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How to Stay Active & Eat Well While on Holidays

by Steve Danforth
Stay Active

While holiday time is intended to unwind and relax, it doesn’t mean you have to neglect a healthy lifestyle and habits. Just like at home, you have to pay attention to yourself and make sure you follow a proper diet plan and have enough activity. This is especially important if you are on a weight-loss regime or decided to change your eating plan for other reasons entirely. 

However, although it may seem hard and demanding, it’s easy to stay active and eat well while on holiday. Here are some suggestions on how to do it all and still have a great time while traveling and exploring the world.

1.      Look for outdoor activities

Currently, active holidays are a very popular form of traveling in the world. People travel all around the globe to combine sightseeing, physical activity, and a healthy lifestyle. And that means that wherever you go, you will find an opportunity for outdoor activities that will keep you in shape even on your holiday.

The best way to approach this is by researching natural landscapes of the area where you can participate in a group activity like hikes, or go solo. Remember to pack light with veggies and fruits neatly sliced in the containers or bags and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Also, look for the activity that is suited for you so you wouldn’t over-exhaust yourself and get sick. Always wear shoes and clothes which are appropriate for the desired type of activity to avoid difficulties that could lead to injuries. 

2.      Go on a picnic

The best way to stay active and eat well is to go on a picnic in nature and maybe even stay the night in a camping area. Of course, this means to ride a bicycle or hike to the picnic area, while carrying all your gear and food which demands careful packing. However, try to find a more challenging route to get to the desired area so you could have a fully active experience and get those muscles going.

When it comes to food, you can bring something that you can spread on the blanket and eat, or prepare at the spot. In both cases, you should consider the weight you will be carrying as well as how to properly store the food so it wouldn’t get spoiled. Avoid carrying raw meat and opt for vegetables like mushrooms that are also rich in protein and are delicious in salads and prepared on the barbecue.

3.      Don’t sacrifice a goodnight’s sleep

There are two kinds of people – those who spend holidays catching on sleep and then those who sacrifice it for wild nightlife. This means that the latter group wants to have it all and usually ends up sleep-deprived to go sightseeing and enjoy the vacation in full. But instead of enjoying yourself, you will start feeling exhausted and too tired to participate in activities you want to.

And sleep deprivation is directly linked to weight gain since it causes hormonal changes responsible for heightened appetite. Also, lack of sleep will most probably inspire that late-night snack which will increase your calories for that day. So, try to find the balance between partying and spending daytime in various activities to feel rested and keep your diet in check.

4.      Drink enough water

If you travel to someplace hot, make sure that you always have a bottle of water with you. This is especially important when on active holiday since you will sweat more and lose electrolytes. Normally, you need eight glasses of water on average although that depends on gender and age.

But if you are physically active, make sure to drink more to avoid dehydration and exhaustion. However, there is another bad side of not drinking enough water. Thirst is easily mistaken for hunger and you could end up eating more. If you notice a spike in appetite, choose a healthy snack like cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon or strawberries since they are full of water.

5.      Visit the local market

Not everyone is active the same way and some people can’t go on long hikes or be exposed to prolonged periods of demanding activity. But that doesn’t mean they still can’t have an active holiday and have fun. Since less active people have to pay very special attention to what they eat, then visiting a local market may be an ideal activity for them.

If the destination you are traveling to has a local market or farms, it is a perfect opportunity for a brisk walk and buying healthy foods. Some markets even have food vendors where you can buy delicacies made from local and fresh ingredients. Of course, you will still have to pay attention to what you eat, but you will have a wide choice to pick from, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

6.      Forget about public transportation

If you are in a big city, the best way to experience it is by walking and stirring away from buses, trains, and rent-a-cars. Granted, some of the locations may be too far, but then opt to use public transportation half of the way and explore the rest on foot. Or you can rent a bicycle for a day instead of buying a bus ticket and make a stop when you see something interesting.

This also means you will be able to see more of the food offered in the city and discover some new tastes and local delicacies. Just make sure you don’t overeat since that will make the sightseeing on foot harder and even uncomfortable. Walking is good for your health and burning calories, but it will also give you the real feel of the city and its culture. See if vendors are selling fresh fruit like coconuts and stop for a healthy snack to replenish your vitamin levels before you continue your adventure. 

7.      Take your foods with you

If you are going on an active holiday where you will be participating in prolonged periods of activity like cross-country cycling or several-days hikes, then you should bring essentials. This means you will have to carry special foods and products with you like BCAA powder with amino acids in order to nourish your body properly. Moreover, pack fruits and vegetables, as well as energy bars since you won’t have a lot of time to cook and you need to power your physical exertion.

On the other hand, try to avoid eating everything that you can during the breakfast buffet or other meals in your hotel. If you are on a special diet- stick to it and even go as far as to prepare your own food for certain meals. For example, you can carry a portable smoothie blender with you and get your fresh ingredients during breakfast or at the local market and farms. 

8.      Say no to the need to splurge

The moment you find yourself to a different place, you may be feeling the need to splurge on everything. While spending the whole day by the pool with a cocktail or getting massages does sound great, it also means that you are not being active. Pair that with eating more than normal because the cuisine is tasty and you can’t have it at home, you will have a lot of unspent calories on your hands.

So, instead of going overboard with leisure and food, try to balance the two healthily and find a combination that will suit you. For example, if you want to spend the day at the spa, drink cucumber water and eat light foods with fewer calories and high nutritional value. And if you know you will eat too much, go on a hike or biking the next day to spend those calories. Of course, this is not something to practice all the time, but occasionally you can indulge yourself if you find the balance.  


Going on a holiday doesn’t mean you should neglect yourself. If anything, being away from home means that you need to pay more attention to staying healthy since you will be tempted with all the food and activities.  So, find out about the most popular activities in the area and do your research about the local delicacies and products. That way you will stay active and eat well without seeing it as a burden but rather a way to have the best possible holiday.

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