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Staying Healthy on Spring Break
Are you hitting the road for spring break this year? It’s easy to let your fitness and diet regimen slip when you’re travelling, and let’s face it, a little indulgence is what makes it vacation. However, there are some simple steps you can take for staying healthy and active on spring break wherever your travels take you.
Even if you’re staying with relatives or have a small kitchen in your hotel room, chances are you will be eating out a lot on vacation. While restaurant meals are notoriously high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats, reading the menu carefully can help you make healthier choices.
Look for menu clues: Some restaurants give calorie counts, or have special symbols for heart-healthy, vegetarian, or gluten-free options that can help you choose a meal that more suitably meets your needs. When possible, rely on these icons to help you make a more health conscious choice. Don’t forget to also look at the item descriptions, which oftentimes list the dish’s core ingredients.
Choose grilled foods over fried: Fried foods are full of trans-fat, which is the worst fat for your health. Tip: If the menu says “crispy,” the food is probably fried. Instead of going for fried or breaded foods, opt for a grilled option.
Eat your fruits and vegetables: Ordering a meal that’s high in fruits and vegetables can help you keep your fat and sodium intake in check and ensures your meal is nutrient-dense. Take a tip from MyPlate.gov and remember to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at each meal.
Practice portion control: A large problem with most restaurant meals is that the portions are just too big. It’s often a good idea to ask your waiter to pack up half your meal when you order, so you won’t be tempted to finish the entire plate. This way, you won’t feel weighed-down after your meals and, once you have enough leftovers in the hotel room mini-fridge, you can have a picnic on the balcony.
Avoid the buffet: Your willpower will be tested enough on vacation—don’t push it over the edge by stopping at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Buffets make portion control hard and will put your self-control to the ultimate test… Your brain is very clever at coming up with reasons why you should go back for more.
Follow the 80% rule: Stop eating before you are totally full; shoot for 80% instead. It can take 15-20 minutes for the full signal to go from belly to brain, so stop while you’re ahead.
Pack healthy snacks: If you carry fruit, hard-boiled eggs (which you can often pick up at the breakfast bar of your hotel), or nutrition bars, you won’t need to stop for fast food in the middle of the day. Packed with protein and fiber, Juice Plus+ Complete Nutrition Bars are the perfect portable snack. Available in two tasty flavors, Dark Chocolate + Fig and Tart Cherry + Honey, they are low-glycemic, gluten-free, non-dairy, and vegetarian!
Fill in the gaps: No matter how hard you try, it’s challenging to eat as healthily as you do at home while you’re on vacation. Taking Juice Plus+ can help you avoid the nutritional gaps that may arise from eating out for a whole week.
If your vacation plans include hiking, biking, swimming or a lot of walking, you may not need to worry about exercise. But if not, and you’re staying in a hotel, check out their fitness facilities. Is there a pool, a treadmill, or an elliptical machine? Another option is to make your room into your own fitness facility by packing exercise bands and small dumbbells. Or if you’d rather get your exercise learning about your new environs, try starting each day with a brisk walk.
For those of you spending a lot of time driving to or from your destination, make sure to take frequent breaks for everyone to stretch their legs. Avoid the vending machines on your way to the restrooms. Instead, consider getting some exercise instead. How about a race from one end of the rest area to the other? Winner gets to choose the music or the next audiobook when you get back in the car.
How will you keep up healthy habits on your next vacation?
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