Staying Healthy On Vacation

Guess what?  We are away again and this time we are on our family vacation in Glen Arbor, MI.  If you are unfamiliar with the area, Glen Arbor is situated on Lake Michigan and hosts two Caribbean blue bodies of water, Glen Lake and Little Glen Lake.  The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in Glen Arbor were voted the Most Beautiful Place in America by Good Morning America.


That’s not the Caribbean.  This is Little Glen Lake.

I love vacations because they offer us new places to explore.  However, I know that for many of my clients, vacation can be a stressful time.  Many people worry about gaining weight while away or getting out of shape.  While these can be stressful situations, there are many ways to embrace vacation and make the best of it.

Go explore.  I love running when I am away.  There is seriously no better way to see new places than on the run.  You can change routes easily and pop into fun places on a whim.  Weave about city streets or take a running tour.  Reach out to a local running club to see if they offer any runs while you are there or ask if someone from their club might be interested in playing tour guide.

One of my runners is away for the summer on an internship in an area where there aren’t many options for mixing up routes.  I sent her a link for a local running club and suggested she get in touch.  Not only did she hear back from the club president, but she happened to run into her at a local race and did a few miles together.  What an awesome meet up!


The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail runs for 24 miles.

Do what the locals do.  Maybe you don’t like running or just can’t find the time to fit a run in while you are away.  Find out what the locals do.  Here in Glen Arbor there are bike paths galore.  They are tree lined and beautiful.  Local shops and motels offer bike rentals. This is an activity the whole family can get in on.  Even little ones can come along in a Burley and enjoy the view.

Kayaks, Stand Up Paddle Boards, and canoes are other great options.  See what your vacation spot has to offer.  Try something new and get out and be active.  Take a walk around town and explore the shops.


I gave SUP yoga a whirl in Aruba!

Eat locally.  One of the best things about Northern Michigan is the pride they take in their local foods.  Fresh local veggies, arguably the best cherries in the nation, hoppy brewed beers and locally roasted coffee are just a few of the offerings.  Embrace the fresh food and try something new.

On a recent family night out, I ordered the “Super Salad.”  Pickled asparagus, quinoa, manchego cheese, shave brussels sprouts, chopped kale, and a chicken breast over a bed of field greens.  It was super filling and an absolute hit.  I am going to need to recreate that one!  Better yet?  This was at a local tavern.  More often than not, restaurants offer a few healthy, crowd pleasing options wherever you are.


This was salad perfection!

Play!  Just get out and have fun.  Don’t stress about what you did or didn’t do or about that extra heavy dinner last night.  Enjoy everything in moderation.  Have a great time and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Remember that any activity is far better than no activity.  This means that splashing in the water with family, chasing after little ones, and playing hide-and-seek are still keeping the metabolism pumping.

What do you like to do on vacation?


10 thoughts on “Staying Healthy On Vacation

  1. I differentiate travel with family vs. business travel on my own.

    When with family I don’t worry if I don’t run at all – my focus is with them. But at the same time I eat healthy and am (annoyingly, some might say) active all the time. My wife was mentioning it on our walk the other night – that I have always been ‘ok, let’s go, keep on going’ … but over the last 5 years of my distance-focused running I am apparently now “GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!!” … and don’t sleep. 🙂 Oh well …

    I have a work trip coming in late September, to a conference I attended a couple of years ago (in the same location) … so I am going back over the running routes I liked more or less on the previous trip 🙂

    But the mantra of “you can’t outrun a bad diet” always sticks with me. You might have noticed that in the summer I like an occasional massive soft serve ice cream with the chocolate dip-top. Not going to ever stop with that – but rather than just eating everything in sight or ‘giving up’ on vacations or over the weekend, I integrate stuff like that with my normal regiment of portion control and ‘intentional eating’ (knowing and owning what I put in my body).

    • You bring up an excellent point. You can’t out run a bad diet. Having that mindset can be dangerous. I thought about that on my long run today, knowing that we are having pizza for dinner tonight. It’s all about balance and absolutely portion control. Running has had the same effect on me. I can no longer sit still very well. I was once an avid reader but I feel guilty curling up with a book when I feel like I should be moving!

    • Well tonight was a rough one for me. Let’s just say I went in telling myself I would behave with the pizza and left with major regrets. Sometimes I don’t always practice what I preach very well.

  2. Looks like a beautiful place to be! We were just on vacation and I managed to get out for a few runs. It was such a fun way to explore. We love eating at local places too…that become a tradition each year we return.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s