THE BLOG

How to Stay Healthy When Travelling

13/06/2016 12:26 | Updated 13 June 2016

As a busy professional I was almost constantly on the plane. It meant that my weekly routine was almost always interrupted and it was hard to find the right food choices, do my workout or make any kind of time for myself.

Fortunately now I travel mainly for pleasure, but I've found that the practices I put in place when I was travelling for business are just as relevant and useful when I go on holiday.

1. Stay hydrated. Obviously.

Symptoms of dehydration can include dry chapped skin, increased wrinkles, dry eyes, thirst, tiredness, low urine output, dry mouth, headache, constipation, dizziness or light-headedness. Not anything that you really want on holiday or in a professional setting.

Drinking enough fluids is single handedly one of the best pieces of wellness advice to follow, but particularly when you're flying and in hot conditions.

When you fly the micro climate of the plane dehydrates you and not drinking enough water leaves you dry and dehydrated and adds to the jet lag if you're flying long haul.

In the heat you also need to make sure you stay hydrated. Aim to drink at least 2 litres, but you'll likely need more than that if you're in the heat or if you're drinking alcohol.

2. Consider a "wellness hotel"

Increasingly hotels are becoming attuned to the boom in wellness. There are now chains of hotels and healthy holiday groups that are designed to help health conscious travellers stay in shape wherever they are in the world.

I recently stayed at EVEN hotel in New York where they have running guides of the local area available at reception and a best in class Athletic Studio which is three times the size of a normal hotel gym (no mean feat in New York). However for those who prefer privacy for their workout, the hotel brand provides in-room workout videos and equipment. The restaurant on site was also geared up for those looking to look after the heart and waistline. It meant that I didn't have to miss a beat when it came to my routine and it helped me to stay motivated, even straight off a long-haul flight.

3. Eat locally, but be prepared

One of the best things about travelling is the local food!

I love exploring the flavours of a new country or city and eating like the locals. However, as someone with dietary considerations, I always did my research in advance and had a list of words and phrases that I might need and a list of great restaurants I knew I could eat in. I also made sure I took some snacks on the plane and in my suitcase (that didn't violate any border controls) so I had healthy options with me if I knew days would be long or I might have trouble finding healthy food choices.

If you're on holiday and staying by the sea, eat lots of fresh grilled fish. Oily fish - including sardines, fresh tuna, salmon and mackerel - is particularly good as it's rich in Omega 3, which keeps your skin hydrated and encourages healthy digestion as well as weight loss.

If you're going to be in a city there are often a host of exciting places to eat from "hole in the wall" style places to street food to michelin star restaurants.

And whether it's work or pleasure have the occasional treat, just don't over indulge.

4. Get your Vitamin D quota, sensibly

You only actually need 10 minutes of unprotected sunshine to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Having your arms uncovered is enough to get your quota.

After that you should use sunblock and make sure that you reapply regularly and with a high enough factor. Cancer Research suggests we use at least SPF 15 and one with 4 stars . As we get older, the collagen in our skin breaks down more rapidly, leading to lines, wrinkles and discolouring and excess sun exposure also increases the risk of certain cancers.

5. Make time for down time

It's increasingly important in our "always on" culture to make space for ourselves and the time to relax. If our bodies are in constant stress mode it has huge implications for our health and wellbeing.

On any business trip I took I always tried to include some element of ME time. Sometimes I was able to extend the trip by a day or two so I had the chance to explore, but even if I couldn't, I took time each day to be on my own in a quiet space and just relax.

If you're on holiday make sure you actually switch off - that means SWITCH OFF quite literally. Turn off your phone, close the laptop and apart from the Monday morning obligatory sun selfie, take time out from social media. That's how you really take a break.

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