How to Have a Healthy Holiday
- 11 June 2013 11 June 2013
If you are lucky enough to soon be enjoying a summer holiday break abroad, you will no doubt want to make the most of this well-deserved time to relax, revitalise and replenish. By taking into account our tips on how to stay healthy on holiday you can guarantee that you'll return in good physical shape, ready to jump back into everyday life with a more enthused attitude.
Eat a healthy, substantial breakfast each day
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for kick-starting your metabolism so there's no excuse for skipping it. A protein-rich breakfast can set you up perfectly for the day ahead, especially if you're planning on working up a sweat with any fitness-based activities. Stick with a low-fat omelette or wholegrain cereal such as muesli with natural yoghurt and fruit. Accompany your meal with a fresh fruit juice to take advantage of all the vitamins and healthy anti-oxidants.
Drink plenty of water
If you're taking your holiday in a hot country, there is a chance that you will be vulnerable to becoming dehydrated in the heat. Make sure you have a large bottle of water with you and get your recommended 2 litres a day, especially if you plan on keeping fit and active. Staying hydrated and healthy whilst travelling is also important; spending long hours in a plane full of passengers with the re-cycled air conditioning could dehydrate your system.
Eat a healthy and filling breakfast each day
Stay hydrated, especially when exercising in the heat
It is recommended that we sleep at least 8 hours a night to keep as healthy as possible, so why should our sleeping patterns change on holiday? Whether you're flying long or short-haul, it is important to stick to the new time zone to avoid jet lag and to keep your body ticking over. It may be tempting to arrive at the resort and take a nap in your room or on the beach but avoid doing so as this will only disrupt your body clock further.
Keep active with yoga
Yoga is a great stress-reliever and a fantastic full-body and mind workout. It has been found that routine physical exercise can drastically improve mood and overall happiness, so keeping active on holiday can be a great way to develop overall wellness. Basic poses such as the downward dog and the tree pose help core balance and flexibility along with creating a pure sense of calm and relaxation. Perform a circuit of different 'asanas' in the morning to prepare your body for the day ahead.
Leave your laptop at home, and switch off your mobile to avoid unnecessary distractions on your holiday. Escape from the monotony of our technology-fuelled lives, and get back to nature. Learning to live without digital influences can vastly improve emotional health and prevent stresses building up. When on holiday, we should remember exactly that, and forget about the things that do not matter at that moment in time; commuting and spread sheets are meaningless when we're sitting on a sunny beach.
Keeping active on holiday with holistic activities such as yoga can be a great way to stay healthy
Take advantage of fresh local produce
Eating on holiday should be about trying new culinary experiences and indulging in the best cuisine on offer, not surviving off burgers and chips for a week! If you're heading on a beach spa holiday, take advantage of the location and enjoy local seafood to benefit from healthy omega-3, alongside fresh and nutritious fruit and vegetables. The more colourful the food on your plate; the more anti-oxidants and nutrients you are providing your body with, so you can improve your health without feeling like you are missing out.
Be safe in the sun
The Vitamin D we get from sunlight allows us to absorb calcium and phosphate that makes our bones healthy. But rather than spending hours lying in the sun, expose yourself for short periods and never let your skin get burnt. Choose a sun cream that protects against both UVA and UVB rays to make sure you protect fully against skin cancer. Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as oily fish, eggs, cereals and spreads so try to incorporate these into your holiday diet.
Don't be afraid to cheat
The occasional burger or chocolate pudding can, contrary to belief, help shift the pounds. A cheat meal can increase serum leptin levels (increasing overall thermogenesis) and basal metabolic rate; meaning you will burn more calories for at least another 24 hours. Not to mention that a bit of indulgence will improve your mood and let you enjoy your holiday without feeling 'overly' healthy. So take advantage of the fantastic cuisine on offer and treat yourself to a few glasses of wine and an indulgent meal, your body will thank you.
Stay safe in the sun
Early morning exercise will set you up for the day ahead
Explore before breakfast
Doing cardiovascular exercise in the morning is a great way to burn off fat, and will make you appreciate your breakfast just a bit more. Usually when you exercise, your body uses carbohydrates as its energy source. However, just after you wake up, your insulin level is at rock bottom, which means due to the lack of carbs in your body, you will burn off fat instead. A 30 'fasted' minute walk down the beach can burn off more fat than 90 minutes of steady exercise on a full stomach.
A final top tip for staying healthy on holiday - relax! Away from day-to-day life, you can focus on the important things in life, and spend your free time re-energising and doing whatever makes you happy. It is important to keep active, but just as important to sit-back and unwind. A healthy holiday is the perfect opportunity to combine relaxation, eating well and keeping fit all in an idyllic location; so make the most of it!
If you haven't organised your summer holiday yet, then take a look at our top five healthy holidays this summer for inspiration. You won't have any trouble staying healthy on one of these holidays!