Friday, June 13, 2014

Don't Bring Home Extra Baggage from Your Summer Vacation

Last week while on vacation, I checked out the local facilities, and joined my sister-in-law for a couple workouts (Abs and Glute classes) at the local YMCA, staying on my plan to be active 365 days a year!

Whether it's a summer family vacation, a newlywed couple's honeymoon, or a business trip, many people will gain weight while they travel.

Does this sound like you?

"We were on vacation last week so I didn't work out and we ate out a lot."

And to that I say, "How did that happen?"

Chapter 6 of the Living 365fitt, 12-Week Program to Lifestyle Wellness, is about creating a plan.  Supposedly, if you have a goal (to lose or maintain weight), you also have a plan to accomplish that goal.  You look ahead and plan for what I call "bumps in the road".  Those are the little obstacles that can derail you temporarily or even permanently. Let's take a look at the most popular summer bump in the road:

The Family vacation 

It's summertime, and you've planned for months to visit family across the country.  If you're driving, you plan to stop halfway at a hotel.  You plan on eating on the road, probably stopping at one of many fast food joints.
TIP:  If you plan this much, you can also plan to avoid unhealthy fast food and restaurant stops, and can proactively plan on packing healthy snacks, or purchasing healthy foods at a local grocery store.
If you're taking a two-day road trip, you know you'll be sitting in the car for a majority of the day.  But, that doesn't mean that you don't have time to fit in a workout with the family.
TIP:  Plan your overnight stop at a state park or other "activity friendly" destination, where there are trails and interesting sights to see.  Plan on a 30-60 minute walk or jog after your drive.  Stretching your muscles and joints after sitting in a car should feel great!  Wake up and take another walk before getting back in the car.  Incorporate other activities, such as kayaking or biking (check out local rentals) into your travel days.

When you arrive at your destination, your activities are frequently centered around family meals, often "bigger than normal" meals.  These meals are often out of the scope of your regular routine (or newly established healthy eating plan that you've created in order to lose or maintain weight), and, when you eat three meals a day for seven days in a row like this, you can't help but gain weight.  It's just more food than you need.
TIP:  Talk to family members and get them on your support team (Chapter Eight, Living 365fitt) BEFORE your vacation.  Inform them that you'll be sticking to your plan, with just a few minor exceptions, perhaps.  If necessary, stock up or bring items of food/nutrition that are a part of your healthful eating plan.
You have a Weekly Activity Plan (Chapter Six, Living 365fitt) that includes doing some form of activity most days, although you're away from your local gym, and it appears the rest of your family is taking a week off.  Remember that ultimately, only you are responsible for your plan, and if achieving your goal is important to you, you must stick to the plan, even when away.
TIP:  Search out local facilities, such as YMCA's that have daily guest fees and/or classes, even for non-members.  Utilize your hotel fitness center, if necessary.  It's different than what you may be used to, but it will work in a pinch.  Finally, ask your family members to join you in one or more of your workouts.  Both of you will feel better!

Kathy Kent is author of Living 365fitt, A 12-Week Program to Lifestyle Wellness, and creator of the program that includes physical, nutritional, and emotional support in a 12 week program that guarantees your success.  Check out the Living 365fitt Program at

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