It’s easy to stick to your healthy habits when you’re at home, but it can be quite challenging when you’re traveling.
A desire to explore, have fun and enjoy the new surroundings is surely fulfilling, but the new rhythm can be stressful and take its toll on us, making us more vulnerable to diseases and injuries.
Here are the seven essential tips that will help you stay healthy while you’re on the go, without sacrificing any fun.
Be Mindful About the Food
For many people, one of the most intriguing parts of any journey abroad is enjoying the local cuisine and specialties. This is surely the most indulgent way to learn more about a foreign culture, get in touch with the locals and really feel the vibes of the place.
Fortunately, you don’t need to give up on this pleasure in order to stay healthy and fit while traveling. The key is in being mindful about what you eat, and following a few basic rules:
- If you have any food allergies, do your research before trying out any new meals. Also, always have your food allergy ID with you, both in English and in the language of the country of your destination.
- Try to have a well-balanced diet while you’re traveling, consisting mainly of simple and fresh meals, with a lot of vegetables and fruits. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Aim for eating healthy 80% of the time. This will leave you with just enough room to indulge in the local specialties. When you choose to treat yourself with a dish you crave, and the meal is heavy or big, make your next meal light and healthy, to keep the balance.
It’s a good idea to use an app to keep track of the nutrients you consume so that you’re always sure you’re staying within the limits of your desired calorie intake.
Always Be Hydrated
Hydration is essential for your health and well-being, and it’s vital that you don’t forget to replenish yourself with water while you’re on the go.
When traveling, it’s easy to get carried away and have a glass of wine or a beer instead of water. And when dehydrated, you can easily interpret your thirst as hunger, and end up with a chocolate bar instead of some water. You can prevent such situations by always carrying your water bottle with you and trying to meet your daily water intake goals.
Maintain Your Exercise Routine
Following your fitness routine is easy when you’re home once you make it a habit. While you’re traveling, your everyday routine changes and you can easily forget all about your fitness goals.
The easiest way not to get off your track is by having an exercise plan you will follow. Your plan doesn’t have to be too elaborate. It’s enough to plan just a day ahead and organize your activities around your workout, instead of trying to squeeze it in.
If you’re going on a sightseeing tour, for example, and you know you won’t be doing a lot of walking, you can postpone your dinner plans for the evening so that you have some time to jog or swim.
It’s also beneficial to plan the location of your training in advance too, so it is easier to follow your schedule. Determine all the workout spots that are available, whether it’s a park or a beach, your toom, or a gym nearby.
It’s a good idea to pack some portable workout equipment, such as resistance bands, jump ropes or Pilates rings when traveling. They can come handy if your options for exercise are limited.
Also, there are many ways to make your travel more active. Walking, cycling, hiking, rafting – those are all great for meeting your daily exercise quota and truly enjoying your destination at the same time.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is just as important for your health as staying active, hydrated and following a balanced diet. Even when you’re on the go, ensure you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your hormone levels. Your body will produce less leptin and more cortisol and ghrelin (the stress and the hunger hormones respectively), resulting in many health issues related to your metabolism. The lack of sleep will not only make you hungry, but it will also make you cranky, bloated and tired, less capable of solving problems, controlling your emotions and making decisions.
If you have a sleep routine, such as writing a diary, yoga or deep breathing, try sticking with it while traveling. If you find it harder to sleep in new surroundings, you might consider taking some natural sleep support pills to avoid sleeping difficulties.
Have Travel Insurance
It’s always the best to be very cautious about possible health hazards in the country of your destination, and check out the recommendations for any vaccine-preventable diseases.
Another important thing is to always have travel insurance when going abroad, as medical expenses can be very high in foreign countries. In case an emergency occurs, having your insurance covered can take some of the stress away.
Have a First-Aid Kit
Besides medications you’re taking on a regular basis, packing a first-aid kit is always a good idea when traveling, in case you get hit by the flu or a stomach bug.
Some of the basic items you should pack are:
- Medicine for allergic reactions,
- Flu and cold relief medications,
- Rehydration tablets in case of diarrhea,
Protect Your Skin
Sun exposure can seriously damage your skin and lead to premature aging, freckles, wrinkles, actinic keratosis, etc. As 95% of melanoma skin cancers are caused by too much UV radiation, sun exposure can be a great risk to your health too.
In order to prevent this damage and keep your skin safe from the sun rays, make sure you apply sunscreen daily, no matter the season.
By following the tips above you’ll raise your odds of staying healthy and be prepared in case of emergency while you’re traveling.
Contributed by Rebecca Brown