It’s summer time!
For most people, summer is the chance to kick back, take some time off and escape to a tropical paradise for vacation.
I actually just got back from a 10-day tour in Israel, and I feel like I need a vacation from that vacation. This tour was jam-packed with activities from hiking, spelunking and camel riding. It was totally awesome. I learned so much about the culture and country. And now that I’ve been back for a few days, I’m just getting caught up on my sleep and eating. In fact, I got pretty sick once I got back.
Why is that? What did I do wrong? I’m a pretty healthy guy. How was I beat down by all this post-vacay exhaustion?
This got me thinking; we spend all year trying to stay healthy and on top of our game for work. Why should we take a break from our ultimate health goal when we take a vacation?
Here are a few easy ways to keep your immune system strong when you’re taking some time off for rest + relaxation.
If you don’t already take vitamins year round, you should definitely consider taking a regular dose of vitamins before you travel, especially if you’ll be on a plane or bus. In my mind, public transportation = germs! Help your body fight off any encounters with unwanted coughs and sneezes from a neighboring passenger.
Water is good for you. Who knew? Yes, of course! Especially when you’re on the go in a hot sunny vacation spot, staying well hydrated will make all the difference in the way you feel. The effects of the sun tanning your skin can zap you of energy. Being thrown off your usual routine can lead to forgetfulness when it comes to drinking water. Without a regular dose of water, you’re going to start feeling tired, achey, crampy, and drained. The best thing to do is to always have a bottle of water at your side while on vacation.
Keeping your sleep consistent can be hard, especially if you’re traveling to another time zone. If you’re only going to be at your vacay destination for a day or two, you might consider sticking with your usual sleep pattern even if it means staying up an extra hour or two. You can also try adjusting to the time change before you leave for your vacation. Set your alarm in accordance to the time zone.
If you’re a planner, like I am, getting ready for vacation can be insanely stressful. From packing to booking tickets, the pre-vacation process can take a toll. Likewise, coming back from your time off and jumping right back into work can be pretty daunting as well. My advice is to schedule a few extra days before and after the actual vacation to make sure you’re well adjusted. Keep yourself calm and steady before drastically changing up your routine. I like to use mediation to keep my mind and body at ease. I also find that a calm and peaceful outlook helps combat the effects of adrenaline. When you’re back home after an exciting adventure in a different country, your body knows it can relax. I find once that happens, it’s easier to get sick. So stay level headed. I highly recommend trying regular mediation.
Of course you’re on vacation, and you should take time to recover from the stress of regular life, but don’t forget to keep your body active, even if it’s in small ways. Try going on a bike ride to see the scenery. Go for a family jog down by the beach. Start a frisbee game in the park. Check out the fitness center in the hotel you’re staying at! (Okay, that last one sounds like fun to me, but maybe it’s not your thing.) You see my point? Use your vacation time to refresh your body with a shake up in your workout.
This has become one of my all time favorite hashtags. #JERF means Just Eat Real Food. This is a principal to follow all year round, but pay close attention to #JERF while vacationing. It’s easy to let yourself splurge at every meal on exotic delicacies and deserts. Just remember to stick to foods that you’re used to eating and that are real… aka vegetables, lean meat, fish. Instead of eating cookies and cake at every meal, save your cheat meals for something really good. Unfortunately, cookies are not #JERF.
Focus on these few principles and stay strong and healthy during your beach paradise, African safari, or adventure at sea. Take it from me; if you feel like you need a vacation after your vacation, it wasn’t a vacation. Stay on track with your health goals and take advantage of your much deserved r + r.
Let me know where you're heading to this summer for your vacation + how you'll stay on track with your fitness goals?