How to Stay in Shape on Spring Break

Avoiding weight gain is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

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Finally, it’s Spring Break! It’s time to forget about school, work, everyday troubles and enjoy yourself. But letting loose is often accompanied by somewhat unhealthy behavior. You can easily go overboard eating or drinking, and risk undoing what you’ve worked so hard to accomplish – a fit and healthy body.

You don’t have to exercise as religiously as before or eat strictly healthy foods, but you can’t give them up entirely either. You set a bad precedent that can continue for a while after the fun time is over until you are completely out of shape.

It doesn’t have to be like that at all. You can easily stay fit and have lots of fun. Here’s how:

Drink plenty of water

It’s easy to forget to drink water when you are drinking alcohol. Don’t make this mistake. It’s warm outside and dehydration can lead to overheated body. Water helps prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Water is also important for keeping you system clean from all that food and booze you’re consuming. The best indicator of your hydration is your urine. Someone who is well-hydrated will produce clear or light-colored urine. Dark-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.

Walk a lot

You don’t have to be at the gym working out when you can be surfing at the beach. You have to keep moving if you want to stay in shape. A study from the University of Utah basically proved that people are made to walk. Researchers had different athletes run in different styles while measuring their oxygen levels at all times. The result was that walking – not running – was most efficient way to stay in shape and lose weight while being easiest on your body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week. Mathematically, that’s 22 minutes a day or 30 minutes five days a week. You can easily do that.

Don’t skip meals

A recent study to shed light on why this “dieting” strategy is actually a bust found that skipping meals can instigate a series of “metabolic miscues” that may lead to weight gain, and especially in the abdominal area. Other side effects of being hungry include bad mood and no energy. Starving is likely to lead to overeating when you actually decide to have some food. Your metabolism may have different time adjusting, leading to weight gain. You will undoubtedly eat some junk food but don’t stress it too much. Don’t make it a habit and make sure you still consume good food to get proper nutrients in.

Eat healthy snacks

If your meals consist of burgers, fries and nachos, then make your in-between snacks fruits and vegetables. Curb your hunger with nuts, carrots, apples, crackers or even granola bars. Get all the fiber, vitamins, magnesium and protein you can so your body can properly process and get rid of the bad fats you’ll be consuming later. Other healthy snacks are yogurt, dried fruit, pretzels, plain popcorn, dark chocolate.

Use the beach as a gym

You’ll be spending so much time at the beach, you might as well exercise. Running in the sand is a great workout for the legs and core because you have to push harder. That also means you don’t have to do it for long. Swimming is one of the best exercises that work out your entire body at the same time. Do a few laps against the waves. You’ll feel like you’ve been at the gym for hours.

Get enough Zzz’s

You can stay up until dawn if you want, but make sure you make up for the lost sleep. You need to recharge so you can have as much fun the next day. Also, people who sleep less than six hours a night could be putting their bodies at a serious disadvantage, according to a study by the Surrey Sleep Research Centre published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new research showed that a lack of shut eye disrupts more than 700 genes critical for good health. Poor sleep also leads to more stress, bad moods, lack of focus.

More readings: 

Off The Beaten Path Spring Break Destinations

Fun Spring Break Destinations that Won't Break the Bank

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