Feeling great: Staying healthy on your holidays

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Got a Summer holiday planned and coming up soon? If your answer’s ‘yes’, this article is perfect for you.

Whether it’s a mini get-away in England, or if you’re jetting off for a change of scenery and a dose of sunshine, a holiday should be a chance to relax, unwind and completely enjoy yourself.

But how many holidays start out with the best intentions and end up with a week’s worth of regrets?

We can go months and months sticking to a pretty healthy and active routine, eating healthy, never missing our favourite exercise class with a friend or walk along the coast and staying on target, but a single week of going away can be enough to throw us completely off balance, and make us feel like we’ve gone all the way back to square one.

Normally, indulging in a meal or two, or missing out on a day of exercise isn’t a cause for alarm.

However, when that one day of ‘less healthy’ decisions becomes 7-10 days of decisions you wouldn’t normally make, it can make it hard to get back on track once we return home.

And before we know it, a week can very quickly turn into months of poor decision making.

Introducing the ‘holiday exercise game’ - usually when I’m home I’ll go for a morning run around the town, or cycle, but when I’m away I know that late nights, and family plans, will mean not being able to stick to my routine – which is completely ok!

So instead, I find it more fun to find other ways to fit activity into my day by turning it into a game. First, lifts and escalators don’t exist. Whenever possible I use the stairs and skip every ‘more convenient’ way possible. And if there’s a longer, or tougher route, I’ll choose to do that instead.

If a destination is with a mile (or two), I walk. I enjoy exploring when I’m away, and it’s the perfect chance to get more walking in without it really feeling like exercise.

Explore by walking.

If there’s a swimming pool, I like to add on an extra 5 lengths a day, it’s a fun personal challenge I set for myself and swimming is the perfect form of low-impact exercise so there’s no risk of injury.

As for eating ‘well’ I know it’s easy to abandon a healthy diet altogether when there’s a lot of tasty food around you – especially while you’re away!

We go from eating salads and nutritious breakfasts, to pancakes, pizza, big bowls of pasta and ice cream. But there are ways to avoid doing too much damage.

If you want to eat foods you wouldn’t usually eat back home – there’s nothing wrong with that, do it! But if you’re feeling worried you’ll eat too much of it – load up on water before you eat, it can help curb your appetite and stop you from over-eating.

If you’re going to be drinking a lot on holiday, don’t compound it with lots of unhealthy, carb heavy foods, instead drink your carbs in smoothie form – this way you’ll get lots of vitamins and minerals, and will be doing your body a whole world of goodness.

And probably most importantly of all – relax, have fun, and do something!

How many times do we get to go away and enjoy a week with no time constraints? Not very often.

If you end up eating more than normal, who cares! Just make your next meal less heavy and a bit more healthy.

Make protein and vegetables the focal point, and add vegetables to your meals whenever you can.

Do something to make sure you move every day, and remember that taking the chance to un-wind, relax, have fun and stress less, has a great impact on your overall health.

There’s plenty of simple ways to incorporate staying healthy and active while away on holiday.

Enjoy yourself, indulge a little, take a break and don’t ‘beat yourself up’.