March break is almost here and many people are planning trips.  Travelling can be tough on our health.  Often we forgo our exercise routine and we tend to eat more and less healthy than we would at home.  Then there is the stress of picking up an illness at the airport, plane, or resort.  Here are some tips to help stay healthy and enjoy your vacation.

Changing your eating habits:

Do not stress too much about gaining a pound or two.  Chances are, if you get back into your normal routine when you get home, you will lose that extra weight relatively quickly.  The problem comes in with eating different foods or more food than what you are use to.  This can lead to a lack of energy, bloating, and feeling irritable.  These feelings can be compounded if you have pulled back on your exercising as well.

Dealing with food allergies:

If you are travelling to another country where you might not be fluent in their language you might want to consider traveling with a food allergy card.  It’s also a good idea to carry snacks with you incase you have limited options.

Getting sick:

Maintaining a level of exercise and being careful about what you eat can help in keeping you healthy.  However, viruses can be picked up in all public setting and especially in restaurants, airports, planes, etc.  Keep a first aid kit with you so you do not have to try to find the right medication in an unfamiliar city.

Your first aide kit should include: 

  • Bandages of varying sizes
  • An antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin
  • A fever and pain reducer
  • A motion sickness remedy
  • Thermometer
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Medicine for allergic reactions
  • Stomach ache medicine
  • Cold and flu relief medication
  • Rehydration tablets in case of diarrhea

Conflicting ideas about exercising:

If your travel companions have a different idea about exercising while on holidays, communication is critical.  Have a chat about what is important to you while on the trip so everyone understands your needs. Consider scheduling some “me time” to do your exercising.

Fitting it all in:

If you have a jam-packed schedule and you’re getting frustrated about not getting your exercising in, consider getting up a bit early and doing a 10-15 min high intensity workout.  A short workout of stairs, running, power walking, strength exercises, can go a long way in making you feel good and accomplished.  Alternatively book a walking tour or bike tour and get the exercise while sightseeing.

Some extra thoughts:

Here are a few things to help you adjust to the new vacation routine and keep you healthier:

  • Wear sunscreen daily
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Adjust to a new time zone in advance of your trip: Starting a week before your trip, gradually adjust your sleep schedule to adapt to the new time zone. One effective way to acclimate to a different time zone is to take a walk in daylight. A short daytime nap also helps.
  • Drink plenty of water. This simple tip helps with everything from dehydration to constipation to overcoming jet lag.