It’s easy for your health to suffer when you’re travelling. These tips will help keep your physical and mental health in top condition.
Today’s post is by Susan Moore, who shares her adventures on Solo Tips and Trips. Susan’s first solo travel experience was travelling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary.
She is currently into year 3 of living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada.
Do you want to return from your holiday rested and revitalized without increasing your waistline?
Start with my tips on staying fit while travelling and explore these five keys to a healthy lifestyle.
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The many benefits of exercise are already well documented. The key to success is not only discipline but also enjoying the activity you choose for exercise. This is especially true while travelling.
Walking is a great way to keep healthy while travelling. You get to explore a new place, get some fresh air, interact with locals, and get some exercise.
Taking long walks on a beach every evening to watch the sunset is a great way to incorporate exercise into a relaxing beach vacation.
While travelling I keep healthy with hiking, walking, and yoga because I can do these exercises without any additional cost and I can choose when I want to do them.
Check out these ideas for activities to help you keep fit while on holiday:
- Rock climbing
- Kayaking or canoeing
- Resistance bands
Whichever method you choose to keep fit while travelling, make sure you enjoy the activity so you keep motivated.
Have you explored the possibilities of adventure travel? Maybe take a rock climbing class while visiting Colorado or incorporate a day or two of cycling while visiting New Zealand. I learned how to SCUBA dive while in Thailand and I’ve taken kayaking classes in Calgary. Classes are a fun way to meet others while travelling too.
Keeping a healthy diet while travelling can be tricky for most people. But you can eat foods that are both nutritious and delicious while on holiday. The key is moderation and not over indulging with unhealthy foods.
Eating healthy foods is something I enjoy but when I travel I also want to try everything. How is anyone supposed to say no to a plate of paella in Spain, tasty tacos in Mexico, or cheese cake in New York City? And I feel compelled to try the local cocktail, beer, and wine otherwise how do you really get to know a place?
Keeping a healthy diet while travelling can be complicated.
Or is it?
How about picking one meal a day that is super healthy. Pick one meal a day that is moderately healthy, and pick one meal per day to eat whatever you like.
One key ingredient to eating healthy is to stay away from highly processed foods as much as possible. Try to eat plenty of fresh or raw foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.
Local markets are one my favorite places to shop for fresh foods while travelling. You can put together a picnic lunch for an outing, or enjoy fresh fruits for breakfast or a snack.
If you want to stay healthy during your travels, you’ve got to get a decent amount of sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your immune system.
Ever notice that you catch a cold or flu virus when you’ve been getting an in adequate amount of sleep? Try to get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, you’ll feel more energized and keep your immune system stronger.
Of course, jet lag can really affect your sleep patterns while travelling. My main tip for avoiding jet lag is to adjust to the sleep and meal time of your destination while you are flying.
So if you fly early in the morning you want to get as much sleep and do not eat for several hours before arrival, so you will be hungry for breakfast when you arrive at your destination.
You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol while flying to help mitigate jet lag.
Be kind to your skin while travelling, it is shocking how quickly the skin reacts to changes in humidity or diet. My skin either erupts into a pimple fest or turns to a dry flaky disaster in no time when I travel to a different climate.
The two most important skin care rituals for travelling are keeping hydrated and using moisturiser, especially when taking a long-haul flight across the pond. Drinking plenty of water and the right moisturiser makes a big difference.
The older I get the more careful I am to keep my skin protected from sun damage. I use a quality sunscreen and wear a hat to protect my skin from the sun.
Remember to bring skin care products that work well in your destination climate. For instance, when I travel from humid Louisiana to the dry climate of Calgary I need more moisturising products.
Allergens and medications play a role in skin care too. I always pack some anti-histamine in case I have allergies when I’m travelling.
Sometimes we forget about how easily our surroundings can affect our mood. Travel itself can be stressful – will you make your connecting flight, will your luggage show up, etc.
And when travelling solo there can be added anxiety about being alone and how to meet others while on holiday by yourself.
Some people have no trouble socialising while travelling, but others can find it debilitating to get out and meet other people while travelling. Social anxiety, or even panic attacks, can occur while on holiday.
So whenever you feel stressed, remember this simple breathing exercise:
- Breath in for a count of 4
- Exhale slowly over a count of 8
- Repeat as necessary. And remind yourself to relax and that it’s all going to be okay.
If you haven’t tried yoga yet, I implore you to give it a try. Take a class, watch a few videos, and learn some of the basic poses. Then start to build your own yoga routine and make it a part of your day.
Stretching, breathing, and meditation are my morning routine. Every day.
For over 15 years I have started my day with yoga, and I am certain that my physical health and mental health benefit from this routine.
Top Tips for staying healthy while travelling
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Be kind to your skin and use sunscreen, wear a hat to protect your skin from the sun
- Incorporate exercise into your travels, go exploring on foot
- Try to eat fresh foods rather than processed
- Remember to bring any prescription medications as well as a list of all your meds
- Get enough sleep, most adults need 7 – 8 hours per night
- Breathing exercise are a great way to help alleviate stress