As the summer winds down, almost everyone is trying to squeeze in those last few days of summer into their busy schedules. Vacations are a time to let loose, enjoy yourself and do some things that aren’t necessarily a part of your typical routine. Many people have spent weeks leading up to their vacation doing their best to get in beach-ready shape by working out and eating right, only to find that the dinners out, happy hours and hours of R&R undo what they’ve worked hard for. The good news is that keeping healthy in more ways than one while on vacation is possible. Check out our tips for staying healthy while vacationing.
1. Plan Ahead
Just as in day-to-day life, it’s those times when you’re not prepared that you make a less-than-healthy decision. Forgot to grocery shop for lunch items? Guess you’ll just hit the fast food joint near work. The same goes for vacationing. While it’s important to taste local cuisine or explore different establishments in the area, that doesn’t mean you have to do so for every meal. Making a plan for your day can help you map out where you might be able to enjoy the healthy bagged lunch you packed, or where you can find a grocery store for a non-fried afternoon treat. Not only will this help you make healthy decisions throughout your trip, it can save you a pretty penny as well. If you don’t have time to plan ahead, use a helpful app like Healthy Dining to find nutritional information.
2. Keep the Water Flowing
While it’s important to drink an adequate amount of water every day, you’ll want to increase your intake while on vacation to stay hydrated and feeling good. If part of your vacation involves sightseeing under the summer sun for several hours, you’re going to need more water than usual. And if your vacation includes enjoying a few adult beverages, it’s all the more important to keep the H2O nearby. According to recent study by Danone, increasing your water intake can improve your mood and energy level as well, so be sure to pack a bottle to get the most of your vacation.
3. Protect Your Skin
There are many things that you can do on vacation to improve your current healthy status, but nothing is more important for your long-term health than protecting your skin from the sun. According to the CDC, only 14.3% of men and 29.9% of women use sunscreen regularly, despite the fact that exposure to radiation can cause skin cancer, including melanoma. A sunburn can occur in as quickly as 15 minutes, and the sun can be at its hottest anytime between 10am – 4pm (prime vacation activity time). An effective sunscreen should be water-resistant, have an SPF of at least 30, and be broad spectrum. It’s important to lather up before you head out, but if you forget, try to take other measures such as wearing long sleeves or wearing a hat.
And don’t forget about your eyes. Extended exposure to UV rays can lead to eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration and more. Many sunglass companies have begun making customizable shades so everyone can find a pair that fits their style. For example, sunglasses from Ray-Ban feature customizable shapes, frame colors, lens colors and even a customizable message. The polarized lenses eliminate glares and reduce eye strain, thus protecting the health of your eyes.
4. Keep it Moving
Although it’s great to have some time to sleep in and lounge around while on vacation, it’s important to schedule time to be active as well. After all, spending several days laying by the pool can actually leave you feeling lethargic, rather than refreshed, when you return to your normal routine. Do some research to see about nearby hikes or biking trails, or schedule some time in the morning to simply walk around. You can also use wearable fitness trackers like the FitBit or the Samsung Gear Fit2 to monitor your progress, that way you won’t feel so guilty when you ask the waiter to see a dessert menu.
Have your own tips for staying healthy while on vacation? Let us know in the comments below!
Guest Author: Jennifer Thayer is a freelance writer who enjoys covering everything from the hottest tech gadgets to the latest industry news. Follow her on Twitter to see what tech coverage she shares next.