Eating and exercising on vacation - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Practical Advice

Eating and exercising on vacation

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Posted: Saturday, June 7, 2014 6:45 am | Updated: 4:49 pm, Thu Jul 31, 2014.

With summer just around the corner, most of us are dreaming of our long-awaited vacations.

Whether it’s the ocean, the pine forests, theme parks or the beloved homes of family and friends, we plan our excursions with great zest. We create lists of what to wear, what to bring, who will watch the pets, water the plants, and so on.

Rarely, however, do we plan for what we will be eating and how we will get sufficient exercise. Vacation often implies letting go, but we can do that without fully abandoning our commitments to healthy living.

It is always possible to have fun and eat nourishing meals. Whether we are in a restaurant or in our grandmother’s home, we can choose healthy food, along with some less healthy favorites.

Portion size is within our control, so we can enjoy the foods that we love in moderation and opt for larger portions of the foods that we know will be best for us.

Deprivation only reinforces an urge to overindulge, so go ahead and have the foods that you enjoy. Just remember to eat MORE of the healthy ones.

Maintaining a regular exercise routine is often a challenge when on vacation. We may not have access to gym equipment or places where we can readily walk or run.

Many dedicated exercise enthusiasts choose to pack elastic tubing when regular machines or free weights are not available. And choosing to walk rather than ride in a car, when possible, is a good choice.

Remember, too, that a few days off of exercise is a good thing. As long as we return to our regular routine when our vacation is over, we will have lost very little, if anything, at all.

Vacations are a time to renew and relax. Eating healthful food and getting some exercise can be part of that. We can still have fun if we do so.

So, as we plan our summer adventures, we can consider ways to maintain our good habits amidst the people, places and activities that FEED our souls.

We can nourish ourselves with good food, good activities that keep us moving and plenty of memories that will keep us going when we return to our everyday lives.

• Kathy Brown is a local life planning consultant. She has a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University, a certification with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a certified holistic health coach, and she is a certified personal trainer and certified health coach with the American Council on Exercise. Reach her at, (602) 320-7325 or

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