As much as people love to go on vacations, the logical connection between health and holiday remains difficult to explain. Indeed, the main idea about holidays is that it’s a time for indulgence and laissez-faire. You are free to do as you please, and on the same occasion, to relax your stance on your healthy routine. Who’s got time for the gym when you’re travelling and visiting the world? With a variety of flavours, specialties, and delicatessen to taste all around the world, it would be a pity to stick to the diet-friendly kale smoothie and other health food recipes!
But in reality, while holidays are made for indulging, it’s a different kind of indulgence you need to cultivate. Indeed, you shouldn’t consider that taking time off is synonymous with ignoring your health or even cancelling all your hard fitness work. Let’s be honest: if you want to have the best possible vacations, you need to look after your health first. You need to be fit to enjoy traveling, and you need to be travelling to enjoy being fit. Do you want to find out more? Here’s how your trips and your fitness belong together:
You can’t be your best if you’re not fit
There is no way around it: maintaining a regular fitness routine – you don’t have to hit the gym every single day like a warrior athlete ready to strip every gram of fat on their body – is essential to support your immune system, your bodily functions, and your overall mental wellbeing. You may not love the idea of keeping on top of your fitness regime, but you’re not yourself when you’re not fit. Your body experiences troubles with sleep, digestion, stress, concentration and overall energy level. People who don’t exercise tend to feel tired very quickly – and being tired is not the best way to discover a new country! Additionally, as your activity levels decrease, your body reduces its functions to the minimum, which means that your immune system is weak – and that’s how you catch a cold on your way to your dream vacation. Finally, most travellers experience the vacation rush, during which the cultural shock can have a stressful effect. A fit body can absorb the shock and let you move on and enjoy the holiday. But if you live a sedentary lifestyle, your body will be prone to overreact to stress, making it hard for you to establish a relaxing and enjoyable routine when you’re in an unknown environment.
Where should you start?
If you’ve long forgotten about your fitness programme, it’s not too late to get yourself back in shape before your holiday. The key is to focus on making your body stronger and fitter – and while you can lose some weight in the process, it shouldn’t be a priority. Consequently, if you’ve got a big vacation plan coming – such as an exciting tour of an exotic destination next year, for instance – you could get back on track with the help of a specialist. Indeed, it’s always a little overwhelming to hit the gym after a long absence. You might even be unsure how to use the latest equipment, or not know which workout should be best for you. There’s no reason why you should tackle the challenge on your own. You can look for a local trainer or find someone teaching fitness tips to help you with your project. As mentioned above, your goal is not to drop a dress size, but to help your body to get stronger and healthier by improving flexibility, endurance, and stability.
Develop healthy eating habits
Eating while you’re on the go can be tricky, let alone if you’re trying to keep to a healthy diet. However, while there is always a little room for play – it’s okay if you don’t start your day with a green smoothie, for instance –, you don’t have to cancel your effort by grabbing the fattiest, high carb and sugar thing on the menu. In fact, with a little prep, you can stay healthy while travelling, which ultimately will make your days a lot more enjoyable – as heavy, greasy food takes longer to digest and can leave you feeling lumpish all day. Granola and fresh fruit are the perfect combo for short to medium-distance flights, for example. While it can be tempting to buy a sandwich and a pack of crisps from the airport, try to resist and stick to healthy solutions. Once you’ve reached your destination, self-catering accommodations present a better choice than hotels as they give you the opportunity to cook your meals.
Public transport is not always the way to go
We get it: most airports welcome you with a guide of where to buy the best public transport card for your stay. It’s no wonder that most travellers end up spending their weekend getaway in buses, underground stations, and tramways! If you’re staying in town, you can more often than not get by only by walking. Yes, you read it right. WALKING around can not only save you a lot of money – a 3-day public transport card costs between £25 and £30 per person around Europe – but it can also keep you fit. All you need is a pair of decent outdoors shoes. Most low budget walking boots and trainers are ideally suited for urban walks too. You’ll be amazed by how much you can see of a place when you’re getting everywhere by foot!
Fitness helps you to fight off jet lag
Last, but not least, one of the most dreaded effects of travelling is the jet lag. A jet lag occurs when your body gets out of sync with its natural circadian rhythm. Your body feels exhausted and drowsy for up to several days. Regular travellers swear that a yoga routine can help them to feel energised again. As a rule of the thumb, the fitter you are, the quicker you’ll get over your jet lag symptoms.
Staying fit is, of course, the secret to making the most of your everyday life. But most people forget how much fitness can affect their travel plans. Staying healthy before and during your holiday will let you enjoy your time off to the fullest!