Last week I was fortunate enough to spend eight glorious days in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with my best friend and workout partner, Jess. They were brave enough to let me tag along on their family vacation. Vacation can be an intimidating thing for people looking to lose weight. Days of beach vacations are often spent lounging around in the sand during the day with big meals full of calories at night. Not ideal for weight loss efforts.
I started vacation a little nervous about backsliding and completely making a pig of myself in terms of eating and not getting exercise in. But once we got there, I knew that exercise would not be a problem. Each morning, I woke up around 7:30 and hit the local neighborhoods and beach access ramps for some mileage. I walked the majority of the time, but on shorter runs, I would alternate running with walking. Jess joined me on a few mornings, but others we did our own thing since she is a speedster and I can’t keep up. We also rented beach cruisers and would ride them during the day for short spurts and then ended each and every day with a 5 mile loop around the golf course we were staying at.
Here’s a rundown of the activity of our week:
Sunday: 6 morning beach miles alone/evening 5 mile bike ride
Monday: 6 morning miles with Jess/bike ride/evening 5 mile bike ride.
Tuesday: 3 mile walk with Jess/evening 5 mile bike ride
Wednesday: 6 mile walk/ evening 5 mile bike ride
Thursday: 3 miles/ evening 5 mile bike ride
Friday: 8 mile morning bike ride/ evening bike ride
Saturday: No workout (other than packing)
Not the greatest of workouts and it was all mostly just walking/running plus our daily bike rides, but getting up and getting a fantastic sweat in each morning really made a difference with food cravings during the day. That kick-start to the day was well worth a morning alarm.
Since we were able to stay in a house, I ended up packing lots of food to eat during the day so eating out would not be a temptation. Every day, I would wake up and have peanut butter toast and lunch would usually consist of a turkey sandwich with fruit on the side and some baked chips. Not horrible for a vacation, right? Of course we did eat out for dinner each night, but I never felt overly stuffed or bloated since we ate lighter throughout the day and did a morning workout. It is all about finding that balance.
I will say that each night after our bike rides we went to the best frozen yogurt place I’ve ever been to. Yo Addiction just opened up on the island about a month ago and is so fantastic. The yogurt was delicious and the toppings were on point. They gave us a vacation card that got us 20-30 percent off our entire purchase each night so that kept us coming back. Fro-Yo isn’t THE most healthy thing in the world, but it beats going out for fatty ice cream each night. I loved ending each day with a big ole bowl of fro-yo.
Staying active on vacation was much easier than I thought it would be. Getting up never bothered me and I always felt like I was pushing myself harder than I would back home because I knew I wanted to enjoy my restaurant meal each night. Plus the humidity really really made me sweat hard. It also helped having a friend there to wake up with and get you out the door. Vacations can be intimidating, but thanks to a little morning exercise, healthy(ish) meals during the day, and an evening bike ride after dinner, I left feeling skinnier than I did at the beginning of the week.
How do you stay active on vacation?