There's no reason to take a vacation from your healthy habits. Whether you're packing a summer read for the beach or a foreign language dictionary for a trip abroad, don't forget to also tuck in your healthy habits.
You may be unaware of your behaviors—even the good ones. You may recognize when you're eating better, logging more steps on your fitness tracker and collecting more numbers in your blood sugar log. But you may not see the specific change in your behavior or what makes you behave this way.
Think about what specific behaviors you feel good about. Are you in better control of your dinner portions because you snack on fruit in the afternoon? Perhaps you get extra steps each day because of where you park your car. Maybe you’ve developed the habit of tracking your blood sugar both before breakfast and two hours later.
There's no reason to take a vacation from your good habits
Journalist Charles Duhlgg discusses habits in his book, The Power Of Habit. Habits follow a three-part pattern called the habit loop:
For example, your cue to measure your pre-breakfast blood sugar level may be seeing your meter on the kitchen counter. The routine is to wash your hands, measure your blood sugar, and record the number in your log. The rewards are seeing your log fill up and knowing that you've stuck to your goals.
Now, think about the ways you can keep your healthy habits on vacation when your routine is broken. Let's stick with the example of morning blood sugar checks. If you're staying in a place with a kitchen, it may be simple enough to leave your blood sugar meter on the counter – just like you do at home. If not, would tucking your meter into your shoes remind you to measure your blood sugar just as you head out to breakfast? Think about cues for your habits before leaving on your trip.
Staying healthy when traveling starts with a good plan. Here are 4 more tips you can use.
Remember - always talk with your doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine.