Since the season of sunshine and freedom is upon us (AKA: summer!), many people are hitting the road and traveling.  Traveling is so much fun and exposes us to new places – but it can also expose us to a less than healthy lifestyle.  While on vacation, most people tend to not eat very well and put off their exercise routines.  So how can you prevent these unhealthy patterns while on vacation?

Walk or Jog

No matter where you are, it is possible to fit in at least 30 minutes of foot time a day – no special equipment or gym required..  Whether you choose to hit the streets and get some sightseeing done on foot, or whether you just go for a jog around the park, getting some foot time in is easy.  If you have a busy schedule, try to split up the time into two 15 minute intervals.

Focus on Eating One Healthy Meal a Day

One of the best parts about a vacation is enjoying all sorts of delicious (and often unhealthy) foods, but this can be a bad idea for your waistline.  Therefore, try to focus on eating at least one balanced meal a day.  Consider making that meal a vegetarian meal to up the nutrition factor or at the very least, focus on eating a low calorie meal.However, if you get a salad, watch the calories and fat in the dressing – the dressing can turn it into a bad food decision.

Use Hotel Resources for Exercise

If you will be staying in a hotel for your trip, take advantage of the hotel gym to get some workout time in.  Just twenty minutes on a cardio machine or lifting free weights can help prevent weight gain.  Sometimes these gyms have TVs that you can watch or take your mp3 player along to listen to some music.  If your hotel doesn’t have a gym on site but has a pool, try doing laps in the pool.

Moderation is Key

If the thought of exercising and dieting while on vacation sounds less than appealing, remind yourself that moderation is the key to staying healthy.  When it comes to food, it isn’t about having to constantly say “no,” but about learning when to say “no more.”  Try ordering appetizers for a meal for portion control or split dessert to save on calories.  Focus on drinking plenty of water or low-calorie drinks so that you have more calories to use on food.  Try to remember to eat slowly so that you don’t overeat – it can take your body up to 15 minutes to notice it is full.

Are you going on vacation this summer?  Share your favorite tips for staying healthy and fit while traveling!

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Abdullah AL-Naser and used with Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License]