. Throw in your swimsuit (even if you won’t be near the beach) along with yoga pants and a couple of your favorite workout T’s. Don’t forget gym shoes, you’ll be glad to have them once you’re there.

Plan a vacation around fitness
You’ll find that you’re in good company planning a vacation that includes activities like sightseeing, walking tours and dancing. Vacation getaways that offer spa retreats, hiking trails, Kayaking lessons or snorkeling are becoming more and more popular as Baby Boomers work on keeping fit. Several senior independent living communities offer lodging to members of sister communities in other cities – a great way to save on hotel costs while enjoying a brand new destination.

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Forget about a rental car
Why drive where you can walk? Once you’ve arrived, slip on your walking shoes and see the sights on foot. You won’t have to worry about parking when you want to stop for photo ops or for lunch – not to mention navigating in unfamiliar territory. While planning your vacation, search for a destination that offers bus tours to local attractions that may be too far to get to on foot.

Eat out with care
Throw healthy snacks like granola, fruit bars and nuts into your bag before heading out for the day and eat small portions at 2 to 3 hour intervals. You can experience the local cuisine without overindulging – stop for a meal before you get too hungry and order healthy choices from the menu. Plan ahead to eat a light lunch on the same day of your dinner reservations at the restaurant you’ve always wanted to enjoy first hand.

Use the fitness center
Begin each day with a jog on the treadmill or time on the elliptical in the hotel’s fitness center – you’ll feel energized and ready to take on the rest of the day. Plus you’ll have zero guilt about spending lazy afternoons on the beach or next to the pool. And speaking of the water, bouncing in the waves or swimming a few laps add a healthy dose of fun.

Don’t fret
If you overindulge for a day, don’t sweat it – you’re on vacation and you’ll probably feel even more like hopping onto the treadmill the following day. The most important thing is – enjoy every minute of vacation. You’ve worked hard for it and you deserve the break!

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