It’s that time of year again when everyone is getting ready to jet off for their summer holiday to soak up some sunshine and relax by the beach. While there’s nothing like that feeling of leaving your responsibilities behind, this can also mean we put our health on the back-burner while travelling abroad. So, our experts have put together a travel health guide to prepare you for your summer holiday so you can sit back, relax and enjoy it all i n full health.
1. Stay Hydrated
“It’s easy to become dehydrated when you’re flying because air humidity on a plane is very low – in other words, the air is much drier, meaning our body loses water more quickly through our skin and breath. The best drinks to keep you hydrated are pure water, sparkling water, caffeine-free or herbal teas and fruit-infused waters. Unfortunately, alcohol can be your worst enemy as it makes dehydration worse; and too much coffee can do the same,” explains Nutritionist and Fitness Instructor Cassandra Barns.
“It’s important to stay well hydrated while you’re on holiday, too. Hot, sunny days – typically coupled with a bit too much booze – are a straight road to dehydration! Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is an easy way to help to keep your energy up, keep your skin looking fresh, help prevent hangovers and help you avoid some of the unpleasant effects of too much sun exposure. When you’re on the beach, snack on watermelon: it’s excellent for hydration as it contains lots of electrolyte minerals as well as being high in water,” adds Cassandra.
2. Skin Saviour
Spending all day soaking up the sunshine is what dreams are made of… but make sure you’re protecting your skin from those harsh UV rays so you don’t end up looking the same colour as a beetroot. While it may seem obvious, you should always be wearing at least 30+ SPF sunscreen when your skin is exposed to the sun. Make sure you pack Odylique’s Natural Sun Screen SPF30 (£25, www.odylique.co.uk), which is an all-natural sun cream ideal for sensitive skin, offering triple protection as well as containing antioxidants and shea butter to help soothe and moisturise your skin.
3. Tummy Troubles
Whilst on your travels, you don’t want to be missing out on any fun in the sun due to tummy troubles and bloating. Try to keep similar eating patterns by keeping up your intake of vegetables and protein and try to lower your intake of highly processed foods that can cause havoc with your gut. Leading UK Nutritionist, Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com)suggests particular foods to avoid while travelling. “You should try and avoid chewing gum as this makes you swallow too much air which gets trapped in your digestive system causing pressure, bloating and gas. Some spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation and others can ferment in the digestive system causing bloating.
“Too much salt can also cause you to retain water and you end up bloating,” explains Dr Glenville. Need a little extra support? Dr Glenville recommends NHP’s Advanced Probiotic Support (£31.78, www.naturalhealthpractice.com), which provides a high strength source of beneficial bacterial for balancing your digestive health and supporting your immune system.
4. Sugar High
A holiday isn’t complete without delicious food and some treats, but a common trap is enjoying too many of these treats that you usually keep to a minimum in your daily routine back home. If you spend your whole time away eating sugar-filled treats and consuming too much alcohol, your energy levels are likely to be compromised due to the dips in your blood sugar levels. So, where possible, aim to reduce the amount of biscuits, sweets and junk food you’re consuming so you have the energy to enjoy every aspect of your break.
5. Maximise Incidental Activity
You can’t expect yourself to complete an hour-long training session each day while you’re away on holiday, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up physical activity completely. Maximising your incidental activity can be a great way to increase your energy expenditure. Go for a walk along the beach, a hike in the mountains, a cycle around the city – all of these activities can get your muscles working and your blood pumping, while taking in the sights of your new surroundings! In addition, try to make an effort to do some simple exercises or stretches in your hotel room.
Eleonora Sansoni, Pilates instructor at the new holistic wellness boutique, Maître of Thyme (www.maitreofthyme.com) suggests, “Try doing standing roll downs, seated side bending, upper back rotations and arm and legs circles in the evening before bed or when you wake up in the morning as they are simple exercises that require no equipment and will help to stretch out your muscles and get your circulation going.”