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Travel
Simple tips for a fitter, happier vacation
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Simple tips for a fitter, happier vacation

Simple tips for a fitter, happier vacation
Photo Credit: SHAWN PATRICK OUELLETTE
Chris Piascik of Worcester, Mass., makes his way out onto the breakwater at Camp Ellis for some early morning fishing in Saco, Maine Thursday July 20, 2006 shortly before sunrise. Piascik's family has a vacation home in Old Orchard Beach and is spending some time in Maine this summer. (AP Photo/Shawn Patrick Ouellette)

Simple tips for a fitter, happier vacation

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After putting in long work hours all winter and squeezing in those extra bench presses, it’s finally time to take a break! Whether you’re relaxing on the beach or exploring a new city, a time out from the normal routine can be wonderful thing. But it can also make it tough to stay fit—all those meals out and indulging in a few (OK, a lot of) cocktails doesn't exactly help either. All that fun means you might return home feeling less than refreshed.

The good news is feeling healthy during and post-vacay is totally possible. Making just a few smart choices will keep you active and energized and help you get the most out of that vacay—and looking forward to the next one.

Don't Miss It: The 17 Most Amazing Fitness Vacations of 2014

Eating and Diet

  • Eat before the airport. Chow down on a big meal before hitting the airport to avoid having to eat at the fast food courts. If you forget and need to eat there, try fruit or a salad. 
  • Watch out for jetlag. Adjusting to a new time zone might make you hungry at odd hours. Resist the urge to snack at 4 a.m. and wait for normal meal times instead (or choose a healthy snack, like a handful of nuts, to tide you over). 
  • Drive past the drive-thru. If you’re driving to your getaway, plan where and when you’ll be stopping for meals before hitting the road. It’ll give you more flexibility when choosing a healthier restaurant—or figuring out the best options. And of course, pack your own healthy snacks! (See a theme here?)
  • Save space for treats. Visiting France? It’d be a sin not to try out some crepes. And that's just fine. On days you’ll be indulging more than usual, try to keep other meals and snacks on the healthy side.
  • Beware of buffets. With so many delicious choices, how to choose anything other than, well, everything? Start by using a smaller plate; it’ll encourage smaller portions [1]. Also aim to fill up on as many fruits and veggies as possible. Just have to try that cheesy pasta? Spread the love and share it with a friend.
  • Stay regular. No, not that kind of regular. Keeping a fairly consistent diet helps maintain weight better than being erratic [2]. Even when you're on vacation, aim to eat roughly the same amount and kinds of food as you usually do. Your body will thank you.
  • Visit food markets. They’re a great place to soak up local culture and eat delicious—and cheap—fresh food. Local food is better for the environment; you get to pick what you’re eating; and you'll even squeeze in some movement as you walk around the market. Talk about a win-win-win.
  • Pack snacks. When you plan to be out all day, bring along your own healthy snacks to stave off hunger. It’ll keep money in your pocket and away from unhealthier options (we’re looking at you, golden arches).Trail mix, granola bars, or even PB&J sandwiches are all healthy, portable options.
  • Make your own meals. If you’re staying somewhere with kitchen access, take the time to whip up your own delicious meals as much as often doing your stay. You’re more likely to eat something nutritious at home—and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.
  • Beware of drinks. A single cocktail can contain loads of sugar (and calories). If a stiff drink is necessary (and sometimes it is!), try some of these healthier drinks instead.
  • Take a cooking class. It’ll help relieve stress and you’ll be able to recreate the flavors of your vacation long after it’s over. Bonus points for doing something cultural while on vacay. 

Exercise and Fitness

  • See the sights. On foot or bike, that is. Skip the bus tours and check out your new surroundings the old-fashioned way to burn calories while taking in the views. Lots of cities even offer running tours to let you explore while getting a workout in.
  • Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and sneak in some extra cardio. Bonus: Lots of sightseeing attractions—churches and towers, for example—have stairs with architectural oddities, letting you kill two birds with one step.
  • Embrace your surroundings. If you’re at the beach, try doing the usual yoga routine on the sand instead of indoors. A change in scenery might be the boost needed to get physical [3]. Take a long walk through a local park when kickin’ it in a new city.
  • Be adventurous. Break out of a workout rut and use vacation as an excuse to try a new, fun activity. Whether it’s rock climbing, sailing, or trapeze swinging, challenge yourself to try something different while you’re away.
  • Try the local specialty. Take advantage of what an area’s known for—or even plan a vacation around it! Unroll a yoga mat in India, climb boulders in Colorado, learn tai chi moves in China, or woo potential suitors with flamenco moves in Spain. It’s a great way to learn about a different culture while getting fit.
  • Make exercise your vacation. A surefire way to guarantee you keep moving while traveling is by planning a getaway around a fitness event or competition. Force yourself to vacation by registering for a race in a different city or try a weekend fitness retreat.

For more tips on a fitter, happier summer vacation, including tips on Room and Board and Rest and Relaxation, go to Greatist.com.

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  • Lawmakers in Congress on Sunday failed to reach a deal on plan to fund the federal government, meaning the work week will being with furloughs for hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the nation, but there was a hint of progress as a Senate vote on a temporary funding measure was delayed until noon on Monday, with Republican leaders offering a plan which would guarantee a Senate debate on immigration matters in February, in hopes that Democrats would then help to fund the government in the meantime. “Let’s step back from the brink,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor late on Sunday evening, as he urged Democrats to allow the government to re-open, and continue negotiations on a host of issues, including immigration. “The shutdown should stop today,” McConnell added. McConnell outlined a plan to fund operations of the government through February 8, and said that if by that date no agreement had been reached on how to deal with DACA and illegal immigrant “Dreamers” in the United States, then he would agree to bring the issue up on the Senate floor for debate and votes. That immediately won the support of two Republicans who have been trying to broker a deal on the issue. “The Senate should act like the Senate,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who endorsed the idea of regular order on the Senate floor on immigration. “This is more than a reasonable proposal by the Majority Leader,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who spent much of the last three days shuttling between McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, and a host of Senators in both parties, in search of common ground. I'm very pleased to hear Majority Leader McConnell commit to the Senate that if we do not make a breakthrough on immigration by February 8th, the Senate will take the issue up under regular order. This is a more than reasonable proposal by the Majority Leader. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 22, 2018 “It would be my intention to resolve these issues as soon as possible, so we can move on to other issues important to our country,” McConnell added. But Senate Democrats were not ready to accept, as Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer objected to McConnell’s attempt to hold a vote Sunday night on the plan for a temporary budget that would last until February 8, which is just 18 days away. Still – Senate observers saw that as a positive, as neither McConnell nor Schumer engaged in any scorched earth exchanges, unlike earlier in the day. To some, that may mean a deal is in the works. Supporting notion that shifting 1a vote to Noon Monday indicates deal is attainable: McConnell/Schumer floor remarks were short and generally absent political grandstanding and attacks. Theoretically, a positive sign. — David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) January 22, 2018 Originally, the Senate was to have voted at 1 am on Monday morning, but that vote was delayed until noon, as Republicans hope Democrats will re-think their opposition, and allow a funding measure to go through the Congress.
  • A 42-year-old man is dead following an auto-pedestrian collision Saturday night in Sand Springs. The fatality crash happened around 7:49 p.m. on Highway 97.  “Driver of the car that struck him, a 2002 Kia, along with witnesses reported that the pedestrian darted out in front of him going east through the intersection,” police said.   “The driver of the Kia was southbound in the inside lane and he had no time to react.” Police add 42-year-old Kevin Myers was pronounced dead at the scene.  No word on why he was trying to cross the road.  
  • There is good and bad news for your outdoor activities today. National Weather Service Meteorologist Ray Sundag says temperatures will be well above normal, but we could also get wet. “It will become party cloudy,” Sundag said.  “We will see a chance of showers and even thunderstorms as we move into the late afternoon hours.” The high will be right around 70 degrees.  For reference, the normal high for this time of year is near 47 degrees.   Temperatures will drop quite a bit Sunday night.  NWS is reporting mostly clear skies and a low close to 39 degrees.  
  • With no signs of any deal to restore funding for the federal government, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be back for a rare Sunday session, with no real signs of an agreement to end the first government shutdown since 2013, as both parties continued to point the finger of blame at each other. The main stumbling block continues to be immigration, and what to do about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant Dreamers in the United States, who were protected under the Obama Administration’s DACA program, which was ended by the Trump Administration in October. Republicans made clear – there is no deadline on DACA until March – as they said those negotiations should simply continue while the government is funded and operating. “I hope Senator Schumer comes to his senses and ends this shutdown madness sooner rather than later,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, taking aim at the Senate Democratic Leader. But for Democrats, they worry that the GOP will never deal on immigration and DACA, as their leaders have decided now is the time to press for action. During Saturday’s House and Senate sessions – where no obvious progress was made – Democrats continued to argue that Republicans were the problem, since the GOP is in charge of the House, Senate and White House. “Americans know Republicans own the Trump Shutdown,” said Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY). “Anyone claiming otherwise should double check who has control in Congress.” Instead of signs of compromise, Saturday was mainly filled with tough rhetoric from both parties. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said President Trump’s grade for his first year in office was a “big fat failure F.” With no evidence of any deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set a procedural vote for just after 1 am on Monday morning, trying to force action on a plan to extend government funding until February 8, as he again blamed Democrats for the impasse. If Democrats hold together as they did late on Friday night, then that motion would not get the needed 60 votes to end debate, meaning the shutdown would hit government offices on Monday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says “Congress has a lot of work to do” but it is being 'delayed by the Democrat’s filibuster' https://t.co/IU5LKpcVoB — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2018 Various federal agencies were still making their plans for Monday; one federal worker that I saw on Saturday evening said his office had been told to come in for four hours on Monday, and then they would likely be sent home if there was no funding plan approved by the Congress.
  • Hours after funding lapsed for the federal government at midnight, lawmakers in both parties returned for an unusual Saturday session of the House and Senate, as both parties quickly launched themselves into finger pointing over who is to blame for the first government shutdown since 2013, with few signs that a deal was near on the major spending and immigration issues that brought about the standoff. “Get it together,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi bluntly said to Republicans in a morning speech on the House floor, as she led a chorus from her party in blaming the President for the budgetary impasse. “The Trump travesty continues, as it has for the last twelve months,” said Pelosi’s top lieutenant, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD). But Republicans were having none of that. “We’re about nine hours into the Schumer shutdown,” said Rep. Greg LaMalfa (R-CA) as the House convened, “which is basically Senate Democrats holding the United States, 320 million people, hostage.” Greetings from the Capitol this Saturday morning, where we have evidence of the shutdown: Capitol tours are suspended. pic.twitter.com/rfPAlLLlIQ — Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) January 20, 2018 “There is no excuse for this,” said Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA). “Democrats shut down the govt to protect illegals this week,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). Behind the scenes, lawmakers in both parties were still hoping to cut a deal that would have the government fully open by Monday – but there was little evidence of a possible breakthrough on the broader budget and immigration issues which led to this stalemate. Negotiations have centered on reaching a two year agreement on spending levels for the budget – as President Trump wants a sizable increase in the military’s budget – and on DACA, where Democrats were still hoping to get an agreement that would protect some 700,000 illegal immigrant “Dreamers” from being deported. As the clock ticked toward midnight on Friday night, there were a flurry of talks on the Senate floor between Senators of both parties – not really about the specifics of the budget or DACA – but mainly about the length of any temporary funding plan for the government, and plans to vote on that hot button immigration topic. “Since there were discussions here in earnest, in a bipartisan way, we ought to give those discussions a chance to bear fruit,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). “We should stay and work,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “Senator McConnell chose to shut the government down,” referring to the GOP leader in the Senate. But the underlying issues remain fraught with political problems, especially on immigration, where many Republicans see no direct link between funding the government and a deal on DACA and illegal immigrant “Dreamers.” “This Schumer Shutdown is absolutely ridiculous,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “It is totally irresponsible for the Democrats to use government funding as a bargaining chip.” At the White House, there was no sign that the President was going to cave on Democratic demands on immigration, as officials accused Democrats of doing all they could to slow political momentum from a big GOP tax cut plan that was signed into law in December. One year into the Trump presidency, Democrats can't shut down the booming Trump economy so they shut down the government instead. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. Do your job Democrats: fund our military and reopen our government #SchumerShutdown — Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 20, 2018 Democrats said they thought they were close to a deal with the President on Friday over DACA and other immigration issues, but that Mr. Trump backed off, again emphasizing the uncertainty that surrounds talks with the White House on major legislative issues. Even if the Senate were to approve a bill which combined provisions on DACA and the Dreamers, along with other items on border security, most Republicans say that would have little chance in the House, where GOP lawmakers favor a much tougher approach. One obvious difference between this shutdown and the one in 2013, is seen right here in Washington, D.C., where outdoor memorials and the Smithsonian museums were still open. Those were shut down by the Obama Administration last time, in what Republicans said was an effort to punish the GOP for a shutdown battle. FYI for anyone visiting DC this weekend: The @smithsonian museums WILL be open Saturday and Sunday. I was told they are not sure if they'll have to close Monday, though. They were waiting for guidance. — Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 20, 2018