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Travel is the perfect opportunity to explore the culture and cuisines of a new place, entirely removed from the stresses of everyday life. Yet I always seem to find myself ill or in need of a post-travel detox from indulging in rich local foods and beverages.
Whether traveling for business, pleasure or play, it is so crucial to take care of your body. You can achieve this by making healthy habits a part of your itinerary. The key is to find balance, so you are able to indulge in the pleasures of your destination while keeping your well-being a priority, no matter where in the world you find yourself.
1. Keep Active
Prior to embarking on your trip, commit to at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Exercise not only releases dopamine endorphins to reduce stress, it promotes better sleep and increases energy levels.
Whenever possible, walk instead of taking public transportation. You not only save money, you get to explore parts of the city you may otherwise miss. Many large cities around the world offer free, locally-guided walking tours with various focuses such as history, street art and architecture. Also check out bike tours or rentals where you are able to cover much more ground in a short time, all while burning extra calories.
With a little creativity, you can take your workout routine anywhere. Incorporate exercise such as yoga and running which can be practiced anywhere without a gym. Why not check out the local beach or botanical garden for a different view? You will thank yourself when you return home and haven’t packed on the extra pounds.
While traveling, odds are you are treating yourself to mimosas at brunch, cold brews at the beach, and happy hour before wine with dinner. Alcohol is a severe dehydrator. Opt for a glass of wine, lite beer, or vodka soda water if you must partake in the festivities.
After a day in the sun, it is crucial to stay hydrated, perhaps even beyond than the usual eight glasses a day. Dehydration can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, and reduced concentration. Drink a glass in the morning after waking up to activate internal organs, 30 minutes before a meal to aid in digestion, and before going to avoid strokes and heart attacks.
Try a natural Mountain Valley Spring water. Its unique blend of minerals gives a clean, crisp, refreshing taste. It also helps ease on digestion by offsetting the stress of acidic diets. You can stock up on Mountain Valley in various sizes and flavors at Whole Foods before your next trip.
3. Eat a balanced diet
Go ahead and treat yourself to gelato in Italy, pastries in Paris and tapas in Spain. But be mindful and realize it’s all about balance. Steer clear of buffets where temptation to overeat is present
At restaurants, order meat and seafood steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, or roasted rather than fried or battered. Ask to hold the bun and leave any sauces or dressings on the side to drizzle on yourself. Substitute fries for other sides other sides such as grilled vegetables, rice, or fruit salad.
Pack hunger-sustaining snacks to nibble on throughout the day so you don’t find yourself starving by dinnertime. Think almonds, granola bars, jerkey and dried fruit which are portable and don’t require refrigeration. For lunch on the go, check out the local farmer’s markets and try fruits, veggies and natural sweets.
If your hotel offers a continental breakfast, fill up on fruit and hard boiled eggs rather than buttery, calorie-laden pastries. Remove unhealthy temptations from the hotel minibar and replace them with your own healthier options such as carrots and hummus and Greek yogurt. This not only saves money but also hundreds of calories.
Stick to a practical skincare regimen to avoid dry skin. Airplanes have extremely low humidity (as low as 1!), which can take a toll on skin. Apply moisturizer prior to flying to act as a protective sealant before being exposed to the dehydrating effects of cabin pressure.
Use a mild facial scrub to remove dry skin cells from your flight and sun exposure. Rinse and apply a hydrating serum followed by a moisturizing mask to restore your skin’s natural moisture balance. Make an effort to avoid foundation whenever possible and always remember to wash your makeup off before bed.
It is perfectly okay to spend time in the sunshine in beautiful weather. In moderate exposure, the UV rays will create Vitamin D with serotonin to boost your mood and melotonin to later help you fall to sleep. But always lather on atleast 15 sunscreen and reapply throughout the day or after swimming and physical activity.
Listen to your body. If it requires 7-8 hours of sleep a night, don’t stay out until the wee hours of the night partying. Go to bed early so you are ready bright and early to attack the day and explore all the destination has to offer!
Combat jetlag by steering clear of the free alcohol on long haul flights to let your body readjust. Disconnect from technology to rid yourself of the stress of home and work, to let the body and mind to fully relax.
I hope these tips help you to stay feeling your best during your travels. I can promise you that the extra effort will be well worth it when your return home after your time away!