A blog by runners. For runners.

How to stay healthy on summer vacation


Stay healthy on summer vacationIn August, I’m going to the Jersey shore for a week with my extended family. It’s the same spot we’ve vacationed in since I was a tot. I’m so excited. I cannot wait to lounge on the beach, eat at all my favorite restaurants – ice cream parlors included –, and stay up late catching up with my family.

While this vacation vision of mine sounds like heaven to my mind, it probably won’t be too healthy for my body. I know, I know – it’s not a big deal to let loose for a week. I’m already planning on indulging more and running less. However, I’m not about to let all of my healthy habits fall by the wayside. If I did that, I’d be feeling pretty crummy after a few days.

Here’s how I’m planning to stay somewhat healthy on my summer vacation. I plan to:

  • Set my alarm. I’ll only be able to run on vacation if I do it first thing in the morning. If I don’t wake up before the rest of my family to plod a few miles, it just won’t happen. Because, honestly, I’d much rather go to breakfast, hit the beach, or just play cards with them than run! I realize that the early wake-ups may be rough a few mornings, but I figure that I can just nap on the beach later in the day if needed.
  • Make my workouts count. I’m giving myself 30—45 minutes tops per day to work out. I won’t do any middle- long-distance runs. Every run will be short and sweet. But I’m going to make them count. I’m thinking 3—5 mile interval or tempo runs followed by a short circuit of body weight exercises or plyometric moves.
  • Take full advantage of my surroundings. My favorite beach activities include lounging on the beach and running on the beach. But thankfully there is a middle ground, too. There are plenty of beach activities that are fun – and count as exercise! I plan to swim and body surf in the waves, and hunt for seashells, play “pickle”, and build sandcastles with my kids.
  • Walk everywhere. One of the best things about the beach town that we’re visiting is that everything is in walking distance. I’ll walk to the coffee shop in the morning, along the boardwalk during the day, and down to restaurants at night. We likely won’t get into a car the entire week that we’re there.
  • Eat at my typical meal times. I’m more likely to overeat when I eat at off times. At 9:00 p.m., I’m so ravenous for dinner that I’ll eat anything that’s in front of me. I’m going to try the best that I can to stick to my normal eating times.
  • Pack healthy snacks. On the way to the beach, I’m going to stop and pick up some healthy snacks, like fruit, veggies, nuts, and hummus. I have already accepted that I’m going to indulge when dining out. But eating wholesome snacks will keep my blood sugar levels steady throughout the day, and make it less likely that I’ll overindulge during meals.
  • Down the H2O. Being on the beach all day is a great way to get dehydrated. When I don’t drink enough water, I don’t feel as well and I’m more likely to mistake thirst for hunger. I’ll be toting several jugs of water with me to the beach each day, and keep a bottle by my side all day long to stay hydrated.

Written by Jen Matz.