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August, 2012:

Stay Healthy on your Vacation.

With  Labor Day coming up, summer’s end is fast approaching. If you haven’t  taken a vacation yet this summer, make plans to get away for the holiday  weekend or make plans to take a vacation soon. Taking time away extols  multiple health benefits. The Framingham Heart Study found an  association between not taking enough vacations and a higher risk of  heart disease. Another study found that depression and tension were  higher among women who took vacations only once in two years – compared  to those who took vacations twice or more a year. They also found lower  levels of marital satisfaction.

You  don’t necessarily have to leave the country or even your own  neighborhood to reap the benefits. “Staycations” also reap positive  health benefits. Another study showed people who engaged in more leisure  activities on a regular basis had, on average, lower blood pressure,  lower cortisol levels, and smaller waists.

Often,  people feel the need to really let go during a vacation. However, there are  still ways you can make healthy choices and enjoy your time off.


Here are some tips to help you stay healthy on your next vacation:

Make sure to stretch during long flights or road trips. Sitting for long periods of time can increase your risk of developing blood clots in your legs, otherwise known as a DVT, which can travel to your lungs with deadly consequences. I stretch my legs every 2-3 hours by doing the “Hippie Stretch.”

Make a healthy menu list! Vacationing  usually means cooking less and eating out more. This puts you at risk  of packing on the pounds later. When I vacation, I keep a list of  healthy foods in my head that I love and look for them on a menu. For  me, they include any type of fish, and soups and salads with raw  vegetables – it should come as no surprise that I love  raw vegetables. I try to stay away from meals that are high in carbs or  fats – as huge pasta dishes or meals made with heavy cream sauces. One whole lobster is only 135 calories and is a good source of heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium safeguards your skin from sun damage and cancer.


Choose one dessert a day! Eating in moderation applies to desserts, too! To keep your calorie  consumption in check, treat yourself to only one dessert a day. In addition,  devote yourself to other healthy food choices at your other meals.

Make sure you have all your vaccinations. If you go abroad, depending on where you travel, you may be exposed to  dangerous diseases like malaria or yellow fever. Consult information  from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to learn how to protect yourself with the right shots.

Bring your workout music! I took my workout music along for running and workout sessions. Let the scenery of your new  surroundings motivate you to go on long walks or jogs outside. Feel  free to do my 7-minute morning workout in your hotel room or outside in the park, or if you have more time, try celebrity trainer Joel Harper’s 20-minute workout.  Both require no equipment, so you can do them anywhere. It will not  only relax you, but also energize you for an entire day of sightseeing  and spending quality time with family.