Travelling can be a minefield for those trying to stick to a healthy eating and exercise regime. With warmer weather on its way, a lot of you will be planning mini weekend breaks away with the family or the better half. And this is certainly not the time to get of the healthy regime. In fact, I think that holidays are the perfect time to get back on track with healthy eating and exercise. You’ve got more time in the day, and there’s no better feeling than ending a holiday or long weekend better than when you started it.
When You’re Flying
Here are some factors you need to consider when you’re flying and
- Dehydration: Aircrafts can be incredibly dehydrating, not just for the body but the skin as well. The air pressure in the main cabin is less than 10% humidity, which literally dries you out like a piece of dry-cured ham. Always ask for a water bottle and have it refilled. You should be drinking about 500ml of water every hour. If you drink alcohol onboard (which I don’t recommend), have an extra glass of water after each drink. And for the skin, use a heavier night cream to help lock moisture under your skin.
- Salt in airplane meals: Pre-prepared meals served on flights are full of sodium, sugar and preservatives. If it’s allowed, bring your own healthy snack that is low in salt, such as a natural muesli bar, unsalted nuts, or even a piece of fruit. Just be careful in terms of quarantine rules for the destination you’re travelling to.
- Misleading menu: When given the menu to pick your meal, try to figure out what will give you the most nutritional value for the least calories. Just because there’s a veggie-fruit combo breakfast muffin on the menu doesn’t make it healthy. Muffins are the most calorie-dense food option. Go for poached eggs and multigrain bread instead. If you get a packet of nuts as a snack, make sure they’re unsalted and portioned out.
- Overeating because you’re bored: You’ve seen three movies, watched two movies, read all the magazines you purchased… now what? You pull out the packet of chips and munch away. Wrong! Keep a tally of how long the flight is and time your meals to the destination you’re going to. If it’s the middle of the night and you’re being served dinner, try to avoid it because you’ll just mislead your body into believing that it’s time for dinner (when it’s really time to sleep!).
When You Reach Your Destination
- Take things outdoors: Holidays are all about exploring and getting lost in places where you’ve never been before. Instead of sitting in your hotel room and ordering room service, explore your neighbourhood. I always download the map of where I am on my phone and go out for a stroll (much better than paper map). If your destination permits, take a snorkel lesson, try Stand-up paddleboarding, water skiing, beach volleyball, mountain biking – whatever it is that’s available. Because trust me, there’s no better way to see a new destination than getting out and about.
- Walk Or Ride While Sight-seeing: In London and want to walk around Westminster? Skip the tour bus or the underground, and take a walk around the block instead. All big destinations around Europe offer fun bike tours where you get to see the town and burn off the breakfast buffet – all at once.
- Exercise at airports: Being all sweaty pre-flight is not the best advice, but I’m talking more like moving around the airport terminal rather than sitting still at your boarding gate. Walking around and trying on a million perfumes will keep those limbs moving (especially after long-haul flights) and you’ll feel much more refreshed before you have to get on the plane again.
- Eating Right: OK, before you think I’m going to get all boring and forbid you to eat your favourite meal whilst on holiday, hear me out. Eat two big meals instead of three small ones (a big breakfast, a fruit or yoghurt for snack and then a nice dinner to end the day). Also, if you’re in your destination for a longer period of time, hit the local supermarket and buy supplies like milk, yoghurt, fruits, nuts and some local fresh snacks so you don’t have hunger pangs.