Make your summer vacation enjoyable and healthy with these stay-fit tricks.
Travel can be stressful, but with a few simple strategies you'll be on the road to a relaxing vacation. Whether you're backpacking through Europe or lounging on an island, arrive healthy, stay well and return rested.
1) Eat Healthfully
Plan ahead to avoid diet disasters on the road. Keep some food in your carry-on. If you know you have a piece a fresh fruit, a bag of nuts or a fiber-filled granola bar handy, you're less likely to be tempted by a gooey cinnamon roll at the airport food court. Research healthy dining options before you take off at airlinemeals.net or roadfood.com.
Know you can't resist chips and candy at the gas station convenience store? Pay at the pump. "If you need a snack, look for a pack of pistachio nuts in the shell," says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "It takes longer to eat them so it tides you over until your next meal."
2) Pack Smart
Don't assume you'll find everyday essentials at your destination, especially when traveling abroad. Create your own medical kit with prescriptions, other medications and vitamins and keep it in your carry-on. Bring hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes to keep germs at bay when using public transportation.
Remember to pack your sneakers, workout clothes and even equipment such as resistance bands or an exercise video. You're more likely to make time for exercise if you have the right gear.
3) Keep Moving
Just because you're on vacation, doesn't mean you should take a break from exercising. Sightseeing on foot is a great way to explore a city and sneak in cardio. If you're hitting the ocean, go for a swim, take out a boogie board or walk on the beach.
There's no need to do a full workout while on the road. Even a quick 20-minute session will help you maintain your fitness level. An easy way to fit in a workout is hitting the gym during a long layover. Airportgyms.com will help you find facilities on the fly.
4) Rest Up
Travel can leave you exhausted, especially when changing time zones. The best way to avoid jet lag is to adjust your sleep schedule so it works with your destination's time zone. Set your watch and start on local time as soon as you arrive. Avoid the urge to sleep during the day by going for a stroll outside.
Taking the red-eye? To get some zzz's on the plane, avoid alcohol as it's dehydrating and interferes with sleep. Jet Blue offers Shut-Eye Service on certain overnight flights, complete with eyeshades and earplugs.
Is it really a vacation if you're fielding business calls and checking email? A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management showed 90 percent of BlackBerry users compulsively checked it on their own time. Put down the CrackBerry, leave your laptop at home and disconnect from the working world. Use the time you would have spent on the phone or Internet to take a hike, enjoy a yoga class or go for a swim.