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Want to keep your resolutions while on the road? Plan ahead, and find a hotel that caters to the health conscious
Vacation is a time to unwind, rejuvenate, celebrate, see new places and try new things. But it also can be a time to forget New Year’s resolutions and replace your good, healthy habits with tempting buffets, poolside margaritas and little or no physical activity. The “I’m on VACATION!” mindset can be your worst enemy. So be careful when you travel! Don’t let your next vacation throw you off balance and send you back to square one.
Here are four ways to stay healthy and fit on vacation, while still enjoying yourself:
1. Resist the urge to splurge: Don’t leave all of your good habits behind when you get away this vacation season. But you are on vacation, so don’t entirely deprive yourself either. The trick is eating in moderation. Simply sample the more fattening food that’s tempting you, but try not to feast on it. It’s easiest when you apply the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your daily calories can come from the food that is a treat, but try to stick to a healthy diet for the other 80 percent. Think of calories as an allowance. Save them where you can, while spending them on things that are really worth it! And always keep a healthy snack in your back pocket, like a granola bar or dried fruit, just in case hunger decides to strike mid-afternoon. You won’t have to resort to buying overpriced, unhealthy snacks. Also, you know that little refrigerator in your hotel room that is filled with all kinds of beverages and candy? Hide the key! It only leads to no good – physically and financially.
2. Make a game plan: Getting exercise on vacation does not have to be unpleasant or take up lots of your time. If you establish a plan before you leave, it will be easier to meet your goals while you’re traveling. First, try to book your stay at a hotel with a gym and then plan some time each day for a quick workout – not long, grueling sessions! If there’s a pool, schedule time for swimming a few laps. If there are fitness classes, sign up for something new, like early morning yoga. Also, always embrace your surroundings, and add active, outdoor activities to your daily itineraries to help you burn the extra vacation calories. Take a run on the beach, stroll through the woods or hike a mountain trail. It can also be exciting to grab a map and take off on your own unexpected adventure. In addition to staying fit and feeling better overall, you’ll have some new experiences that will make your vacation even more memorable. And if you can find an exciting physical activity for the rest of the family to join in on – even better. The most important thing is plan ahead! If you go into your vacation with a plan and you stick to it, you might even come back looking better than when you left!
3. Have a backup plan: What happens if the hotel doesn’t have a gym or pool, or if the weather is not conducive to outdoor activities? That sure doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off! There are many ways around this dilemma that don’t involve lugging heavy weights in your suitcase. First, you can pack exercise DVDs to do in the convenience of your own room. If the hotel room doesn’t have a DVD player, play them on a laptop or portable player. You can also search for workouts online. You can also pack your own lightweight equipment, like resistance bands and ankle straps. Just look up some easy, repeatable exercises. Bands can have a lot of impact in a short amount of time. With a little advance planning, it’s possible to turn any hotel room into a personal gym!
4. Fitness-friendly hotels: Some hotel chains go above and beyond to help travelers stay fit on the road. This includes Fairmont and Westin hotels, which will provide workout gear and shoes. We all know how bulky those shoes can be, so this is a great perk for anyone looking to save some precious luggage space. At Fairmont, the program is available to members of the President’s Club for a small fee, and it also includes delivery of a yoga mat and stretch band to your room. Westin also charges a small fee and delivers to guests’ rooms. The chain also has introduced a running program with three- and five-mile routes. Runners of all levels can join a group run with a Run Concierge at many locations, or grab a running map and take off on their own. Kimpton hotels place yoga mats in each guest room and feature a 24-hour yoga TV channel, plus the hotels offer complimentary bikes.
The Sheraton and Hyatt hotel chains also offer fitness-friendly programs. The Sheraton partnered with Core Performance to bring their guests training programs and also offers a complimentary Gym-In-A-Bag filled with a book of exercises, a mat, resistance bands, massage stick and a foam roller to use when watching on-demand fitness videos provided by the hotel. When you head to the Hyatt, the StayFit program has state-of-the-art fitness facilities and a healthy cuisine room service menu. It also features YogaAway, which allows guests to order yoga workouts from an in-room entertainment unit for a small cost.
More and more hotels are doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of fitness-minded travelers. These travelers have made their wishes known and hotels have responded. It’s the same with healthy eating options, which are increasingly common on hotel menus.
Good luck sticking to your healthy habits while you’re on the road. With a little advance planning and some will power, you can be fit AND have a great vacation!