Vacation Time

4 Tips for an Active Fourth of July

I’m out on the annual family Fourth of July vacation in the mountains all next week, and I thought I’d share some knowledge I’ve picked up over the years, both from writing stories on the topic and from personal experience.

·Limit your drinking to meal times only and stick to one drink per meal, at least for the first three days while you acclimate to your new environment. If you’re heading to the mountains, you’re going to dehydrate faster due to the dry air and altitude, plus all the extra activities you’ve got planned. Schedule your blowout cocktail party for the last night of the long weekend, or the 4th itself, a Friday.

·Save your epic 8-hour mountain-bike ride or 20-mile hike until the second-to-last day—weather permitting. Why? The last thing you want to do is drive yourself into the ground the first day of vacation, spend the next day exhausted, sore, and cranky, and be too wasted to do anything adventurous for the rest of the week.

·Concentrate on eating well (salads, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains) and not eating your way through vacation. This is hard to do when you’re in R&R mode, but it’s vital to maintaining your energy throughout the week. Eat too many high-fat, high-calorie foods, and you’ll feel like a beached whale.

·Take naps.You’re not at the office, so lie down and close your eyes. Twenty or 30 minutes is fine, 45 minutes is great. Anything more is going to make you groggy. This should help you come back to the real world feeling refreshed even if you spent vacation hiking for an average of 4 hours a day.

I’ll talk to you after the holiday. Until then, have a great 4th of July!