Holidays – a magic word that conjures up images of fun in the sun, food and drink, a time to relax, indulge, and get that perfect tan. Yep, it’s that time of year when many of us escape the daily grind and enjoy a week or two in the sun. But consuming our body weight in calories is not so cool, nor is coming back a few pounds heavier and feeling like a fool (time to start another diet!).
So, it’s out with old holiday habits and in with the healthy new regime. And with just a few tweaks and changes, you’ll come back glowing rather than battling the bulge…
- Stay hydrated
Make good hydration a goal of your holiday. As Brits abroad, we like to leave our worries at home but can often forget the simple self-care basics: make sure you drink enough water. To get an idea of the amount you’ll need, check out this guide. Be sure to up your intake as your body needs more water in hot weather. And make sure to check whether the local tap water is safe to drink; there are lots of online sources to check. If in any doubt, be sure to stock up on bottled water from the supermarket.
With the temptation to stay up late and sleep during the day, an important part of staying healthy on holiday is keeping up a good schedule of quality sleep. Allow yourself the rest you need but make sure you don’t get too little otherwise you’ll come home more tired than you went away. And be sure to factor in time-zone differences and adjust your sleep schedule accordingly.
- Stay active
Excursions are often one of the most exciting parts of your holiday; adventures to explore new places. But instead of choosing sedentary options where travel is mostly by boat and vehicle, look for activities that give you the chance to spend most (or all) of your time out and about; hiking or trekking. Tours which involve lots of walking will help you burn those calories as you explore exciting new places.
- Hit the hotel gym or pool
If your hotel has a gym or pool, put aside 30 minutes a day to do a workout or take a swim. If you’re a night owl, take a swim at night, or if you’re an early riser, squeeze in a brief dip or quick workout before everyone gets up for breakfast.
- Take a class
Most large hotels offer group classes or lessons, be it tennis, volleyball or even golf. Give a class a go and you’ll have fun as well as burning calories.
- Hire a bike
A wonderful way to explore the local area and get in some cardio, ask your hotel concierge where the nearest good bike hire can be found. Before you start pedalling, be sure to familiarise yourself with the road etiquette (including which side of the road to ride on!).
- Walk along the beach
Take a stroll for a mile or two – walking is a fantastic way to see the local coastline and indulge in some fresh ocean air. A great mood-booster, make walking part of your early-morning or early-evening routine.
- Beach yoga
Take your yoga mat and try a spot of beach yoga or meditation – what better way to relax and rewind than with the sand between your toes, breathing to the rhythm of the waves and the ocean breeze drifting through your hair.
- Choose the right food
Though it’s tempting to try a bit of everything – especially if you’ve gone all-inclusive – try to choose healthy options for breakfast and keep your portion size moderate, avoiding items like cooked meats and fried foods. If you’re feeling hungry during the day, save a banana or grapes from breakfast as a healthy snack to keep you going until lunchtime.
- Limit the alcohol
Watch the calories – many alcoholic drinks are full of them! Try switching out any high-calorie favourites – here’s a guide to some lower-calorie drinks.
- Take those vitamins
Air travel can take its toll and with a new holiday diet and foods, your body may not get all the nutrients it needs. Make sure to take a good multivitamin, just in case the food isn’t quite what you hoped for. Taking a supplement will help keep your body healthy.