Going on holiday can be great for our health: a chance to rest and relax, spend time with love ones, get away from our usual routine and hopefully getting a vitamin D boost if we are visiting somewhere sunny!
But holidays can also lead to over-indulgence. According to this article, the average Brit consumes an extra 1000 calories on holiday and two thirds of us gain weight while on a trip.
It’s fine to indulge a little on holiday; ice-creams on the beach and cocktails at sunset are what holidays are all about for many of us. But if we keep treats within reason we will enjoy them all the more. Read on for my top tips on keeping healthy on holiday.
Keep active. Even if you do less than you would at home this will help. Could you try –
- A morning run along the beach
- Checking out the hotel pool or gym
- Giving something new a go: surfing, rock climbing, tennis?
- A walk in the hills
- Walking around a city – it’s the best way to take in the sites and you’ll be amazed how many steps you’ll clock up without even noticing
- Play with the kids – how about a game of volleyball or rounders?
Keep up your fruit and veg intake. If you are visiting a Mediterranean country it is easy to keep up your vegetable and fruit intake with so much lovely fresh produce on offer. Why not pick up some fruit at the market for breakfast? Fresh salads make a lovely addition to a meal especially when the weather is hot.
Watch your portion sizes. If you are staying in a hotel with a buffet restaurant, remember that “all you can eat” doesn’t have to mean “eat as much as you can until you are sick”! It can be tempting to “get your money’s worth” by eating as much as possible, but is this really more important than your health? Keep your portion sizes the same as you would at home.
Limit sweet treats. We all love an ice-cream on holiday but keep it within reason: limit yourself to one sweet treat per day and opt for the smaller sized cones.
Keep up your supplements. If you take vitamin supplements at home, take these with you and keep them up while you are away to give yourself a boost. Taking a green supplement such as barley grass powder before breakfast is perfect for holidays as it contains chlorophyll which helps to rid the body of toxins: handy if you have overindulged a little.
Keep hydrated. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water while on holiday especially if you are visiting somewhere hot or doing physical activity. It will also help to flush your body of toxins and is a much healthier option than sugary fizzy drinks or even ‘diet’ drinks that still raise your blood sugar levels.
Don’t go too mad on the booze. It’s lovely to enjoy a cold alcoholic beverage while on holiday but don’t forget that every gram of alcohol contains 7 calories so try to keep it within reason. Could you save it for mealtimes and evenings or aim to have at least one alcohol-free day during the holiday? Limit your alcohol by opting for lighter drinks such as a spritzer with soda. Drink water in between alcoholic drinks and watch out for sugary cocktails and mixers too.
Rest and rejuvenate. Finally, remember that holidays are really important for resting and recovering from all the hard work you do at home. Don’t feel guilty about making the most of this valuable opportunity to let your body and mind have a break. And despite the above, don’t feel guilty about treating yourself while on holiday or beat yourself up if you do indulge a little, enjoying it is far better for your mental health than feeling guilty about it!