Stay Fit on Vacation with Help from the SparkPeople Store

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Now that school is out and summer's official start is just days away, many people are gearing up for their summer vacations. (I wish I could say the same, but I'm saving my vacation days and dollars for a fall honeymoon!) One concern for many of us is how we'll keep up with our healthy habits while away from home. After all, you've worked hard to fit into that bathing suit and feel more confident in your shorts and tank tops and you don't want to reverse all of that progress in a matter of days!

Don't worry. With a little planning, it IS possible to stick to a fitness routine, eat healthy foods, and still relax and live a little while you're traveling. The following products from the SparkPeople Store can help!

Portable Picnic Blanket ($20)
Great for camping, backpacking, hitting the beach or a simple day hike, the SparkPeople picnic blanket rolls up into a convenient and portable little package with its own handle, and unrolls to a large 50" x 58" rectangle when you're ready to use it. Because it's compact and easy to carry, you'll be able to stay active before it's time for a healthy lunch or snack, which you could pack in your very own SparkPeople lunch cooler, of course! Available in four great colors.

Bamboo Tanks ($25)
These bamboo tanks are a favorite of mine. I have them in every color! Bamboo is an eco-friendly material since it grows so quickly and it naturally wicks sweat away so you stay cooler and dryer. These are great for exercising, so you can pack them in your suitcase for your planned workouts, but they're simple and stylish enough that you wear them anywhere without looking like you just left the gym. Available in three colors. (And if you want something a little roomier, check out the NEW men's sleeveless performance tanks.)

Resistance Band ($9.50)
If you know me then you know I love resistance bands. These are perfect for at-home exercise and they're easy to travel with, too. They weigh almost nothing, fit into your suitcase or carry-on and still manage to deliver a challenging and effective strength-training workout for people of all fitness levels. When you have a band like this, you have no more excuses about being unable to exercise when you're away from home! Available in three resistance levels: light, medium and heavy. For more suitcase-suitable fitness equipment, click here.

SparkPeople Workout DVDs ($10 - $10.95)
Like an inexpensive resistance band, workout DVDs make a great choice when you're away from the comforts of home. Just this week I received a nice message from a SparkPeople member who was house sitting for friends and used the videos to stay on track:

"I just wanted you to know that your 10-minute cardio videos are a god-send for me right now. I'm house sitting for friends who live out in the middle of nowhere next to a highway so I can't take my normal walks…I LOVE them! I have no willpower to push myself on my own to continue working out when my body starts to burn so I have my DVDs to keep me going. Thanks to your 10-minute videos I've been able to keep up with my cardio this past week while I'm away from home and they're so short that I can easily fit a couple in around my baby's nap times."

Who says you have no time to work out while you're on vacation? When your workouts come in short 10-minute packages, you do have the time!

For more creative ways to eat healthy and stay active while you're on vacation, check out these SparkPeople articles read The Healthy Vacation Guide (complete with tips for road trips, air travel, cruises, and hotels) and Active Vacation Ideas (for fun and fit pursuits for your next trip).

Are you planning a summer trip? How will you stay fit and healthy while away from home?

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i totally just bought the bamboo tank. i love bamboo fabric! it's the softest ever :) Report
My DH and I are shipping three of the four kids to summer overnight camp next Sunday - for a whole month!! I'm looking forward to it, b/c it means we can do some overnight trips. I've got a 22-mile rail trail ride planned on Cape Cod (including an overnight stay at a hotel), a hike in the White Mountains that will include an overnight at a B&B, and two day hikes. We're also looking for some places to put in our kayaks and paddle around. For anyone from Massachusetts, any suggestions? We live near the NH border, and are only 1 hour from the Maine border as well. Write on my SparkPage!! Report
First of all: CONGRATULATIONS Nicole and your lucky guy!

For my DH and I vacations are an easy time to stay fit. We do eat well when on vacation, but our vacations usually include lots of walking and exercise, so we have never had to worry about gaining weight from them.

I don't buy much from the Spark store, but I appreciate the info on quality products and the fact I could get them while here rather than make a trip elsewhere. I love Spark! Report
Honeymoon! Good for you and God bless you and your man. I haven't taken vacation days away from home in a very very long time, so it's not so much an issue for me. Report
According to the Federal Trade Commission, bamboo fabrics aren't particularly eco-friendly. Bamboo does grow quickly, but once the bamboo is cut the processes involved to make textiles are not as earth-friendly as claimed.

"Have You Been Bamboozled by Bamboo Fabrics?

Looking to be a more environmentally conscious shopper? You’ve probably heard about bamboo. Bamboo stands out for its ability to grow quickly with little or no need for pesticides, and it is used in a variety of products, from flooring to furniture. But when it comes to soft bamboo textiles, like shirts or sheets, there’s a catch: they’re actually rayon.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know that the soft “bamboo” fabrics on the market today are rayon. They are made using toxic chemicals in a process that releases pollutants into the air. Extracting bamboo fibers is expensive and time-consuming, and textiles made just from bamboo fiber don’t feel silky smooth.

There’s also no evidence that rayon made from bamboo retains the antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant, as some sellers and manufacturers claim. Even when bamboo is the “plant source” used to create rayon, no traits of the original plant are left in the finished product.

Companies that claim a product is “bamboo” should have reliable evidence, like scientific tests and analyses, to show that it’s made of actual bamboo fiber."

Also, see:
I kind of think that with ads for products from the store on every page, email, the occasional email dedicated to the store, and even when you turn the sparkpeople wheel, more advertisement isn't necessary.. Report
I am actually on a much better schedule when on vacation. my workouts are early in the morning so i know they are done. usually fast walk on the beach or swim - or both. as long as i get in 45 - 60 mins. i have all my water bottles lined up ready, cold in the fridge or cooler and space all so as to get in 64 oz per day - not including any other liquid. we eat on more of a schedule too - usually breakfast at buffet and i stick with fresh fruits, eggs and one or two strips of bacon. i pass on the muffins, pastries etc which i really do like. we skip lunch in favour of fruits, veggies that we buy at the grocery store - maybe a handful of almonds - sip tea by the pool/patio. when we go for dinner i order what ever i want, salad in place of potato, but tell the waiter to bring half and bag the rest. if i want a dessert i will choose a sorbet - but usually the price of a dessert is not worth it. so again - i will have a 'legal' treat back in my room to eat later in the evening. i try to get another walk in at sunset - of course during the day we are active, sight seeing, mall shopping, or whatever. i feel great on my vacation because i am more organized and have the time for ME! i do not drink alcohol so that is not a problem, there are so many great places available now that usually dietary needs can be met. of course, i do not eat at the mall courts and fast food places that can't meet my requirements - but places like subway, quiznos are presenting much more healthy choices. there really is no need to over indulge or eat 'off'. i went to Italy last year, and it was great to taste everything - in moderation - it was a little harder sometimes in the restaurants - but the grocery stores were just like home - i took advantage of that and saved a ton of calories and money. the spumoni was fantastic in Rome (piazza Navona). when i came home i actually was 5lbs less than when i went. Report
I would like to buy from the Spark store but the shipping and handling costs to much, so its not a bargain at all. $10 for the DVD but $8 for the shipping and handling, ouch. Report
The bamboo long-sleeve t-shirt looks good - I hope I can wear it for workout outside home and still feeling comfy and cover-up. One way to find out - buy and try! Report
We were on vacation last week. I took my resistance band, Nicole's DVD, my running shoes, and mapped out some routes with Spark's help! It was a great way to still get some exercise in while on vacation! Report
Whenever I go on vacation, it's easier for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle as I have more time to enjoy the fitness equipment, don't have to cook or have leftovers to tempt unnecessary eating late at night. If driving, I bring hand weights and one large weight which I enjoy working out when I wake up and before going to bed. Report
I'm going on two trips this summer. First, my family is going on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday. With all the 24-hour buffets and no way to know what the nutrition factors are, it's going to be tough to stay on my eating track. But I'll be sure to eat all the fruits and veggies on my plate before digging into the main entrees to help myself not get out of hand. Luckily, there's a fitness center and jogging track, so I'll definitely be working out every day of the cruise. And the shore excursions we've chosen all involve a lot of walking or physical activity.

A week and a half after I get back from Alaska, I head to France for three weeks where I am being paid to play in an opera pit orchestra. I won't have a lot of time to work out, but I'll definitely bring resistance bands and do strength training in the mornings. I was in Germany last summer with a similar program, and although we did a LOT of walking (especially during an excursion to Prague where taxi cabs are notorious for ripping off tourists), I drank beer at every meal and ate nothing but pastries, gelato, and schnitzel, despite having healthy alternatives available. I just thought "I'm in Germany, why not enjoy the local fair?" But I'll try my best to limit myself to one treat per day in France, as opposed to eating NOTHING but comfort food. The biggest advantage I have this summer over last is that I spoke no German and often didn't really know what I was ordering, but I do speak French, so the menu will make much more sense! Report
I'm headed to Texas and I will be with a group of people who Love to eat and they haven't caught the spark( yet) I am hopeful that after a week of working hard to stay on track I will have some new sp converts. The taking the workout DVD on vacaton with me is a great Ideal. I;'m excited about my trip but anxious at the same time. I've made a little progress here and I don't want a week away destroy that progress. Report
We are leaving on a Mediterranean cruise next Wednesday! We're excited, but I'm very scared of gaining back what I've worked so hard to lose! If anyone has any cruise ideas for keeping the weight off, I'd love to hear them! We're also spending five days in Rome after the cruise is over...... I'm excited but scared at the same time! Report
I will be going to a destination wedding with family kind of scared because we will be eating out the whole time but we will be walking everywhere. Report
No, no plans. Sadly, we have the horrible OIL DISASTER to deal with out at our fantastic PENSACOLA BEACH, so we won't be spending time there this summer! So unnecessary! Report
I'm spending five weeks in Italy - which means tons of walking, as well as tons of good food and lovely produce. I lost weight the last time I was there, so I'll follow the same plan - eat sensibly but well, and walk everywhere. Report
This year we are planning a road trip. I take the cooler,pack it with water and healthy snacks. I try to stay at hotels that have a workout room and a pool and I take my resistance band too.
I'm hoping to get to DC and NYC this summer. What will I do ? Lots and lots of walking !
I'll do plenty of push ups too ! Push ups are the best. No equipment necessary. although, I do have a set of resistance bands. I'm thinking about bringing them. we'll see.

I am going to a 5 day motorcycle convention. I plan on walking a lot. I also plan on getting healthy things to eat at the store to put in my ice chest. I do have a plan in mind. Report
This year we are returning to my favorite spot- the Outer Banks. I'm going to bring my workout clothes and try to go for a jog every morning. Plus, our whole group likes to eat healthy, so we're planning some good meals and skipping the restaurants at least a few nights. Report
We love cruises. There is plenty of opportunity to exercise on a cruise ship or at the ports of call. Walk, use the fitness center, take an exercise class, swim, dance, use the stairs, bring resistance bands, and even bring a portable DVD player for the exercise DVD's so you can stay in your cabin if you are shy about using the gym. Report
I liked your idea about when being on vacation but I felt the artical was more geared toward selling spark products.. ok fine but I would of like to know some other stragities tht I can do... or what other people do. I am going to Vegas next week, and yea it is the land of play and food. and I want to make sure I don't eat all the time I am there. which I don't think I will, I know I will walk, walk, walk, cuz there is a lot of walking when your in Vegas..
I won't have too much of a problem because I will be visiting with my son who also tries to eat healthy on a daily basis so I think it will be fine. Report
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