Work stressors can wreak havoc on your health and weight. Taking a well-deserved vacation, especially one filled with lots of leisure activities, can actually improve your health while helping reducing your waistline.
Time Away Can Reduce Stress
Getting away from the office can do wonders for your health and weight loss. Cortisol, often known as the “stress hormone,” is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands during stressful situations. If you do not take the time to unwind and decrease stress, your body remains in a heightened state and continues to secrete a higher level of cortisol. This can have a negative impact on your body in a number of ways, including increased abdominal fat and decreased thyroid function.
Stress has been linked to a number of health problems and not allowing yourself to take some time off will only magnify those problems and potentially lead to life threatening conditions, like a heart attack or stroke.
Physical Activities While on Vacation
You are likely far more active on vacation than you realize. Whether it is just wandering around while sightseeing or something more physical like hiking, diving, or mountain biking, leisure activities on your vacation play a role in helping you reduce your waistline.
Hiking to the top of a Mayan ruin or scuba diving in the tropics are great because you are getting physical activity in a relaxing environment instead of hitting the gym on your lunch hour.
Another benefit of vacation time is getting a good night sleep, which can do wonders for your health long after your vacation ends. Have you ever noticed that by the second or third day of your vacation, you feel more rested and relaxed, no matter how busy you’ve been? There is a good reason for that — your body is finally catching up on much needed sleep.
The effects from the quality sleep you get on vacation are believed to extend as far as two to three weeks after you get back from your vacation!
Enjoy Fresh Food
Depending on where you vacation, there is a good chance you will be eating better and more healthy than you do on a day to day basis. Avoid trying to save a few pennies by hitting nearby fast food and concentrate on the local cuisine available. If you are vacationing in the Caribbean for example, enjoy the fresh fish and surplus of fruit and tropical flavors that define cuisine from this region.
If you are staying somewhere that includes kitchen facilities, take advantage of the opportunity to eat in. Grocery shopping in other countries can be a fun experience and possibly open you up to ingredients and items you’ve never seen before. This is a great way to save money and ensure you are enjoying some healthy foods.
For those who have access to a kitchen, but still plan to eat out — consider a compromise. Bring in fresh fruits and healthy snacks for breakfast and throughout the day if you plan to stay on the resort property. Having quick access to healthy nibbles will hopefully dissuade you from ordering that basket of onion rings at the bar!
Your vacation should not be spent worrying about making sure you are exercising enough or eating super healthy, but keeping these simple tips in mind can help you come back more relaxed and perhaps even a few pounds lighter!