FITNESS WELLNESS HEALTH
Travel Healthy, Travel Happy by Rachel Langley, Providence, RI
With the spring and summer months approaching (finally!), it is rapidly becoming vacation-planning season. But before we get too excited at the thought of laying by a pool or wiggling our toes in the sand, keep in mind that the pairing of calorie rich frozen drinks and sinful food selections coupled with laying around for hours may not make for the healthiest of vacations. This may sound great on paper, but the reality usually leaves people with vacation regret once they touch those sandy toes to a scale. I’m here to tell you that although those temptations are present (and sometimes seemingly dancing at you), there are ways to re-route your yummy food desires with the approach of healthy substitutions and opportunities to get yourself moving in between all that pool time. I personally know the battle well after spending my most recent vacation traveling up the scenic Pacific Coast Highway in California. Amidst the beauty and joy of warm sunshine, I learned a few things about vacationing “on the go.” These helpful tips and tricks that I put into play for myself might help you balance the joy of vacationing without the sometimes-accompanying weight gain or guilt pangs from indulging too much. Food Choices: I’m very fond of ordering a healthier side dish. Nearly every restaurant I dined at had french fries, onion rings, or some other deliciously deep fried side to choose from. However, many times there is also the option for a side salad, cooked veggies, or even fresh fruit. This allows for the best of both worlds, you enjoy the splurge of a main dish with the benefit of a healthier side.
to be active. My vacation, although it involved hours of car time, offered many opportunities to get out, stretch the legs, hike a bit, and soak in the stunning sights we encountered along the way. If you’ve never been, the cliffs and ocean views along the California coastline made it easy to want to stop the car. The idea here is to look for opportunities to stay active even if it means skipping the elevator and taking the stairs to your hotel room. The more active you become, the more your natural inclination will be to plan in advance any opportunities to get your body moving while stepping away from your hectic everyday life. Packing Snacks: Our road trip started back in Las Vegas, so perusing the local convenience store for snacks that would hold us over while on the road to Cali was a challenge. The most helpful hint I can offer is to pick snacks that are closest to nature. Now normally, you aren’t going to find a great fruit and veggie selection in a convenience store, but where there is a will, there’s a way. After closely examining aisle after aisle of high sodium and saturated fat choices, I managed to locate some suitable options. I grabbed a couple granola bars, a
bag of pumpkin seeds, and a couple bananas (they were in a basket by the register, imagine?). The lesson here is to prepare ahead when you can and improvise when you must. The Hotel Room Guest Book: I had an eye opening discovery approximately half way through my vacation. While staying at one of our designated hotel stops, I happily discovered in the hotel book a list of local sightseeing destinations, along with local walking/ hiking trails and nearby parks. What interested me is that for some reason, these suggestions are listed far behind the other pages of local shopping, bars and restaurants. Opportunities to be active and stay active are all around us if we just take the time to look or inquire. And not to mention, what a wonderful option to have compared to the usual streets filled with souvenir shops and ice cream parlors. All it took was turning the pages of the guest book a bit further to find the opportunity for adventure. Of course, all this said, every person deserves some relaxing pool time and a sinful food splurge, but it never hurts to keep your eyes open for those moments to eat a little better, and move a little more. Now you can get out there and travel smarter and healthier while enjoying your next vacation destination! Rachel Langley is a passionate fitness enthusiast, runner and dedicated blogger. She is actively studying for her Personal Trainer certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is currently certified as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor through IFA. She recently was selected as a fitness Ambassador for Train Dirty Fitness and Brand Ambassador for SwirlGear. You may follow her health and fitness adventures at bodymadebetter.com!
Staying Active: Depending upon the type of vacation you are taking, there may, or may not, already be an opportunity
www.rifitmag.com | volume one issue two
Volume 1, Issue 2 of Rhode Island's premier fitness, health and wellness magazine RI Fit