Tips for a healthy holiday

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We all want to enjoy our long awaited holiday and come back feeling rejuvenated and rested. But sometimes a stomach bug or feeling unwell can ruin your holiday, so here are some of my top tips to stay healthy and happy.

Here are my top tips for your flight:

  • Set your watch to the new time zone as soon as you board the plane so that your body has time to adjust to the daily rhythm of your destination

  • Take your own food on board including some Vitamin C rich foods (to avoid picking up a bug on the plane) as well as some healthy snacks. Most airports now have outlets where you can find healthier options to take on board

  • Take a large bottle of water onto the plane to make sure you remain hydrated during the flight. Aim to drink the equivalent of 1½ -2 litres over a day.  A good guide is to drink one glass of water every hour

  • Dehydration can be one reason why you may feel tired or under the weather on the flight and then jetlagged when you arrive

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine which is dehydrating (along with the air conditioning and cramped cabin space)

  • Don’t overeat out of boredom as this can leave you feeling bloated, sluggish and tired

  • Try to move around on the flight and do exercises to keep the blood flowing. Flight socks are a good idea for long haul flights to reduce the risk of developing a DVT

  • Drinking green tea can help to combat jetlag

Tips for eating well and staying well on holiday

  • Keeping hydrated on holiday is key - drink 1½  -2 litres of water a day – especially if the weather is hot (1)

  • Go to a local supermarket - buy fruit, nuts & seeds, healthy snacks and water so that you have things to snack on and drink which will help avoid fast food or room service

  • Eat like a local and enjoy the local cuisine

  • Just be mindful to keep eating fruit & veg, keeping your fibre intake up to keep your digestive tract in good health

  • If you are drinking alcohol, drink water alongside it, or alternate your alcoholic drink with a glass of water to reduce the dehydrating effects of the alcohol. It can be all to easy to sip back the cocktails, soak up the sun and then suffer from dehydration/heat exhaustion

  • Avoid junk food and sugary food

  • Make sure you wash your hands often

  • And, get plenty of sleep (2)

How to keep your gut healthy

Gut health is key.  To safeguard your gut whilst on holiday, it’s a good idea to build up your good bacteria at least one month before your holiday. Consider taking some probiotics during this month and also whilst you are on holiday (3).

Top tips for maintaining a healthy weight whilst on holiday

  • Don’t skip breakfast as this is the most important meal of the day

  • When you are on holiday it can be very easy to give yourself permission to disregard your normal eating habits. So, enjoy eating out, eat mindfully and enjoy everything in moderation

  • Restaurants can often serve large portions but don’t feel like you have to eat everything on the plate. Choose wisely, avoiding any creamy sauces etc.  

  • In bars, nibble on the olives, avoid the nuts

  • Try to ensure  that you eat protein at every meal (a palm sized handful) to stabilise your energy levels and keep you fuller for longer (4)

  • Don’t snack between meals unless you are really hungry

  • Avoid sodas or fizzy drinks which contain empty calories and cause bloating

  • Keep active, remember exercising will burn calories and give you energy. Walk as much as you can - you will discover more of the area you are visiting as well getting in some exercise

  • Pack your trainers, sports kit and swimming googles so that you can go for a jog, power walk or swim. But, if this feels too formal, then just go for a walk along the beach every day or play with your kids in the pool. Also, take the stairs and avoid the lifts for some extra steps!

  • If you want to work out on holiday pack some protein powder, snack bars and  electrolytes

Adopting these tips will give you the best chance of staying healthy and happy whilst on holiday.

Remember ENJOY yourself!