It’s one thing to stay healthy at home, where you can prepare your own food and schedule exercise, but maintaining wellbeing on the road requires a little extra planning. Here are some tips to help.
Good holiday nutrition starts on the flight or the road. Accredited practising dietitian Jaime Rose Chambers recommends bringing your own food like sandwiches and fruit, and avoiding the ‘extras’ you get with the inflight meal – goodbye dessert.
At your destination, when you hit up local restaurants; “Make sure you have plenty of vegetables and avoid refined carbohydrate-rich foods, oily, cheesy sauces and deep-fried foods,” Chambers advises. “Keep the extras to a minimum by sticking to just one or two alcoholic drinks and share a dessert.”
Research shows nearly half of travellers intend to use hotel fitness centres but only 22 per cent actually do – which means there’s a very underutilised, well-maintained facility right where you’re staying that can make a big difference to your wellbeing. In addition, fitness expert Kristy Curtis suggests, “Stay active by walking as much as possible, ask the locals what they do to stay fit and hire bikes instead of taking cabs.
“You can also do a multitude of body-weight exercises like squats, lunges, planks, step-ups and push-ups in your hotel room or in the park.” Check out our hotel-room workout with fitness superstar Sam Wood here.
Getting enough good-quality sleep while you’re travelling can be a challenge. Not only could different time zones be throwing your body clock out of sync, sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings is difficult for some people, no matter how comfortable the hotel. The Sleep Foundation recommends sticking to familiar routines and keeping a few personal items nearby, such as photographs, books or a coffee mug. Make sure you aren’t hungry or overfull when you go to bed and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol. It’s also helpful to exercise during the day and in the early evening, but not too close to bedtime.
Packing a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a good idea to protect your skin from sun damage, regardless of whether you’re walking between meetings or sightseeing on holiday. Apply it 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours. And, according to the World Health Organization, the average aeroplane has a humidity level of less than 20 per cent, which is one reason it dehydrates your skin. Include a good-quality moisturiser in your carry-on bag, and book a hydrating facial, such as Crown Spa’s one-hour Cellular Hydrating Facial, when you land.
Travel can be a lonely experience, which isn’t exactly good for your health. Having strong social support can reduce your risk of many health problems, such as depression and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI), so it’s important to maintain those connections, despite the distance. Apps like Viber and WhatsApp allow you to instant-message friends and family around the world, and buying a local SIM card may mean you can avoid expensive roaming costs if you’re overseas.
With delayed flights, queues and unfamiliar environments, travel can be stressful. But research shows that meditating while on holidays can help lower your stress levels, improve your immunity and lower your risk of depression – and the benefits could last for up to 10 months after your trip. Ask your hotel about meditation programs or try downloading apps like Headspace or Calm. You can also try Crown Spa’s two-hour Recovering Traveller treatment, which includes meditation and a massage that aims to boost immunity and release fluid retention after flying.
Follow those tips, and you’ll be one of the healthiest travellers around.