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5 Tips for Practicing Moderation on Summer Vacation


It's the heat of the summer. Whether you are enjoying rejuvenating adventures at the beach, camping in serene mountains, or relaxing on a home staycation, enjoying in excess can become a possibility. How can you enjoy our much needed and deserved summer vacation time while being mindful of moderation? Here are 5 tips you can add to your tool belt to enjoy yourself within moderation this summer.


1. Eating. Vacation is a time to enjoy delicious food in wonderful settings. It can be tempting to overindulge while out to dinner with family and friends. Taking moments to practice mindful eating can help slow down the pace of eating and fully savor the flavors and textures of the meal. Some mindful eating tips include: sitting down to enjoy your meal, making sure screens are off and knowing that it is okay not to clean your plate.


When it comes to desserts, you don't have to completely avoid having them. It is always okay to enjoy foods that delight your senses. Having sips of water in between bites of food and opting for a smaller portion of favorite desserts, or splitting it with a family member or friend, is a good way to practice moderation.


2. Drinking. If you choose to partake in the consumption of adult beverages, practicing moderation while on vacation can be beneficial. Enjoying a delicious tropical cocktail or cold refreshing beer on the beach can be the cherry on top of a relaxing vacation day. The recommendation for alcoholic beverages is up to two per day for men and up to one per day for women. Having a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages can help slow the pace and the tendency to drink too much; it will also keep you hydrated.

You can also try "mocktails," seltzer water or fruit infused water, to have those same fun fruity flavors while limiting the intake of alcohol and making the most of your vacation time without going overboard.


3. Time in the Sun. It is important to practice healthy sun care when vacationing. Being exposed to the sun for long stretches of time can cause harmful damage to the skin. Applying sunblock before heading out to the beach, going for a sunshine-filled walk or just being outdoors is important for protecting your body's largest organ: your skin. Reapplying sunblock after swimming or excessive sweating is also recommended.


Finding a spot in the shade and taking breaks from being in the sun is key to a healthy vacation. These breaks are a great time to sip some water and keep yourself hydrated. Packing an umbrella or wearing a big hat or clothes that cover more of your skin can help avoid nasty sunburns.


4. Routines - Sticking to it or Taking a Break. Being on vacation can be a hurdle to the exercise or eating routines you have worked hard to maintain throughout the year. Waking up early and going for a walk or jog is a good way to add some exercise to your vacation. If you are trying to sleep in on vacation, incorporate some movement in the day. It's fun to explore new places and find a trail or scenic place to walk. This will help you get exercise while also experiencing the beauty that surrounds you. It may also entice you to begin incorporating new activities and behaviors into your daily routine so you feel great.


Vacation is also a good time to have that much-needed break from a vigorous schedule. Taking a day off, or even a week, is a time to reset and think about why we choose to eat healthily, exercise and practice mindfulness. This may help you keep up healthy habits or routines when returning to normal life. Remember, it's important to relax your bodies and minds post-vacation too.


5) Take Time for Yourself and Appreciate the Moment. It is easy to be swept up in a busy vacation schedule. Taking time for yourself to practice meditation, stretching, yoga, and other self-care activities can help you decompress and soak in all of the relaxation of vacation time. Here is a quick yoga sequence that can be done easily while on vacation and will leave you feeling great.


The final tip is to appreciate the moment. Taking the time to focus on being present while on a vacation can help you enjoy the sensations of warmth on your skin, the cool grass on your feet, or the smell of fresh sea air. A quote wisely spoken in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off sums it up nicely, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”


Enjoying time for yourself and time with loved ones is what life is all about. Whatever you do on vacation, make sure it is something that makes you happy and relaxed, and it will culminate into memories that will last a lifetime.


Learn more about healthy habits and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.


Written by: Steve Oram, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern


Sources

1. Harvard Health Publishing

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Dir. John Hughes. Paramount Pictures, 1986. Film.


#moderation #vacation #mindfulness #slowdownsummer #sunsafety #mindfuleating

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