Jump-start a healthier lifestyle while on vacation

Most people think of doing two things during vacations: a. getting lots of rest and relaxation, or b. enjoying life’s pleasures with lots of good food, attending events, visiting attractions and seeing relatives or long-lost friends, or c. mixing both a. and b.
But did you know a vacation can also be a great way to start a life-changing behavior pattern for the better?
When you’re on vacation you can get away from most or all of the everyday triggers in your life that lead to poor eating and drinking choices or inactivity, so it’s a great time to change your lifestyle for the better. Some people even take the first steps toward quitting smoking or drinking on vacation.
Here are some tips to jump-start your healthier lifestyle on vacation:
* Plan time away when you can forget about life’s stresses and responsibilities and focus on your own health.
* Write down your health goals and plan and put into motion on vacation.
For instance, if you’re a binge eater plan a camping trip where you bring a healthy assortment of food and snacks.
* Start a workout plan on vacation when you have plenty of time to run, swim, hike, bike, lift weights or whatever else you might want to do. The positive results achieved on a healthy vacation can often jump-start a new lifestyle even if it’s just a week or even a getaway weekend during which you reprogram yourself.
* Let nature and fresh air restore your spirit and replace trips through the burger joint drive-thru, calls to the pizza place and hours spent plopped in front of the TV with healthy snacks such as fruit, carrot sticks, peanut butter on good whole-grain bread and long walks or runs.
If you do go out to eat on a healthy vacation, get fresh healthy food from the region such as fish, healthy salads or vegetables.
* Stay active by exploring the parks in the area you’re visiting, taking walks on the beach, swimming or other types of active adventures.
* If you want extra help planning a healthy vacation talk to a travel agent to get ideas and information on trips such as yoga retreats, spa retreats or health-themed cruises. A lot of times these types of vacations may be more affordable than you might think.
A vacation that may be as short as just a few days could be just what you need to get out of a rut you’ve been in.
We all get downtime at least every now and then. How you spend your next vacation could help you like never before.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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