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How to stay healthy and fit on your summer vacation (5 steps to success)

June 7th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

Dreams of summer vacation are what keep us going through the cooler winter months. But once we are on that cruise, beach trip, or European tour, all of the self-discipline and year-long commitment to health tends to go out the window. 

Whatever your poison is — croissants, ice cream, alcohol, this is the time to let loose and indulge! 

But after so many days, you find yourself bloated, achy, and slow, wishing you moved a little more and consumed a little less.

 

The Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley. We offer group and private fitness classes, courts for tennis and pickleball, and a junior Olympic pool. We also have two certified nutritionists onsite available for consultation.

In this article, we will share why staying healthy and fit on summer vacation is difficult and five reliable steps you can take to feel great on your holiday.


crop_comp_enggsnthings4 (1) - Edited (1)Why is it difficult to stay healthy and fit while on summer vacation?

Staying healthy and fit while on summer vacation is challenging for several reasons. 

Vacation equals indulgence

Most people equate vacation with relaxing. This translates into indulging in high-calorie, high-sugar foods and drinks. These extravagances tend to be more often and in greater quantity.

Change in routine and schedule

Summer vacations often involve changes in routine and schedule, which can make it harder to maintain healthy habits like exercising or eating a balanced diet. 

Your gym does not travel with you

Your regular resources for staying fit — favorite fitness class, weight room, pool, running trail — are no longer available. This can make it challenging to create new exercise routines and stick to them.

Your kitchen and pantry cannot fit in a suitcase

You will not have the same cooking facilities when you are away from home. You may also want to take a break from cooking when you are on vacation. This means eating out more frequently where it is: 

  1. a) harder to find healthy choices 
  2. b) there is more temptation to eat the unhealthy options on the restaurant menu.

comp_pexels-jonathan-borba-2997722-1What are the common traps people find themselves in when on vacation? 

Overindulging is a common problem when you are on vacation. Common traps people fall into are:

  • Overeating
  • Not exercising
  • Under-hydrating
  • Eating excess sweets
  • Overconsumption of alcohol

5 steps to stay fit and healthy on summer vacation

When you are on summer vacation, you want to let loose and have a fun vacation. But it can be tough to know how to strike a balance so that you still feel good. Here are five practical steps to help you stay healthy and fit when you are away from home.

1. Eat local

Going on vacation is a great way to take advantage of other cuisines. Whether it is the fresh fish from the local seas, the tasty stir-fries in Thailand, or the cheese and produce in France, every region has healthy specialties to enjoy. 

Shoot for fresh, unprocessed foods, lean proteins, and a color-filled plate as often as possible. 

comp_IMG-3665 (1)2. Walk, and then walk some more 

You can still stay active when you travel, even when your regular workout routine is not accessible.

Use your new location to get lost — take a walk and soak in your surroundings. Delight in the free time to wander around to your meal stops, taking in the local sites — coastlines, mountain hikes, or urban explorations. Catching up on your steps can help to make the vacation beneficial to your waistline.

If you want to diversify your exercise, consider simple body weight (or resistance band) workouts that employ squats, burpees, planks, pushups, and sit-ups.

 

3. Take it easy on the beer

When it comes to alcohol, the advice is… MODERATION!  

Having a fancy cocktail (or two) with dinner on a sunny summer evening can be the height of relaxation and pleasure. But more alcohol than that is an invitation for dehydration and a morning hangover. 

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is defined as up to two drinks per day for men and one drink for women. Less alcohol is better than more.

4. Hydrate

Taking long walks through the city or reading at the beach may be a great way to enjoy your vacation. But after being in the sun for many hours, you may notice you are hot, sunburned, and thirsty.

To prevent dehydration, carry a water bottle with you at all times. Having it on hand will remind you to keep drinking water throughout the day. 

If you are in an especially warm environment or will be out for a long time, consider adding an electrolyte powder or tablet to your water bottle.

compressedIMG-5981 (2)

5. Aim for balance

Following a strict diet regime and training protocol will make anyone's vacation stressful. But overindulging and being completely sedentary have shortcomings as well. 

Try to find a happy medium so that you are treating yourself to experiences (and dessert!) you may not normally do. Since you are on vacation, enjoy the occasional indulgence, but try to listen to your body’s cues for when you’re full.

One guideline to employ is the 80-20 rule. Eat healthily 80% of the time and allow for treats the remaining 20% so you feel your best as much of your vacation as possible.

Recent research shows that overeating while on vacation for five days makes little difference in your health and weight. But overeating and making poor food choices after 28 days results in weight gain and may have metabolic consequences. 

This research shows that your body is resilient, and a little straying from the path won’t cause lasting harm.

comp_nothing_bundtIMG-6997Final thoughts on staying healthy and fit on summer vacation

Summer vacations are a wonderful time to take a break from work and explore a new community — whether it is 30 minutes from home or a 12-hour plane trip away.

After a full year of work, errands, chores, and running around, summer vacation provides an opportunity to do less, try activities you haven’t done before, and gain perspective on your home life.

With breaks few and far between, it is easy to overindulge. But excessive eating and drinking, and inactivity will only detract from your experience.

In this article, we shared five essential steps you can take to feel great while you are on vacation.

The Paseo Club opened its doors almost 20 years ago, creating a home away from home for members. Hanging out at the club may not be as fun as your summer vacation, but it is a pretty good alternative if you are short on time. 

Attend one of our 60 fitness classes, play a game of tennis or pickleball, or take a dip in the junior Olympic pool. If you need a little more TLC than that, visit a massage therapist or aesthetician for some body work or a facial at our onsite spa. Sometimes a 1-hour “vacation” is just the ticket to get through the week.

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To see Paseo Club’s eight-acre facility, you can schedule a tour. Meet members, instructors, and staff to see if the club is a good fit for you.
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Read these articles to learn more about being healthy and fit year-round.

 

Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!