Traveling is one of the most exciting experiences we can reward ourselves with. The chance to pull ourselves out of our everyday routines and experience the unfamiliar enriches us with unmatched exhilaration and provides a therapeutic release. Traveling fills us with new energy and readiness to take on whatever life has to offer. However, this obstruction of routine can affect us in all senses and often disrupts our health and fitness regimens. While traveling is a time to let go of everyday worries, it is common to return from a trip feeling a need to overcompensate for the lost progress. This can make us feel incredibly guilt ridden and stressed. If your pre-trip excitement is being trampled by fears that you will come back feeling like you’ve fallen backwards in your fitness routine, here are some tips that will help you stay on track while still giving yourself the vacation you very much deserve, whether it’s an action-packed adventure or a relaxing getaway!
1. Agree to give yourself a VACATION
While it is a good idea to keep your progress, surely you didn’t put in all that money and planning just to have your everyday stressors follow you across the globe! That is why it is important to free yourself from rigid scheduling and extremely high expectations during your trip. Make a mental pact with yourself that you will leave any sort of pressure or negative self-talk behind. Trust us, allowing yourself some time to relax will do wonders for you in the long run!
2. Go sight-seeing on foot
Whether it’s the bustling streets of London, or the beaches of Hawaii, your destination of choice is bound to have endless sights, monuments, and tourist attractions. Take some time to walk to some of these places and check them out! More often than not, these places are way cooler when you are able to experience them in person rather than through a bus or car window. Not to mention, it’ll give you better photo opportunities! Although it seems simple, exploring by walking around is an awesome way to keep yourself active without feeling like you’re taking time out of your trip to stay in shape. Don’t underestimate how great of an exercise it can be- you may even find that you feel that satisfying post workout soreness in your glutes after a day of sight-seeing!
3. Unwind, but keep moving
Relaxation doesn’t only mean laying down for hours on end with a margarita in hand (but don’t hesitate to do that as well!). Take advantage of recreational activities that are available wherever you are. These can vary based on location: beach destinations usually have paddle boarding and kayaking., urban destinations typically have bike tours and nightlife with dance clubs and social spots, places with gorgeous natural scenery are filled with hiking trails. Getting up to try whatever activities the place has to offer will enhance your experience and you’ll be keeping active without even realizing it!
4. Indulge mindfully
There’s no doubt that trying new and delicious food is one of the most exciting parts of visiting a new place, and there’s no reason why you should deny yourself the experience! Remember, this is a time to enjoy, not restrict. However, if you’ve ever felt guilty or insecure after overindulging on a vacation, you’re certainly not alone. To avoid feeling down on yourself once you return, try to maintain a manageable balance. This could mean limiting yourself to one “rules-free” meal per day or having a list of foods you want to try. Fill in the gaps with meals that are more balanced and similar to the ones you would opt for in your daily routine back home.
5. Designate a time and pre-plan a quick workout
This is for those who aren’t satisfied by general active opportunities or who would rather get a workout out of the way, so they don’t have to worry about it later. Designate a convenient time to workout each day. Typically, early in the morning or right before bed are good times because you can set an alarm for slightly earlier or plan to go to bed slightly later. Have a quick pre-written routine of exercises that you don’t need equipment for and can do in the comfort of your room. Here is a sample plan:
- 30 jumping jacks
- 15 squats
- 20 lunges (alternating legs)
- 10 leg raises
- 1-minute plank
- 1-minute break
- Repeat 4X
Decide how much time you want to take and come up with a plan that works for you. Even 15-20 minutes per day can make a difference. It’s a good idea to write your plan before you leave, so you don’t have to think about it too much once you’re on your trip!
6. Get enough sleep
A good night’s sleep is crucial to leading a healthy life. This runs true no matter your location. Think of the Goldilocks Principle: too little and too much are both detrimental. Maintaining a decent sleep schedule will make it much easier to get back into your routine once you return home, and you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the adventures much easier if you’re not feeling drowsy the entire time!
7. Forgive Yourself
Understand that slacking off is not the end of the world. As human beings we are not perfect, and it is more than okay to give ourselves some leeway every now and then. Traveling is an opportunity to step outside the conventions of our regular lives and fill our souls. If you don’t manage to keep to your routine, remind yourself the real reason you went abroad in the first place. Replace self-criticism with reassurance and gratitude for the experience.