Healthy Vacations

Vacations can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

 To maintain a healthy lifestyle it takes a little extra planning. My family just returned from travelling across the country from Michigan to Idaho. This involved a lot of driving 12 hours a day. It was tempting to stop for fast food, or eat out, but we chose to adhere to our healthy lifestyle.

Breaking up travel with exercise is helpful.

Next time you make travel plans be sure to include exercise to break up the doldrums of long car rides.  We found paths to walk, mountains to hike, swimming and white water rafting  to keep our activity levels up and not just sit all day. Yellowstone National park was amazing, but it shocked me how many people had to sit to watch Old Faithful, or could not walk the board walks to the most amazing sites such as Grand Prismatic Springs. We chose to hike 2000 feet up and hiked Avalanche Trail one day. That is not a trail for those unfit, as brings you from from 8580 ft to 10580ft in elevation. Good cardiovascular health is important.    

Eating healthy while on vacation takes some planning. 

While on vacation our plan was to maintain a healthy eating plan and save money. We decided there isn’t anything wrong with Peanut butter and Jelly on whole wheat bread. It is a good protein source for big adventures, carbs for quick energy and low in saturated fat.  Bags of cut vegetables are easy to buy at grocery stores instead of fast food stops. Fruit is plentiful, bags of apples travel well, grapes washed and ready to eat can make the time pass. We made a game to see who could  peel grapes the fastest. Snacks include granola bars, pita bread and hummus, cherries. Instead of soda water bottles were easily refilled en route, and the occasional bottled milk provided satiation and calcium. Not to say we didn’t eat out but it sure made the night with pizza feel like a treat and extra special. Often in working in cardiac rehabilitation I would have long haul truckers who had heart attacks and felt challenged to eat healthy. Truck stops are often just a few yards away from a town which always holds a grocery. Hit the fresh food aisle instead of the truck stops while traveling.

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