Traveling This Summer? Great! 7 Ways to Stay on the Path
Going on vacation this summer? You'd better! But let me warn you: It's a jungle out there, even if you're headed to the beach, the mountains or the museums.
Temptation is everywhere, usually fried or coated in chocolate. Without an action plan in place, even the strongest of us will wind up with Pop-Tarts and margaritas for breakfast.
At home, after all, we're in the comfort zone of our current routine. We shop, we cook, we keep our kitchen stocked with real food. We have our sports and games, our gym time, our yoga classes. We have our healthy lifestyle support systems in place.
But transport us to a strange new place and we leave our best intentions at baggage claim. We sleep through our workouts. We run ourselves ragged. We fall off the smart eating path and come back home carrying 8 extra pounds.
Take heart! Here are some ways to take a vacation that actually refreshes and revitalizes you.
THINK THROUGH A PLAN. Once you know your destination, sit quietly and visualize. Focus on where you're going and what you'll be doing. Exploring a new city? Going camping? Visiting relatives? Imagine the ways you'll stay active. Walking? Biking? Kayaking? Create a vacation calendar and write in your workout days. Plug in the details: Where will you go? What will you do? Who might join you?
HAVE A MANTRA. Come up with a gesture -- a tug on your ear? -- or a phrase that that reminds you to eat well. I like to tell myself, "Eat real food," but yours needs to be yours. ("Another round of beers" wouldn't be a good choice.)
POST IT. After you unpack, tape your plan and mantra to the bathroom mirror or minibar. If you miss the mark some days, don't judge yourself. Just begin again, knowing that staying active and eating mindfully will make your vacation more fun, not less.
THE PLANE TRUTH. Airplane rides suck the moisture out of you, sicken you with bad air and cramp your body for hours at a time. You need your own flight plan.
Travel with your own good food. Stay hydrated -- and not with small bottles of Jack Daniel's. When you power down your phone, do the same for your body. Take a few minutes to sit quietly and breathe deeply, calming your mind and releasing tension in your body.