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How to Vacation Healthy

Summer is palpably close. Warm winds and sunny days are creeping their way into regularity. With the promise of summer comes the intoxicating whisper of vacation and the opportunity to relax, refresh and re-energize. At least that is often the thought when we are planning our getaways. Unfortunately the reality is that we sometimes come back from vacation feeling drained, tired and needing another vacation. Admit it, we’ve all come back from a trip absolutely craving vegetables and sleep!

Over the years I’ve learned to find balance in my vacation time to avoid the dreaded vacation low. I absolutely believe that vacation is a time to kick back, indulge and live outside your day to day boundaries. That being said straying too far from the things that keep me grounded at home usually leaves me feeling anxious and well…..gross.

A few weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to escape reality with the girls to Palm Springs. It was the perfect balance between healthy indulgence and recharging my battery. I returned home energized an excited about diving back into my roles as a mom and entrepreneur. Here are some of the things I value in creating a healthy vacation experience.

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The Flight

A large number of my clients travel extensively for work. Those of us who work close to home may think travel is glamourous. It isn’t. We end up addressing many of the physical repercussions of travel in our physiotherapy sessions and I’ve drawn on that when planning my own travel. Here’s how I navigate air travel:

  • If I have to check a bag, I keep my carry on small to minimize heavy lifting, twisting and pulling. My passport, kobo, swimsuit and sandals are easily accommodated in a small bag that fits under my seat.
  • I always chose the aisle seat. Yes, I sometimes miss out on the view but I don’t feel trapped in my seat. I get up to stretch my legs and change positions often.
  • I always fly with my compression socks. They stop swelling through my legs due to pressure changes and keep my blood flowing on long haul flights.
  • I grab every possible chance to hydrate. Planes are dry so I will often grab a liter of water before getting on the plane and on lay overs to prevent dehydrating.

The Hotel

My family will tell you that this is the area where I am most difficult. I’m actually not too fussed about the room itself but amenities are pretty key. Here’s why I am famous for being a pain in the butt when it comes to hotels:

  • I insist on a hotel with a gym. Even 30 minutes of physical activity keeps me feeling human and it is a great place for me to go when everyone else is sleeping in. Sometimes I don’t use it but I prefer not to be limited if the climate or the neighbourhood aren’t ideal for an outdoor workout.
  • I love to have activities or the opportunity to be active on site. Lying by the pool only lasts so long for me so a great place to walk, an organized yoga or aquafit class or bike rentals go a long way to keeping me happy.
  • If I don’t sleep with you regularly, I don’t really want to sleep with you on vacation. Yes, I want my own bed. It can be the cot or the king but sleep is key to my revitalization and isn’t going to happen with someone else tossing and turning all night.

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Big love to The Ace Hotel & Swim Club for meeting all of my hotel idiosyncrasies in Palm Springs. Fun fact, they are coming to Toronto.

The Food

Eating out is one of the great luxuries of vacation. Unfortunately eating out three times a day is tough on anyone’s digestive system. Here’s how I satisfy my foody cravings without overwhelming my system.

  • I plan and reserve ahead of time. It allows me to check out menus, explore ratings and check out healthy options.
  • I grocery shop upon arrival. Nothing crazy but yogurt and fruit for breakfast and healthy snacks.
  • I pair water with a beautiful glass of wine or tasty craft beer. Keeping hydrated ensures I don’t waste the following day.

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The Activities

Location, location, location. I love to take advantage of my surroundings and leave the hotel to explore the city I’m visiting. While in Palm Springs I had the amazing opportunity to explore Joshua Tree National Park. It was the perfect example of why bringing your running shoes on vacation is a must. With that, I leave you with some photographic inspiration to start planning your next active vacation.

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