Last Updated on May 26, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Recently, I traveled out of state to attend my oldest step-son’s graduation. I wasn’t very attentive to my activities or the amount of junk foods I ate. I did manage to track one of the days for calories. Essentially, I ate two days worth of food in one. It can be difficult to keep a mindset of fitness when you’re on vacation. Especially when your grandmother tries to cram everything in her fridge down your throat. Should you really be upset at yourself if you’re not practicing optimal fitness when on a trip?
How Vacation Types Play a Role in Fitness
The kind of vacation you decide to take could play a prominent role in your level of fitness. When I was away, there was very little time for exploring or taking in the sites. I wasn’t able to walk much aside from going from my brother’s house to my grandmother’s, who lived less than half a mile away. Needless to say, I spent most of my three days sitting at people’s houses, at the ceremony, or on the plane.
Walking and Exploring
Depending on the type of vacation you take, there is a good chance you could burn all of the calories of the tasty foods you want to experience. For example, walking around and exploring a foreign country allows you to enjoy the cuisine while keeping with a healthy routine. Depending on how fast you walk, you could easily burn through even the richest of foods. Normally, I like to take half a day and explore the city I visit. I just wasn’t able to this time so my physical activity wound up being less than it was while at home.
One of the things we wanted to do this time around was get a hotel room. We usually stay at those places that have pools and fitness centers. We usually spend a great deal of time swimming – which is one of the best cardio workouts you could possibly get. Unfortunately, money was very tight and we weren’t able to get a room this time. Of course we were so busy that I doubt it would have mattered much.
If you manage to stay in a nice hotel with some of these amenities, it would be in your best interest to take advantage of them as often as possible. If you’re not able to monitor your food intake while away, at least you can keep somewhat attuned to fitness by swimming for an hour.
Try to Walk More
When on vacation, I try to add as much walking as possible. I’d rather explore a location on foot so I can absorb everything I can about the area. There is just too much you could possibly miss if you’re driving through town. For example, there have been times when we found shops and restaurants tucked away that we would have missed if we were driving.
Walking isn’t only good for the body, but it could also enhance the vacation. When you’re on foot, you’re able to appreciate the locale while immersing yourself in the culture. Although you may not cover as much ground as opposed to driving, you’ll be able to experience more of what the area has to offer. For me, this is a much richer way to spend the week.
Will Indulging Yourself Hurt Your Fitness Performance?
I see a lot of people who will literally freak out on themselves because they indulged for a few days straight. They get this mindset that all this damage had been done and that they need to work that much harder to get back on track when they get home. In reality, I have not found scientific evidence to support how three days of binge eating can hurt any particular diet for the long haul. I’ve never experienced anything that would insinuate that pastries one day will stay on your hips for days on end. Yes, I kind of made a pig of myself over these last few days. But I will be back to normal once all of that goodness has traveled through my system. As long as I go back to my regular routine, it will be like my dietary progress was suspended for three days – nothing more.
I can’t say that you’ll experience the same thing, however. Remember, everybody’s physiology is different. Out of all the people I know, I have yet to see someone indulge themselves and gain all of their weight back unless they stop their exercise routines. I do know one person who did. But, this was because that individual essentially through healthy living to the curb after a weekend of binge eating. She has yet to put effort into getting back into shape and has gained a great deal of weight over the past year.
That’s what it all boils down to…the amount of effort you put into staying fit and losing weight. I believe you can enjoy yourself without being on a strict diet as long as you’re willing to put in an equal balance of physical activity. I’ve seen countless diet plans that deny some of the tasty pleasures in life with the idea that any indulgence would be a severe complication. From my point of view, I have yet to see that happen in myself or anyone else I know who is working towards being in better shape.
A vacation is meant to be enjoyed. If I was to head off to Germany for a week, you bet that I would indulge myself in a large quantity of beer and chocolate. It’s how I deal with these goodies once I get home that will make the difference in my level of fitness. Don’t make yourself sick by consuming everything in sight, but don’t deny yourself some of the finer points of a vacation either. Maintain a balance if possible, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you consume twice the calories you’re supposed to in a single day. It all comes out in the end, one way or another.