I feel like its human nature for us to find excuses for getting out of activities we don’t want to do. We spend so much time convincing ourselves the excuses are our realities and it’s no longer possible for us to complete the activities. This goes for simple tasks like making our beds, eating breakfast, drinking water to even bigger ones like working out, standing up for what we believe in, traveling. Can you think of the last excuse you came up with to get yourself out of a task? Do you honestly feel like its true and it’s a great reason for you to not complete an activity?
We can go into more depth with this topic alone but I bring it up with the sole purpose of giving you ideas on how you can stay committed to your life goals while on vacation and exploring the world.
As a nutrition coach and personal trainer, I’ve heard a plethora of excuses as to why clients splurge the whole time while on vacation: (read these with a whiny tone)
“It’s so hard to eat healthy – we’re in Hawaii, I can’t make my own food and we have to eat shave ice every day, we don’t have that at home!”
“There’s no time to work out – the hotel doesn’t have a gym and we’re exhausted from walking around, doesn’t walking count anyways?”
“I’ve been working so hard for this time off, I’m going all out and then when I get home I’ll be back at it!”
Blah, blah blah…
I know most of you have used these excuses or something similar at least once, I know I have, and I’m here to tell you it’s not reality and there are a few simple steps you can do while on your trip to keep you on track – and it doesn’t mean you have to refrain from the shave ice!
Keep Your Mind in the Moment – Leave the Stresses Behind
This is more of a daily thing but it’s extremely important to do when you’re traveling because it affects your trip experience. We all have those nagging voices in our head reminding us of all the things we have to accomplish when we get back home. Whether it’s household duties or work projects, we have to leave them at home. When these voices pop up, quickly grab a pen and paper or your phone and begin a list. Acknowledge the thought, write it down and keep the note in a safe location. This is a promise to yourself that you will get to it when it’s the correct time and place. You’re taking care of the action for the time being, releasing it from your mind, and keeping it somewhere you won’t forget. You’ll begin to feel a sense of ease, it will no longer be repeated in your head and you can easily get back to the situation at hand – the soothing sounds of the ocean crashing on the warm sand, the hot sun tickling your body and the beautiful words of the new book you just started.
This is a great practice to incorporate in your everyday routine to keep you in the moment at all moments. You can’t shut off your mind completely, so instead of ignoring the constant reminders, take note and clear the space for epic memories. I like to check my list every morning when I wake and then right after dinner to make sure I accomplish the time-sensitive things for the day.
Pick One Meal to Splurge on Each Day – It’s possible, I promise
Every country, state and some cities have their own specialty food. Whether it’s deep dish pizza in Chicago, Tiramisu in Italy, or Weiner Schnitzel in Germany, you MUST try these dishes when you visit – It’s a no-brainer and I’m all for it. But that doesn’t mean you should “try” them at every meal. Pick dinner for instance. You know that for your last meal of the day, you’re going to try Lou Manalti’s deep dish pizza with all the fixings (or whatever fixings the chef recommends). But you’re going to pick healthier choices for your other meals – keep your body filled with nutrients throughout the day.
Here’s an example of what your day could consist of regarding your meals:
Breakfast: Eggs, Toast, Coffee + Water
Snack: Peanuts, Yogurt + Water
Lunch: Lean meat with lots of Greens + Water
Snack: Celery Sticks, Hummus + Water
Dinner: DEEP DISH PIZZA + Beer/Wine and Water
(save dessert for another day/splurge meal)
Notice the water thrown in there… Try and have a glass with each meal and keep a bottle with you throughout your excursions. Especially when you’re flying. Your body is exposed to a high altitude with low moisture – this can cause dehydration. Did you know dehydration could extend jet lag? That’s no way to spend your time. Plus, the constant water flow will help flush your digestive system (from all that pizza) and help keep you energized. Stay hydrated my friends.
If you have access to a kitchen in your temporary residence, plan to grocery shop for your first two meals and snacks and then make a date out of your night out. This would save you a ton of money and you’ll be able to monitor how the food is being prepared throughout the day. Then fully indulge and enjoy every minute of your splurge meal – guilt-free.
Maybe your room doesn’t have a kitchen or you’re taking this vacation to get away from cooking – I get it, its break time. Majority of restaurants have health-conscious items next to their fried-goods on the menu. They’re also capable of making modifications. So if you want a salad instead of fries, or brown rice instead of white – just ask and most places will deliver. Look for lean meats that are grilled and veggies that are not cooked in butter (you have every right to ask the cooks to hold the oil and butter on your meals). Make a conscious effort to make the healthy choice as often as possible. Your body will continue to thank you.
Spend AT LEAST 10 Minutes a Day On Focused Training
Training as in working out, also known as exercising. Some of you may view this as a bad word when it comes to vacationing, but it’s going to improve your experience. I’m using the word “focused” here because your intention of these ten minutes is to work out your body, get it up and active and ready for the day – highly encourage this to be done first thing in the morning! The whole time, you should be focused on your muscles and movement. Not only will this boost your happy-hormones, it will get you energized and overall make you feel good.
There are plenty of things you can do:
Grab your smart phone and YouTube a 10-minute yoga sequence – then follow it;
Take a walk/jog/run around the resort or on the beach (do it with your fam and/or lover);
Do a few laps in the pool or get some water aerobics in;
Complete a mini-training circuit (see below);
Walk up and down the stairs;
Do some Krav Maga/Tai Chi/Taebo/Capoeira.
Get creative and incorporate a few of the above. Whatever you choose, stay focused on the movements and your muscles (mind-to-muscle theory) and do it with a smile. Be proud of yourself first thing in the morning and continue that happiness throughout the day. Once again, your body will thank you.
Also, try and choose activities throughout the day that keep you active. Try out public transportation – if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up getting lost and having to back track. It’s actually pretty fun! Or rent bikes and ride throughout the city or on paths by the beach. This is my new favorite thing when I visit the islands, specifically Kauai – there’s a beautiful trail that goes for miles along the ocean. You may even see marine life!
Here’s a mini-circuit you can do – and if you have a beach near by, go do it on that:
25 jumping jacks
10 lunges each leg
15 mountain climbers
25 sec plank
Then repeat until you’ve reached your 10 minutes (or more).
Get Your Necessary Hours of Sleep
There’s no specific number of hours that fit every person when it comes to proper length of time for sleep. But you should at least know what’s best for you. What’s best to keep your head in the game, your body energized and most importantly what keeps you in a good mood (I know your travel partners/acquaintances will thank you for this one). So make sure to hit that number at the very least. I know sometimes you get so excited with all the cool things to do, but are you really going to enjoy them if you’re yawning or constantly looking for a coffee shop? Plus your pictures – do you really want those bags under your eyes? Maybe you can’t get a full night’s rest every night, but you can always plan for a nap. Have you ever napped under a palm tree or in a hammock by the ocean? It’s so relaxing and meditative. Sleep rejuvenates and resets your body and is extremely necessary on a daily basis, including vacations.
Remember to Stay Kind to your Mind and Body
Whether you’re active 24/7 or haven’t worked out a day in your life (lets talk if this last one applies to you), your body is your temple. It allows you to do ALL the daily activities you participate in and keeps your body functioning the way it’s meant to. When you consistently fuel your body with the nutrients it needs, you keep your muscles and joints active and you stay positive, you will drastically improve your capabilities of achieving success in whatever your heart desires. When you go on vacation, it’s important to keep these habits consistent, even if you don’t stick with it 100%, don’t fall off completely. That will only shock your body and it could take twice as long to get back into your healthy groove. And don’t beat yourself up if you splurge a little too much. Just be aware of what you’re consuming, do your best and keep your mind pure.
Use your travel time as a reward for how far your mind and body has taken you thus far – the physical, mental and emotional journeys. Keep them happy so you can continue to have more explorations. Plus, your vacations shouldn’t be for you to “run away” from the issues in your daily life, it should be an opportunity for gaining knowledge from and exploring what this beautiful world has to offer. Every one deserves that – if their life is crazy busy or not.