Eating right, getting exercise and staying healthy can be an onerous task even when you’re in your normal routine at home. But armed with a gym membership, a kitchen full of healthy food and knowledge of your local restaurants, you can most often make the right choices.
So why is it then, that so many people start to make all the wrong choices when they go away? Whatever the reasons, it’s helpful to bear these few tips in mind when travelling to help you stay on track for your goals or just maintain the healthy lifestyle that you love.
- Try to stay away from the mind-set of “well I’m on my holiday so I can do what I want.” Eating rubbish food, drinking more than usual and not exercising will all will make you feel terrible. Not to mention you won’t get the best out of your trip. Whether you’re going away for a week or 6 months, you want to come back home feeling better than you did before.
- Try the local food. It can be tempting to eat at local chain restaurants that are familiar, especially in places where we’re worried about getting food poisoning. But these places are often fast food joints, and won’t be offering anything remotely healthy. Instead pick out a restaurant by searching online for one with solid reviews. An authentic restaurant will most likely be serving locally sourced produce that you can enjoy without feeling guilty.
- Take your trainers. It can be difficult to find space in your case for anything exercise related but if you don’t take it, you won’t have the choice. Wear your gym gear on the plane if you need to! Running is a great way to explore a new place, or you might even stumble across a tennis court or outdoor gym.
- Try not to overdo it on the drink. It’s hard to turn down a cocktail on holiday, I know (especially a frozen one!). But drinking margaritas from 4 in the afternoon will do absolutely no wonders for your health. Binging on holiday is just as bad for your liver as drinking regularly at home. Instead why not start off with a virgin cocktail; you can always have a glass of wine with dinner.
- Bring something from home. What do you have a lot of at home that makes you feel good? For many Brits the answer is a cuppa of your favourite tea. Why not take a few teabags in your case? Most hotels or hostels have kitchen facilities or even just a kettle, and you can always ask for hot water in restaurants. Drinking it will not only put you in the mind-set of your usual healthy routine, it might put off your cravings for something else much more sinful.
- Use your surroundings. Ok, so you might not be able to attend your usual fitness Pilate’s class. But there are a million ways to stay fit. Does your hotel have a pool? No? Well then go down to the beach and swim in the sea! Walk to the local restaurants, rent a bike, or buy a football and get everyone involved. Who knows, you may even find a sport you love even more than pilates.
- Take a phrasebook. If your language skills are limited to “dos cervezas por favour” then how can you expect to order anything that isn’t beer. It’s also useful for asking locals where the nearest gym/park/bike rental place is.
- Drink LOADS of water. This is so important, especially if your trip involves higher temperatures than you’re used to at home. You should be drinking a few more cups a day than usual to compensate. If you are having more alcohol than normal, make sure you up that water intake even more.
- Enjoy yourself! Try not to get anxious that you can’t count exactly how many calories you’re having and don’t force yourself to go out running in the midday sun. Find a form of exercise that you can have fun with. As long as you don’t overdo it, you can afford to relax a little. You are on holiday after all!