Spring Break Tips!
Whether you are going to the beach or hitting the slopes for your spring break, follow these tips and simple moves to make the best of your vacation and come back feeling renewed and refreshed.
*Stay hydrated—flying, higher altitudes and hot beaches all can lead to dehydration. Often times we mistake thirst for hunger as well. Carry a BPA free water bottle with you and fill it up regularly.
*Keep a well balanced eating routine; but leave a little wiggle room for a daily healthy splurge–such as a mug of hot cocoa after a long day of skiing or a white wine spritzer at the end of a day in the sun. Try and pick just one fun extra with each meal such as an appetizer or dessert or cocktail just don’t do all 3!
*Carry healthy snacks with you, an altoid tin holds the perfect portion for nuts (23 raw almonds, 7 walnut halves, 16 cashews, or mix it up with 15 raisins and 15 shelled peanuts) and is easy to put in a purse, beach tote, ski jacket, or carry on. Nuts are satiating and have a good combo of fat, protein and carb all in one little package. They also don’t spoil, contain good fats, and enough protein to curb hunger pangs. My personal favorites are pistachios and you can have 50 of them as a serving.
*MOVE! It’s so easy to fit in exercise on vacation. I personally love to ski, so my spring break already includes movement; but no matter where you go, you can always do yoga. It’s portable and easy to incorporate a few moves before a day on the beach or slopes or a day of sightseeing.
Here are some of my favorite yoga moves to do first thing in the am or at the end of a long day to stretch and strengthen your entire body.
Lying down on your belly, place your hands by your chest and press the top of your feet in to the mat. Engage your lower abdominals and lift your torso and thighs off the floor as you straighten your arms and open your chest. Draw the shoulder blades together around the spine and keep the legs engaged. Gaze forward without straining your neck and breathe deeply in to the backbend. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths then lower down. Or take an inhalation then exhale back to Downward- Facing Dog.
Come in to Downward-Facing Dog and make sure your hands are pressing firmly in to the floor and your lower abdominals are engaged. Lift your right leg up in to the air keeping your hip rims parallel and your lower back long. Extend from your fingertips to your toes and feel a long line of energy. Try and lift the leg as high as you can without losing your alignment. Don’t let the front of the right shoulder lift up and keep both shoulders square to the floor. Stay for 5 breaths then step through to crescent lunge.
*Crescent Lunge—beautiful pose for opening up the front of the body and breathing deep in to the sides, lungs and back. Also great for stretching the psoas, hip flexor and quadriceps (which all get tight from sitting on planes and/or skiing and other activities).
From Downward Dog Split inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning the right knee over the heel and lower your left knee to the floor pressing the top of the foot in to the mat especially the pinky toe side of the foot. Keeping the right knee in the same position, slide the left leg back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the left groin and let your hips press forward. On an inhalation, lift your arms up alongside your ears with the palms facing each other. Engage your lower abdominals and lift out of your lower back. Feel the sides of your waist long and backbend through the upper back and chest. Keep your arms firm and reaching up alongside the ears as you go deeper in to the backbend. Place your hands by the front foot tuck under the back toes and exhale in to Plank, inhale in to Upward Facing Dog then back to Downward Dog Split with the opposite leg in the air and perform crescent lunge on the other side.
You can go through the cycle 3 to 5 rounds; or just do one of the postures at any time to keep your energy up on vacation, get the most out of every breath you take and maintain your strength, flexibility and peace of mind.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!