10 ways to stay healthy while travelling

You don’t have to sacrifice fun to stay in tip-top shape!

By Laura Masia
Whether you're spending the festive season at home or chilling out at a beach or caravan park, it's easy to let your health slip at this time of year.
And for many, Christmas week can be a complete write-off! But it doesn't have to be.
Here are some easy tricks that will not only help prevent weight gain but have you feeling more energetic and ready to tackle the new year in better shape.
And don't worry – you can have your cake and eat it too!
If you don't have comfy shoes, you won't want to walk.

1. Always pack comfortable shoes

Let's face it, if you don't have comfortable shoes to walk in, you're not going to walk very far.
And with so much to see when you're out and about, it can be awfully tempting to jump on a bus instead of walking to your next location.
Walking at a moderate pace can burn up to 300 calories an hour, so pack your comfiest sneakers and pound the pavement!
Another way to make sure you get enough steps a day is to count them using a fitness tracker! Trackers like the Fitbit Charge 3 are a brilliant way to make sure you're getting at least 10,000 steps a day. And with so much to see during your travels, you'll knock out 10,000 in no time!
Hydration station!

2. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is incredibly important for your health, but when you're travelling, make sure you get enough of the right kind of drinks!
And by that we mean water.
This can not only prevent over-eating (as the body can't tell the difference between hunger and thirst), but it can help keep sickness at bay by fighting off bacteria too.
For example, the air on a plane has extremely low humidity levels of 10 to 20 per cent.
This is much lower than the comfortable 30 to 65 per cent that we're used to.
Low humidity levels heighten your chances of contracting airborne viruses.
So remember to guzzle that water. It may be annoying to have to use the tiny cabin bathroom every hour, but it's much better than being sick during your holiday!
Say cheers!

3. Limit the booze

It's no secret that alcohol packs a heap of calories, but after a stubby or two, it's easy to forget.
When you're on holiday, it's important to indulge a little and enjoy yourself.
One handy tip is to choose between dessert or a bevvie.
If the margaritas are calling your name, save the lemon meringue pie for another day.
Local water can contain bacteria that your body isn't used to.

4. Know what to eat

Sometimes when we travel overseas, our bodies aren't accustomed to the strains of bacteria found in the water.
This is why we often get sick. One way to avoid this is to never eat cut up raw fruits and vegetables that may have been washed by local water.
However, when you're surrounded by local delicacies, sometimes you've just got to risk it for the biscuit.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to stick to cooked street food.
And some travellers swear by a can of Coke, claiming that the chemicals in Coca-Cola are enough to kill any nasties.
Holidays are the perfect time to rest and relax.

5. Don't stress

Weight gain when travelling is a possibility if you're eating out more often.
However, these holiday foods are often full of carbs and salts which trigger bloating and water retention in the body.
If you're only on holidays for a week or two, these foods will make your jeans feel tighter and make the scales climb, but after a week back home eating what you'd normally eat, the water weight is more than likely to fall off.

6. Stretch it out

If you're walking from place to place, your muscles are going to suffer!
Make sure you're stretching every night to get those muscles relaxed and limber.
Better yet, it'll help you have a much better night's sleep.
Also, if you're on a long bus, train or plane trip, make sure to get up and stretch your legs.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can affect anyone who is sitting down for long periods of time.
Life is too short to say no to pizza.

7. Practice self-restraint

Okinawans, the indigenous people of the Ryukyu islands in Japan, have the longest life expectancy in the world.
They credit this to a diet rule called "Hara Hachi Bu" which means to eat until you're 80 per cent full rather than stuffing yourself.
Our brains take 10-20 minutes longer than our stomach to register the amount of food we have eaten so when you eat to 100 per cent full, you've eaten too much!

8. Remember the most important meal of the day

Remember what your mother told you? Never skip breakfast!
Even if you're not hungry, eating a balanced breakfast will set you up with enough energy to get active during the day.
If your hotel has breakfast options, try to stick to something with protein like eggs.
If you're craving a pastry, just do it! It's better than nothing!
Sleep tight!

9. Catch some Zzz's

Travelling is exhausting.
To avoid sickness, weight gain and the grumps, the most important thing you can do is sleep.
Sleep helps to refuel your body, and help make you energised to get your steps up the next day.
Sleep helps to keep cortisol, the stress hormone, low in your body.
The lower the cortisol level, the better you feel and the less likely you are to put on weight.
Ice cream now, veggies later!

10.Moderation is key

It's so important to treat yourself when you're on holidays.
After all, you've spent all year working and it's your time to relax!
Keep your weight down by keeping two out of your three meals a day healthy ones.
If you are craving a juicy, triple cheese burger for dinner, pick the lean chicken and veggies for lunch.

Crunching the numbers

  • A recent study from Cornell university has revealed that the extra kilos put on between Halloween and Christmas can take more than five months to lose!
  • People who go on a one-to-three week holiday put on an average 320g.
  • A third of all travellers say they take workout clothes on vacation with them, but 27 per cent admit to never using their gear.
  • According to a survey by travel site TripAdvisor, despite being worried about gaining weight, 81 per cent of survey respondent say they rarely feel guilty about indulging on vacation. And that's a GOOD thing!
  • The worst destinations for holiday weight fain are America, the Caribbean, France and Italy. So you're better off holidaying close to home!

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