For some people, taking a holiday is an excuse to fall of the wagon, letting all health initiatives fall by the wayside. But for others, it’s the chance to embrace healthy habits and set routines that can support them both physically and mentally.
Think about it – When you are home you may be sitting at a desk for hours on end, eating the same boring foods because you’ve fallen into the practise of it. But when you’re in a new place, the concept of trying new, healthy foods or incorporating natural activity into your life is much more appealing.
In many cases, all that’s needed is a shift in perspective (and a few simple tips) to keep you fit and healthy while travelling.
Here’s where to start:
- Get plenty of rest. This is a huge one. Sleep plays an important role in the body’s ability to recover after long days of trade and will help provide you with the energy you need for the full days ahead.
- Stay hydrated. Regardless of whether or not you’re not visiting a warm destination, hydration is crucial. It will keep your skin soft, your digestion well-functioning, your joints lubricated, and help you prevent hangovers if you’re of that persuasion.
- Walk, hike or bike when possible. There are plenty of ways to stay active while travelling that don’t require hitting the gym. Walking or biking are great ways to explore your new surrounds while getting some exercise in at the same time. If you’re in a more remote destination, look for some local hiking trails to hit up.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch. After all that walking or biking around, your muscles will be dying for a good stretch out. Give them what they want and make sure to stretch every day (even if it’s just for 5 minutes) to loosen you up and prevent injury. Your body will thank you for it.
- Protect your skin. Make sure to slather on the sunscreen, as travel typically means lots of time spent outdoors. In winter, the sun can be even stronger so don’t use that as an excuse not to cover up.
- Breathe deeply. Travel is meant to be relaxing but anyone who’s done it knows it can actually cause lots of stress. When it takes a toll, take a moment to breathe slowly and deeply. This will help calm you, centre you, and bring you back into the moment.
- Ditch the booze and cigarettes. Or at least cut it back. It’s easy and appealing to overindulge on holiday, but it’s a surefire way to feel bad and potentially hinder your immune system.
- Seek out fresh food. Travelling means eating things you don’t normally eat and forgoing home cooking for restaurant food, which can cause you to feel less than your best. While experiencing the new and local cuisines is all part of the game, try to incorporating water and fibre-rich foods (legumes, whole grains, fresh produce) to counterbalance everything else.
What other tips do you have for staying healthy while travelling? Feel free to share.