Physical health always comes into the spotlight at this time of year, as the excesses of the festive season fade away. Whether you've joined a gym, decided to take on Dry January or are simply getting back into the swing of your regular fitness routine, it can be a tough transitional time. Team this with the chilly weather and short, dark days and it's no wonder that a large proportion of us might start thinking about booking a holiday.
However, if there's ever a time when it can be hard to stay healthy, it's when we are treating ourselves to a trip abroad. Sampling delicious, local cuisine and relaxing with a few drinks is often part and parcel of the holiday experience but can leave us feeling rundown, lethargic and out of shape on our return. Here are our top tips for staying healthy on holiday:
The easiest way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, health magazines often report that just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day is all the exercise your body needs. Just make sure you walk fast enough to raise your heart-beat and get a little out of breath. Check out the sights of your holiday destination or combine your walking work-out with some shopping. All you need are a pair of comfy walking shoes and a map.
Starting your day with some stretches or yoga can do wonders for building strength, muscle tone and easing away all those aches and pains. Download an app like Daily Yoga to your phone or ipad to discover stretches and poses to help you loosen up those tight muscles and focus your mind for the day ahead.
Choosing a healthy breakfast can set you up for the day ahead, ensuring you have plenty of energy to enjoy yourself.
If you are eating at a hotel buffet, don't pick the full, fried option every day. Avoid the pastries too - white bread products don't keep you full for very long and can cause energy spikes, resulting in lethargy.
Breakfast is a great time to incorporate some juicy fruits into your diet. Eat with plain yoghurt which often contains friendly bacteria that's great for your gut. Eggs and brown toast are also an excellent healthy choice for a filling yet satisfying breakfast – just pick the poached, scrambled or omelette options.
Particularly important when you are visiting a hot country, always make sure you have a bottle of water to hand. This will help you steer clear of sunstroke and other nasty side effects dehydration can bring on, such as headaches and irritability. Plus it's great for getting glowing, healthy skin.
Protect your delicate skin from the sun's harmful rays. Sun spots, wrinkles and in serious cases, skin cancer, are all caused by exposing your skin to the sun. Choose a high factor cream and apply frequently and liberally, particularly if you will be sitting on the beach. You'll still develop a tan whilst hopefully avoiding the skin damage that comes with it.
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