A vacation is a time to relax, unwind, celebrate, rejuvenate, to see new places, try new things and basically get away from the stresses of your daily life! Unfortunately, it often also means a break from your daily routine and exercise regime. All the bingeing, late-nights and fun in the outdoors during your vacation can actually play havoc with your health and leave you feeling worse than you did before you left! But with a little bit of planning, you can return home healthy and happy and even sustain that feeling. Read on to know just how.
Before You Set Off…
Preplan / Plan Ahead
It’s important to maintain your fitness routine while on vacation. Check you’re your hotel if they have a gym or if it offers access to any local health clubs. Get online for information on parks with walking tracks or hiking trails in your travel destination. If you won’t be able to get to a gym, consider bringing lightweight exercise equipment like resistance bands or a jumping rope with you.
Strengthen up your immune system: Problems like indigestion, gas, diarrhea are quite common when you are on the move / traveling. Keep your gastro-intestinal tract healthy and prevent stomach disorders by popping probiotics for three days before a trip. Buck up your immunity by getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep for several nights before you leave. Pack your travel bags a couple of days in advance to avoid last minute stress as stress really does make you feel sick.
Pack yourself a ‘Health Kit’: Throw together some basic medicines like an antacid, anti-diarrheal pills, pain relievers like aspirin, your own prescription medicines, if any, a pack of bandages, sanitizing wipes etc and create your travel ‘health kit’.
While You’re Enjoying Your Vacation…
Chill on a hammock in Akumal beach or laze around as much as you want, but do get yourself to doing some activities too, or you’ll return from your vacation with a few extra pounds piled on! If you are not motivated for formal exercise while on vacation, you can opt for other healthy and fun activities like swimming, hiking, dancing, playing tennis, exploring the area on a bicycle. A quick yoga session or other exercises like pushups, tricep dips, situps etc can easily be done in the hotel room itself. If you are short of time and none of these activities seem possible, go for a morning run – It’s the most perfect and the healthiest way to kickstart your day.
Do not over-indulge — Remember, ‘moderation’ is the key.
An unfortunate part of the vacation mindset is the idea that you should celebrate by eating at every opportunity. Eat only when you’re hungry and stop eating when you’re comfortable rather than stuffed to the brim
When at a restaurant, try making healthy choices when it comes to both, the size and content of your meal. Opt for lower-calorie foods that are high in protein and fiber, such as veggies, fruits, egg-white omelets, salads and wraps (enchilada if you are in a Mexican restuarant) filled with lean meats, and fish. These foods will not only prevent weight gain but will also provide you with more energy to thoroughly enjoy your vacation.
This does not mean that you need to deprive yourself. Allow yourself one delicious treat a day but sample these foods rather than gorging on them. Remember, the keyword here is ‘moderation’.
Also, eat only when you’re hungry and stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than stuffing yourself up right up till the chin.
Protect yourself from the environment.
Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 (or higher) any time you’re outdoors to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. Dress up according to the surroundings. For example if you plan to go trekking through thick jungles, wear full-length pants, thick socks and also use a mosquito repellent to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
When You Return Home…
Bounce back into your regular routine with ease:
Suffering from post-vacation blues? Don’t despair! You can work your way out of it. Take an extra day off from work after your return, hang vacation photos at home or at the office, get enough sleep, eat well and you will see yourself slowly and smoothly getting back to your original routine.
About the author: Martin Cowell is a property expert in Mexico. When he is not buying, selling homes and condos, he loves traveling, cooking and blogging. You can reach him through his website www.iownakumal.com