How to stay healthy while on vacation

How to stay healthy while on vacation

Do as I say, not as I do.

Put up your hand if this sounds like you: vacation is a time to be incredibly lazy and indulgent. Is your hand up? Mine too.  Without my gym nearby and my weekly Run Club, I sometimes find myself abandoning my routine and living on a healthy diet of cookies and mixed drinks. Tis the season afterall.

As the holidays approach, and vacations loom, it’s even harder to stay on track. Even though I’ll be spending some time lounging around here in Toronto and in a sunny tropical location this holiday season, I’m hoping to maintain some health and activity so come January, I can hit the ground running (literally).

While challenging, there are definitely some ways to stay healthy and active while on vacation. Here’s a few tips I compiled to help you out.

Have a plan

If you don’t plan some time to work out during your vacation, it will be very easy to let it slip. Research activities before you leave. Find out if there’s running paths or plan a hike or walking tour. Depending on where you are going, you could even sign up for a new activity like skiing or snowshoeing.  If you’re heading south this season, try to make use of the pool or ocean and go for a long swim – and no, floating with a drink in your hand does not count! Staying at a hotel? Try to book one with a gym and plan to go during downtime.

Pack your essentials

How many times on vacation have you told yourself that you’d be swimming a few laps or running a couple kilometres if only you’d brought your swimsuit or your running gear? Arm yourself to be active. Pack your shoes and running gear and plan to get out a few times. Your body will thank you.

Don’t set your goals too high

After all, you ARE on vacation. Just look for fun ways to be active, try to eat healthy and don’t stress. Don’t aim to improve your fitness, just maintain your current level so when you get back home, it’s easier to go right back into your regular routine.

Pack some healthy snacks

This is especially important if your vacation involves long road trips. Sometimes the only options along a highway are fast food. Save yourself some time and calories by packing some fruit, trail mix or energy bars. If your vacation involves a long international flight, you can avoid all those carbs and that awful congealed meat they serve on airlines by packing something of your own.

Plan for your return

If your vacations are anything like mine, you probably use it as an excuse to eat and drink a little more than you should. When you come home, make time to stock your fridge and kitchen with healthy food for the coming week. At the very least, you can fill your body with healthy fruits and veggies while you upload your vacation pictures to Facebook.

Are you going on vacation this winter? How do you plan to stay active?


  1. Kenny December 10, 2012 / 8:15 pm

    I travel a lot for work (not vacation, but same deal), and it kills my usual routine. I love you idea of making a plan beforehand. I’m going to start checking places to run before I leave, it’ll give me something to look forward to after work too.

    Great post!

    • Miranda December 10, 2012 / 8:24 pm

      Thanks Kenny. Its so easy to abandon your routine in a new place, but finding a great running trail before you go can definitely motivate you into action! If you’re staying at a hotel, try asking the front desk. They’ve given me some great recommendations in the past!

  2. aprilcunningham December 11, 2012 / 10:20 am

    I’m going to plan a Christmas Day run for myself. And I’m signing up for a Resolution Run!

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