We joke about the freshman ten pounds when our kids go off to college but what about the vacation ten pounds that looms up as we kick back to enjoy some time exploring this great world of ours? Here are some tips for getting around that and maybe staying a little healthier while we're at it.
Road trip? Either pack a cooler or buy a soft sided cooler bag at the local grocery when you arrive at your starting point. A few zip lock plastic bags for ice which can be had at hotel ice machines will keep items fresh for you during the day's journey. Stop at a local grocery for finger food like carrots, celery sticks, cheese bits, fruit and nuts. Eating light by snacking on these will keep you more comfortable on the road. Often times there are healthy choice sandwiches you can pack along as well for lunch and avoid the burgers and fries with all the salt and grease.
Be sure to make a stop midday that allows some time to get out and walk for twenty to thirty minutes even if it's just around a parking lot. A little research ahead of time usually yields some good spots to stop along the way.
Plane ride? A short plane ride as well as a long one can be even more uncomfortable if you grab greasy fast food to eat on the way or before you board. Avoid carbonated beverages as well unless you enjoy feeling like a giant balloon. Water is preferred over alcoholic drinks but I know some people feel they need a drink to get through their flight. I've read that fasting 16 hours before a flight helps with jet lag but I'm not a "faster" so I'll leave you to decide that.
If you can't get out of your seat to walk a bit, be sure to do a little exercise by flexing your feet at the ankles. Try to flex the calf muscles several times and if you are able maybe even draw your knee up a few times just to keep blood circulating. The plane's magazine usually has some exercises outlined in it.
Cruising? Ah, now here's where the rubber meets the road. Not a good metaphor but you get my meaning. Oh, those food opportunities. The key here is to plan ahead. Love those dinner choices? Eat light for lunch. Stick to the fruit or salad choices at the buffet or eat in the main dining room and only order a light meal. No matter how much that waiter pouts, if you've had enough and are trying to save calories, do..not..order..dessert. If you must, stick to a fruit plate. Or if you want dessert, plan ahead and don't have an appetizer. Make good choices.
All ships have some kind of gym but one of the best exercises is to skip the elevators when you are moving about the ship and use the steps. Can't do steps? Find that promenade deck and circle it a few times. There's always a sign somewhere that tells you how many times around are a mile. Go for it! Every day!
No matter where you are traveling, it's all about good food choices and finding a way to get a little exercise. Walking is almost always an option. As one of the local Florida Keys restaurants says, "Eat well, Laugh Often, Live Long!"