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Old 07-15-2009, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default Vacation/Travel Tips

Getting ready to go on a 3 week vacation with a lot of driving, visiting relatives, sightseeing, and two all-day plane trips. I totally need your tips for staying on plan!!

I am worried about a few things:

1) I count calories on sparkpeople, and I am bringing my laptop but I know I won't always have internet access. I guess I can try a keep a running total in my head and bring a calorie booklet with me. Is there a good source/small book of calories in restaurant chains?

2) It's not just me... its other adults and children. When travelling I can pack *some* meals/snacks in a cooler (suggestions please? and where to eat?) but I know they are going to want to stop and go in someplace to dine on occasion.

3) I'll be staying with relatives who I have not seen in ages and I do not feel comfortable telling them I "need" specific foods (especially since there will be 12-25 or more people there at times) so I am gonna have to make do with what they have... maybe bring some veggies with me or something. Rather remote area, not many stores, limited access to groceries.

4) What on earth am I going to do about my exercise??? I mean honestly, I can make due with the food... very small portions if nothing else... but the exercise is my BIG worry. Right now I use my exercise bike 30 min/day, strength train 2x/week, take walks. I have bad knees so I can't do lunges or squats or anything that impacts the knees. I can't bring my weights on this trip. What the heck will I do while travelling? All I can think of is the walking and some hiking. But on days when I am driving 5 hours, or staying at someone's house who has NO exercise equiptment, what can I do? I am really nervous about this. I don't want to slip back into NOT exercising. Any help with this is appreciated!


Thanks so much guys!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:33 AM   #2
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Can you buy a resistance band before you go? They are supremely (SUPREMELY) portable, and you can do a lot with a band and a doorframe...UB, LB, etc. They're pretty cheap ($10 or so) and come in a variety of resistances. Really, I keep them around for my home workouts, but I DEFINITELY keep them around for travel. Throw in a suitcase and you've got a mini portable gym ready to go.

For cardio, you can walk! You can say you want to explore the town, and walk a LOT. And you can keep an eye out for fun, vacation-y type activities that also burn calories...renting bikes, going for a swim, etc. Cardio is easy...you just need shoes. I've done entire cardio workouts with just my headphones and a small step (any step will do...I used the one leading from my side yard to my house). A flight of stairs is even better. Step up, step down, do a little dancing, maybe some knee raises, and bam - there's your cardio if you want something more intense. But a brisk walk is easy to fit in and easy to pack for.

In terms of food, you've outlined your plan, so you obviously know what to do.

It's definitely possible...more challenging than at home, but possible! Just plan ahead and you'll do just fine.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:03 AM   #3
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I second mandalinn's suggestion of the resistance band. Very affordable and won't be a problem for you to pack. Since you are a walker you might want to check out Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds dvd's. They are easy, quick and you could play it on your laptop. The beginner's versions will be the lowest impact for your knees.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:53 AM   #4
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this reminded me of a time I was visiting my family in California, I decided (for some reason I can't tell you why) that I had to bring my hand weights/barbells with me. So, I ended up running late because of heavy traffic, and those dang things set off the alarm in the xray gadget going to the gate.

the guard kept looking at me blankly when I tried to explain they were barbells (and not weapons of mass destruction -- no I didn't actually say that), and that I had to get to my plane. I ended up having to leave them. I laugh when I think of that now; didn't laugh at the time, heh heh.
(this was all pre 9/11)

don't panic, you're on vacation, and you might actually want to tell relatives you're trying to lose weight, they might end up being more supportive than you imagine (food and exercise wise).

I did lots of my exercises without equipment before I joined the gym. side bends, crunches, marching in place (which is a great exercise esp if you need low impact), walks, leg lifts, leg curls. you can use every day objects that have a little heft to replace weights. if you go to a gym, corner a trainer for more ideas (or surf the www).

hope that helps, and have a good time.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:10 PM   #5
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The resistance bands are a great idea! I've seen them at Walmart cheap. How do I figure out what to do with them?? And do you guys know if I should get the "long" ones or the "short" ones? That's all they say on the box.

Playing a DVD on my laptop!! Great! Why didn't I think of that? I knew you guys would be helpful

As far as walking I am still pretty limited to about 1.5 to 2 miles a day (knees) but I bet I can figure that out. I guess I need to bring a stroller so I am not going at a snail's (preschooler's) pace.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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Lyn,

I like the videos on the Mayo Clinic's site on resistance bands. Here is one video and the others have links at the bottom of the page,
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:20 PM   #7
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exercise.about.com also has a lot of exercises for resistance bands, as well as info about how to choose, what to use them for, etc.

http://exercise.about.com/od/resista...d_Workouts.htm

I'd get a standard long tube with handles and a door strap, like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/SPRI-ES501R-Re...7678351&sr=8-1

That allows you to attach it to doors for presses, use it for leg work, etc.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Ooh I have a question to add to this about travel. In less than a month, I will be leaving for my travel abroad for four months and my scale(in addition to being for the whole family) will not fit in my luggage. Does anyone know of some cheap, portable scales for traveling? If not, I guess I won't know my weight change until I get back, unless my host family has a scale.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:19 PM   #9
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OK, so travelling. This is what I do - YMMV.

Firstly, I reduce expectations. When I'm travelling or have little control over my food, I expect to maintain my weight. Obviously, losing would also be nice, but if I can't, I don't beat myself up about it.

Then, I have a bunch of rules/habits that I don't break without really good reason. eg. no eating after dinner, exercise every day, no fried foods, drink lots and lots of water. I'm sure you have similar.

For eating, I try to make good choices as much as possible, and try not to let myself get too hungry. Carry healthy snacks! The most important thing I find about eating out is allowing myself not to finish things. If I get full, I stop. Particularly the starchy fillers like rice and potatoes - I'm now of the opinion that they serve those to fill up the teenaged boys, no one else needs that many calories. I also order meals without the fries, because I not very good at not eating fries. If I really want cake, I'll order some, but I won't finish it, because restaurant servings are huge. Don't think of it as waste, you would be wasting calories if you ate food you didn't want.

For exercise, you've been given some great tips already. Another thing to
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:42 AM   #10
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Great tips all, thank you! I bought the resistance bands and am going to give them a trial run with some of the videos online. Hopefully this will help keep me focused while on vacation
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:21 AM   #11
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The excersise bands are a great idea, I keep some at my desk, use them even when I'm working on my computer. If the meal you are served doesn't really work for you, just take small portions and fill up in your room with things you brought in your cooler. Everyone has great ideas.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:37 AM   #12
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What Couch said.

When I'm away, I keep track of what I eat using my cell phone's notepad function. I can sort-of keep track of points (I'm on WW) in my head, but the idea behind noting my food is less that and more making sure I'm not eating a bunch of junk. It's really easy to lose track on vacation.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachykeen62 View Post
Ooh I have a question to add to this about travel. In less than a month, I will be leaving for my travel abroad for four months and my scale(in addition to being for the whole family) will not fit in my luggage. Does anyone know of some cheap, portable scales for traveling? If not, I guess I won't know my weight change until I get back, unless my host family has a scale.
If I was you, I would just buy a scale there. Where are you traveling?
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:14 PM   #14
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Jennelle~

Oh what a great idea with the phone!! I am so technologically challenged that I FORGOT I have a phone that has a pedometer, a calorie counter BUILT IN to it, as well as an mp3 player and FM radio on it! I bet I can put podcasts on THAT! I will play with it today and figure out the calorie counting thing. Woohoo
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:42 PM   #15
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Do you have an iphone/ipod touch? Sparkpeople and the daily plate both have calorie counting apps. if not, the notepad will help too.
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