Taking the time off to travel has so many great benefits to your mental and physical state. Enjoying a holiday will help you rejuvenate and refresh your mind, body and spirit. It will help boost your creativity and energy levels, and most importantly, it will make you feel happier. There are small things you can do to stay healthy and fit while traveling that still allows you to enjoy yourself.
To indulge or not indulge while on holiday, that is the question… right? It’s easy to want to let loose and just enjoy while you are on holiday – enjoy an unlimited amount of cocktails because there’s a swim up pool bar or make the most of the dinner buffet, because after all you need your money’s worth… right? Well not really. It’s important to have fun on holiday, but enjoy in moderation.
It can feel hard to maintain your healthy habits while traveling, because you are going outside of your comfort zone, you’re out of routine and food is plentiful. But to stay healthy and fit while traveling doesn’t have to be difficult. Below are techniques I implement into my travel routine to help stay healthy and fit while traveling.
Table of Contents
- Keep Active
- Healthy Eating & Drinking
- Stress Less
- Keeping Up Appearances
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Do Some Exercise
If your hotel has a gym, make the most of it. Even if you can only dedicate 10-15 minutes in the gym, every bit helps. Jump on the treadmill to get your heart rate going and finish off with a few floor exercises like push ups and planking. No, don’t plank on the exercise equipment, that fad has long gone. If swimming is more your thing, jump into the pool at your hotel and do a few laps.
If you can’t access a gym, check to see what parks or running trials there are around where you are staying. Go for a jog or power walk outdoors and explore the nature that surrounds.
Finally, see what activities your hotel has on offer – some of the bigger hotels will have a wide range of activities to keep guests busy, such as water aerobics and yoga.
It’s amazing how much you’ll actually get to see just by walking. You’ll discover little nooks of a city that you might not have seen from a bus tour. Some cities provide free walking tours you can join or offer maps that suggest walking trails. Plus, imagine how much you’ll save on transport.
When I was in Istanbul, Turkey, my sister and I spent time walking. We just walked and walked and walked and it was amazing. We discovered lovely local cafes, gorgeous little shops selling unique souvenirs and saw interesting street art along the way. It was a great way to really explore and appreciate how beautiful of a city Istanbul was.
Use the Stairs
Stairs or the escalators? Let’s go with the stairs. Every bit counts remember? Using the stairs is a great way to get those muscles working in your legs. And if you want to pump it up a bit more, climb two stairs at a time.
Tour around on a Bicycle
Many places around the world now offer bicycle tours – another great way to explore a place. And if you don’t want to join a tour, hire a bicycle or see if your hotel offers free bicycles for guests.
Healthy Eating & Drinking
Make sure you drink lots of water. It will help to keep you hydrated, release toxins from your body and your skin will thank you.
Take a reusable travel water bottle with you so you can fill up on water wherever you go. But before you head overseas, be sure to double check if the tap water is drinkable. And if you can’t find water fountains, then head to the local supermarket to pick up some bottles of water.
When I have to buy water, I always try to grab a 1 litre bottle because it forces me to drink heaps, and is still easy enough to carry.
Look, I love my food and sometimes you will catch me overindulging, especially when dessert is involved. But wherever possible, try to keep it to a minimum.
You know what, if you enjoy having dessert, that’s fine. See if you can share a piece of cake with someone, because sometimes all you need is a few bites to curb the craving. If you like to eat, that’s fine too. Go ahead, try new foods, because after all, part of the experience is to learn about the local culture. But consider portion controlling so you are not overindulging.
In the morning, try to eat a good sized plate of mixed fruit with a side of muesli or if you prefer something more hearty, have an omelette with mixed vegetables. But if you are going for eggs, keep a close eye on the chef. They will usually use quite a lot of oil, and may even add cream. Let them know not to use too much to keep your breakfast eggs healthy.
I also try to get to a local supermarket upon arriving to pick up some healthy snacks to keep me going during the day. Grab some fresh fruit like apples, oranges and bananas or a bag of nuts.
Join a Cooking Class
Doing a cooking class on your travels is a great way to learn about the local cuisine and produce. Plus, what I love about cooking meals from scratch is the fact that you know exactly what you are putting into your meal, and avoiding unnecessary preservatives and additives.
Don’t Overindulge with Alcohol
I don’t know about you, but my hangovers are terrible. I am basically an unmovable slug who needs to sleep all day when I am hungover. There is nothing worse then waking up with a terrible hangover and energy levels at 30%. If you want to drink, have a few, but keep it under control. And keep drinking water in between drinks to help keep you hydrated.
Oh and try to avoid the sugary drinks like cocktails and spirits with soft drink, because the amount of sugar you’ll end up consuming is terrible and it’ll only make you feel worse the next day.
No Work, Only Play
You’re on holiday, so treat it like one. Don’t spend your time busy checking work emails, because it will cause you unnecessary stress and headache.
I made the mistake one trip to check my emails and let my work contact me if they had any questions. Literally I caused myself so much stress every day as I was worried my workplace couldn’t handle things. But you know what – your workplace needs to learn how to survive on their own when you’re away. You’re entitled to your annual leave, so make the most of it.
If you’re worried that your work won’t be able to cope while you’re away, then take time off during the slower periods. But make sure you take at least a week to 10 days off so that you can fully recharge yourself, because it takes a few days to unwind from the craziness that is work.
Get Some ZZZzzzZZ’s
When I go on holiday, I get so excited and I want to try and experience everything. Why waste time sleeping when you’re on holiday? Wrong! Sleep is so important because it recharges your body and mind. Try and get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
You’ll thank yourself the next day when you are bursting full of energy ready to explore.
Rise & Shine Early
Make the effort to wake up early after a good night of sleep. There are so many benefits to waking up early on holiday. For instance, if you head to breakfast before 8am, you’re going to most likely avoid the crowd and the food will be freshest.
Getting up early will also give you the chance to start exploring and make the most of your day. Many touristic attractions open relatively early and by getting there first thing when they open, you’re bound to avoid the big groups of people. Imagine being able to take photographs without crowds of people hovering in front of your snap.
Treat Yourself at a Spa
Now this is a great area to indulge in – the spa! Taking the time to head to the spa will help keep you relaxed and feeling refreshed.
When it comes to selecting a spa, there are cheap and expensive options. Just a word of caution about cheaper spas – there are some that are great, but there are many that are terrible. If you are looking for a cheaper option, ask the locals or do your research and read reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor.
When I was in Bali, I tried out a few cheap spas and to be honest, I regretted spending the money each time. Even though there are spas that are cheap, the masseuses are usually not properly trained, and the cleanliness and products used are questionable.
You are better off having 1 excellent spa experience at a pricier place, then 5 mediocre experiences at cheap places. Paying a higher premium for a good spa will make for a much more relaxing experience, you will feel spoilt and the products used on your skin will most likely be good quality.
Keeping Up Appearances
Stay Sun Safe with Sunscreen
Make sure you use sunscreen whenever you go outside. And if you prefer to do some tanning, there are some great tanning oil products that includes SPF, such as the Reef Tanning Oil range.
If you happen to get sun burnt, make sure you to get cooling Aloe Vera gel onto your skin. You could even check the local spa to see if they offer an after-sun treatment.
Clothing & Accessories
Getting your dose of Vitamin D is great as it is needed by the body, but it is still important to stay properly protected from harmful UV rays that can cause your skin more damage than its worth.
Especially if you have sensitive skin, make sure you keep your skin covered where possible when you go outdoors. Wearing a hat and sunglasses are a good idea to help protect yourself from UV rays.
Keep Up with your Beauty Routine
It’s easy to get out of routine while you’re on holiday and this can also include your beauty routine. Like many of the recommendations above, a little bit can go a long way.
Before sleeping, make sure to remove any make up to let your skin breathe. When going out and about, especially if it is really hot and humid, try not to use too much make up to avoid clogging your pores. If you plan to go swimming, make sure to properly wash your hair with a good quality shampoo after to rinse out the chlorine.
And if you are worried about carrying heavy bottles, most chemists will sell empty bottles that are travel size. Fill these bottles with your favourite beauty products, like shampoo and conditioner.
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