It is holiday time in many parts of the world. In Australia we are gearing up for winter school holidays and of course the northern hemisphere is enjoying summer breaks. Staying healthy on holiday is actually easier than you may think.
Staying healthy on holiday does not require nearly as much effort as you may have come to believe and really means applying some fairly basic principles, which join together relaxation and enjoyment with the pillars of DIY Health.
So here are some simple tips on staying healthy on holiday wherever you may go in the world.
- Enjoy new and different foods whilst limiting portions. It is great to sample new foods whilst away. Many people will be “eating out” for three meals a day. This can be a recipe for weight gain but does not need to be. All you need to do be limit portion sizes. Particularly when at the buffet enjoy sampling different. Have a small serve of different foods. Enjoy quality rather than quantity.
- Make sure you include fruits and vegetables. For many people cooking vegetables is seen as hard work. When someone else does it there is no work involved. Put vegetables the first thing on your plate at the buffet. Wherever you are there will be local fruit in season so enjoy this as well perhaps before the cake or ice-cream.
- Take the stairs. There is much opportunity to be active when you are on holidays. Take the stairs wherever you can (OK not when lugging suitcases). Walk a few blocks rather than take a cab if staying in a city. Take a walk in nature. Apart from being good exercise it will get you out in the fresh air and sunshine, which is good for your vitamin D levels. It is easy to do this without burning. Getting into nature is also very grounding and relaxing. This can be as simple as a walk in a park.
- Do a workout. Many hotels have gyms, which you can use for free (as part of your stay) or for a modest fee. Some will also run group classes and this can be an opportunity to try something new. Last year when we were in Bali I was able to try a different form of yoga, which was run in the hotel gym. Go for a run, bike ride or swim; whatever you like
- Catch up on sleep. Yes it is good to be active when on holiday but it is also a tine to rest and recharge the batteries. Minimize fixed commitments so you do not have to set the alarm in the morning allowing your body to wake when it is ready. Be happy to have that nap by the pool after lunch if your body is tired. Have some relaxation time each day. Maybe have a facial or massage.
- Drink mainly water. Yes of course you can enjoy a cocktail or tropical juice by the pool (or a schnapps in the snow) but make your main drink water. In some countries this will mean bottled water but in those countries the bottled water is always cheap by western standards. Better water than soda from a bottle.
- Above all else have the mindset that being healthy on holiday is fun.
When you are healthy you will have more energy to do the things you want to do. Of course you will feel better and you will look better too. This is regardless of whether you are in snow gear, camping gear or swimsuit. So this holiday season apply the basic principles detailed above and have a great holiday wherever you go.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases.