Tips for Staying Healthy While on a Beach Vacation

tips for staying healthy while on a beach vacation

It’s easy to leave your healthy eating habits and good lifestyles at home when all you can think about is your summer getaway. Easy enough for you to forget about your diet and soak up the seafood buffets and evening ice cream on the boardwalk. Beach vacations are all about relaxation and taking a deep breath away from your daily routine of exercise and diet, right?

But when you eat one too many deep fried food items and drink a few more margaritas than expected, you may be arriving home with several unwanted extra pounds. Sure, it’s a time to unwind next to the pool and indulge in the amenities, but it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your good habits altogether.

Trying to eat the right foods and stay focused can be a challenge when all you’re thinking about is digging your toes into the sand, but there are ways you can enjoy your summer beach trip without gaining weight. Instead of throwing your strong habits out the hotel window or strictly adhering to them like at home, you can find a happy medium by taking steps to keep you feeling great.

Healthy Eating

Healthy vacations start with packing and consuming the right meals. While you may want to eat out every night or drink a handful of beers during the day, here are a few steps you can take to make sure you’re eating healthy while at the beach. Find what works best for you and your family as well as your budget.

  • Cut back on eating meat: If you’re dining out one evening, order a healthier option such as a vegetarian dish, or add a salad to balance your meal. By reducing the amount of meat you consume and adding a few more greens to your plate, you can eat fewer calories and keep yourself feeling great throughout the week. Portion sizes of meat often exceed recommendations when you eat out, so balancing it with vegetables can be a plus.
  • Don’t skip breakfast — but don’t overindulge: Although most hotels offer continental breakfasts, they often have processed foods, so prepare with better options or stick to eating fruits and yogurt. Eat a hearty breakfast, but substitute higher calorie foods with things like turkey sausage, egg whites and fruit. If you can’t cook in your room, purchase instant oatmeal, fruit and cereal instead or stop by the local bakery.
  • Eat out only once per day: Restaurant meals are notorious for having thousands of calories per meal compared to home-cooked meals. Rent a house or condo where you have access to a kitchen, and make your own meals twice a day. Consistently eating out can ruin your diet and burn a hole through your wallet.
  • Be sure to get your greens: Whenever you have the chance, choose greens as a full meal or side dish at least once per day. Eat a salad at least once a day as well because it can help balance your body and keep you running with good energy. It’s a light dish, so you won’t be feeling tired and drained the rest of the day.
  • Have a picnic: Pick up food from the local grocery store and pack fruits like bananas, apples and oranges as well as quick sandwiches and hoagies for a picnic. You can choose to dine on the beach or other sight-seeing area. It’s a great way to eat healthy, have fun with your family and relax with some beautiful sights.

planning can go a long way

  • Pack healthy snacks: Bring healthy snacks for the long car ride or while hanging out on the beach. They can ward off excessive feelings of hunger before your next meal, and they’re healthy alternatives that can replenish your vitamins and keep you hydrated. Pack snacks such as fruits, veggies and Gatorade in a cooler. Bring other non-perishable foods such as trail mix and energy bars that won’t spoil in the hot sun.
  • Include kitchen essentials: If your rental accommodates you with a kitchen, be sure to pack essential items such as olive oil, spices and cooking spray as well as any necessary kitchen utensils. Otherwise, you may have to take a few extra trips to the grocery store.
  • Plan your meals: A little bit of planning can go a long way when you decide what you’re eating for specific meals and when you want to go out to eat. It’s easy to whip up some chicken salad, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and veggie wraps for lunches throughout the week. When you have an idea of what you are eating and where, it makes for a smooth and stress-free process.
  • Pre-cook meals: You may love cooking at home, but preparing meals on vacation may not be at the forefront of things to do. Instead, you can pre-cook freezer meals like casserole before your beach vacation. It won’t take time out of your day — all you have to do is heat it up in the oven, and it’s a healthy alternative to eating at a restaurant.
  • Splurge when it’s worth it: When you’re craving pasta or an ice cream cone throughout the week, it’s okay to splurge. Just avoid doing it every time you go out to eat, and balance your indulgence with fruits and veggies. You’ll still be on track unless you go overboard several times a day.

It’s always a smart idea to check out local produce, as eating out isn’t the healthiest option, and planning meals can keep you on the right track. When you pack wholesome snacks for the road, it can mean the difference between gas station food, which we all know is the last option you want.

Eating healthy while traveling may not seem possible, but if you follow a few simple steps, you can stay on track and keep everyone happy.

Stay Hydrated

Lying on the beach all day or touring around town may not seem like it’s draining of energy and hydration, but the sun can take a lot out of you, whether you are in the sand or walking around. Carrying a water bottle with you at all times is essential. Keep it full of water, Gatorade or other liquids that can keep you hydrated throughout the day.

the sun can take a lot out of you

Even if you walk only to the beach and back to your beach house, take a few sips of water. You can dehydrate yourself by lying on the beach, swimming in the ocean or pool, walking in the morning or making a trip to the grocery store. You will lose energy even more if you go for bike rides and do other activities.

It’s recommended to drink half your body weight in ounces each day, but other factors can play a role in increasing your consumption. For example, your environment — such as the beach — the food you eat and your level of physical activity can determine how much water intake you need each day.

Drinking alcohol is another culprit of dehydration. Consuming water between each drink can help you maintain proper levels of water intake and keep you from getting too buzzed on the beach. While vacation is all about relaxation, and enjoying a few beers, glasses of wine or mixed drinks is perfect, these beverages — particularly fruity ones — also pack on the calories. Chase down a few glasses of water so that you not only remain hydrated but also limit the number of calories you take in.

You may want to limit yourself to two boat drinks per week or mix your drinks with fruit-infused water instead of juice. Healthy travel also includes not drinking alcohol before noon. When you begin early in the morning, it can break your diet, and dehydration will occur sooner. After sleeping with no food or water, you will feel the alcohol faster and stronger.

Staying hydrated at the beach is vital to remain healthy and avoid any trips to the hospital. With more exposure to the sun, alcohol and other activities, you need to increase your water intake more than usual.

Beach Exercises

A beach vacation is what you make of it. Whether you choose to continue your regimented workout schedule or tone it down with a few activities during the week, there are plenty of accommodations available.

Book a hotel or condo with a fitness center to stick to your schedule. You can complete your exercise routine at 8 a.m., in the evening or late at night. If fitness centers aren’t available, you can often purchase a temporary pass to a local gym whether you’re staying at the beach for several days or two weeks.

Working out in your home, condo or hotel room is another alternative. You can complete your workout exercises by doing push-ups, crunches, planks and dozens of other forms that require nothing but body weight.

Beach exercises include activities outside the gym, such as a morning walk or yoga session. A sunrise walk on the beach can be the perfect time to get ready for the day and spend a few moments alone. It offers meditative aspects and is an excellent form of exercise. In fact, walking on sand burns more calories compared to walking on flat surfaces. It takes about 2.7 times more energy to walk on sand and about 1.6 times more output to run.

beach exercises include activities outside the gym

Walks on the beach during the sunrise or sunset can even be a great time for your family to come together. Everyone can enjoy a peaceful morning or evening while they shed off some calories. Beach yoga also helps you stay active throughout your vacation and offers reflective properties like walking in the sand.

What to Avoid

Travel health tips range from healthy eating to staying hydrated and working out. However, you’ll need to avoid a few things as well, and it often comes down to alcohol consumption. Always consume beer, wine and boat drinks in moderation because each has an extreme amount of calories. Several beverages throughout the week will not disrupt your routine, but excessive drinking can be the culprit of extra weight gain.

Another tip is to avoid overeating. While the seafood buffet is delicious and irresistible, avoid eating an entire meal plus a few extra plates when you’re already full. Be aware of how you feel before going up and grabbing another plateful of crab or deep fried food. It’s helpful to eat smaller meals throughout the day to keep you from overindulging. You can even split your meals and keep the other half as leftovers for lunch the next day.

Avoid long hours in the sun without taking a break in the shade and rehydrating your body. Spending too long in the heat can lead to sunburn and fatigue — or in more severe cases, sun poisoning or a trip to the hospital.

Other Small Steps You Can Take

In the perfect circumstances, you would be able to travel to the beach in a matter of minutes. But for most vacationers, getting to the Oceanside often involves several hours in the car or a long flight. Traveling to the beach can prove exhausting for everyone on the trip, so sleep is vital to keep you healthy while on vacation.

Your body requires more rest when traveling long distances — especially if you cross time zones. Walking all day or lying in the sun is harsh on your body as well. Getting the right amount of sleep and taking a few naps throughout the week can keep you from crashing one or two days into your fun-filled vacation.

your body requires more rest

If you have a lot of plans to sightsee or explore during your time at the beach, make sure to pace yourself between activities. Instead of doing everything in one or two days, spread out your various sight-seeing destinations to take up an entire week. No matter if you want to spend a day shopping, an evening mini golfing or a morning at the waterpark, it’s ideal to take your time. It’s more stressful to take part in dozens of things in a short period as opposed to using several incremented days.

To add an extra dose of exercise to your week, remember that walking to places at the beach is better than taking the bus. You can walk off the beers or wine you drank and explore the town at the same time.

When you’re on the beach or in the middle of shopping on the boardwalk, keeping hand sanitizer is handy when soap and water aren’t available. Prevent the spread of germs and avoid getting sick by keeping your hands clean.

As you know from previous experiences, it’s difficult to eat a balanced meal while on vacation. Taking vitamins can help your body. Also, protect your skin by applying sunscreen every two hours, and wear insect repellent when necessary. Make sure to pack remedies and medicines to avoid sickness, and always be prepared with a first aid kit.

Visit Ocean City New Jersey

Equipped with healthy travel tips, you are now ready to plan a beach vacation at Ocean City New Jersey. You can relax and enjoy your stay while keeping up with your healthy lifestyle and workout regimen. It’s important to plan and prepare yourself and your family to get the most out of your stay.

Whether you prefer early morning walks on the beach, lying under the sun or exploring Ocean City, you are now more knowledgeable on how to remain healthy and happy while on vacation.

Check out our calendar of events to begin planning your retreat to OCNJ.

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