Happy weekend friends! I just got back from a wonderful trip to Las Vegas this week, and I finally feel like I’ve fully recovered. We went for 5 days to celebrate my brother and sister in law getting married. It was a much-needed break, and I feel super energized and ready for the month ahead!
My trip got me thinking about some of the ways that I try to stay healthy while on vacation. Going to places like Las Vegas can sometimes make sticking to your health goals seem impossible. With endless options for unhealthy food, and alcohol being offered in yard glasses at every corner, it’s easy to slip back and forget your goals. However, there are some things you can do to try and enjoy your trip in a healthier way.
Here are my top tips for staying fit while on vacation:
1. Walk Instead of Cab
As long as your destination is within a few miles, I recommend walking instead of taking a cab. On our first day in Vegas, we walked over 12 miles. We walked to get coffee in the morning, walked to each hotel on the strip, walked to dinner (I wore flats and then changed into heels when we got to the restaurant), we walked everywhere. Walking is honestly one of my favorite forms of exercise – plus you will probably get to see more things up close and personal than you would if you decided to drive.
2. Look at restaurant menus in advance
One trick I learned is to look at restaurant menus before deciding where to go. I have recently become a vegetarian, and it makes my life much easier knowing what my options will be before choosing a place to eat. A lot of restaurants will often provide caloric or fat content on their website, but not on the physical menu. I like to know what I am going to order before arriving, just so there are no surprises and I have time to make the healthiest decision.
3. Cut down on the alcohol consumption (or at least make smarter choices)
Did you know that one Mojito can contain over 200 calories? Let’s not even talk about the calories in Pina Colada’s or Margaritas. Alcohol, although hard to avoid when on vacation, can easily cause you to lose track of how much sugar & calories you are consuming, and can also lead to snacking or binge eating (guilty!).
Avoiding alcohol altogether is definitely the best choice, but not always a practical one. I tried to not drink on my trip, and failed miserably on the first night lol. So, I decided to do some research and found that champagne and vodka-sodas are among some of the lowest calorie alcoholic drink choices. Instead of cutting out drinking completely, I tried to opt for less sugary drinks.
I also made a point to drink slowly, taking sips of water every so often before finishing my cocktail. Not only does this help keep you from getting drunk too quickly, but also prevents you from consuming more sugar than necessary. My wallet also thanked me for that!
4. Take advantage of the hotel gym
I’ve never been one to use the gym on vacation, but I did for the first time on this trip and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The facilities were stunning, and I ended up going to a 5-mile treadmill run one morning while overlooking the beautiful pool decks and gardens. They also offered personal training sessions, and yoga classes for guests of the hotel. Even a 30-minute workout is better than nothing. I will definitely make a point to check out my hotel gyms more often.
5. Use a FitBit or Fitness Tracker
There are several free health apps which tracks my steps per day, how many miles I’ve walked, and how many stairs I have climbed. It is super useful if you want to see what your activity was for the day, and if you need do push yourself to do more. Most people aim for about 10,000 steps per day, but your goals will of course vary based on your fitness level. Mine is a bit higher because I like to push myself.
On my trip, I hit over 30,000 steps and walked about 12 miles in one day. I was exhausted, but felt amazing the next day.
6. Take the stairs when going to your room
Okay, this one is probably not realistic if you are in a very tall hotel on the 60th floor (unless you are feeling up to the challenge – then go for it!)
If you only have a handful or so flight of stairs to your room, why not try the stairway instead of the elevator? It’s been estimated that a 175-pound person can burn about 21 calories during a two-minute stair climb. Standing still on a 60-second elevator ride, conversely, burns about two calories. If you climb the stairs several times throughout the day, it’s easy to burn more than 100 calories through this exercise alone. It’s a small movement that can add up to make a big difference!
7. Journal your food intake
It can sometimes be easy to lose track of what you have consumed during the day while on vacation. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks in between, and a glass of wine here and there, room service after the bar at 2am (yes, we did that) can definitely add up. Keeping track of what you consume in a journal will help you look back and see what you ate and where you are with your goals.
When I say “journal” I don’t mean you need to write a dissertation for each day. It can even be a small bullet point in the notes section of your phone with the food name and restaurant you ate at. When you are making decisions about what to eat, look at your phone and see what you ate vs. what your exercise was for the day and make an informed decision.
8. Drink lots of water
Make sure to drink lots of water when on vacation, especially if working out or walking a lot. Water removes by-products of fat, helps reduces eating intake by filling up your stomach (if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger, raises your metabolism, boosts immunity, the list goes on.
9. Bring snacks
If you don’t want to grab a full meal but are feeling a little hungry in between meals, the best thing to do is bring healthy snacks. Granola bars, smoothies, or little bites can often make you feel full without indulging in a calorie dense meal.
10. Don’t feel bad about a few cheat meals
You are on vacation after all. If you slip a few times, it’s not a big deal. Just make sure to do so in moderation. Maybe get the small gelato instead of the extra-large, or split a dessert at dinner instead of ordering your own.
I hope you enjoy your next vacation – Let me know how you stay healthy on trips in the comment section below!