How to stay healthy when travelling? We all know that diet rules go out the window when you’re travelling – I mean, who wants to be watching what they eat and drink when they’re on holiday? But equally, it’s no fun returning from a fabulous vacation to find that the scales have gone off the deep end, because you couldn’t resist the temptations of the breakfast buffet or hotel bar.
Or, even worse, is the prospect that you could ruin your entire trip by the whole family coming down with ‘Delhi belly’ because you didn’t realize that you couldn’t drink the local water.
Here we give you a few top tips for staying healthy when travelling with kids.
Carry Hand Sanitiser
So many nasty illnesses are picked up from poor hand hygiene, and we all know how small kids can’t resist picking unsightly things up out of the dirt in the road. If you’re out and about all day sightseeing in crowded areas and taking public transport, you’re going to need to keep everyone’s hands clean throughout the day – and particularly before you eat. A small bottle of hand sanitizer can go a long way at helping prevent illness.
Drink Lots of Water
Fill up your water bottles, or buy a bottle of water for everyone before you board the plane – and carry one with you while sightseeing. We all know the health benefits of drinking water, and these are even more important when you are travelling and likely to be tired, on the move… and probably drinking too much alcohol in the hotel bar at night.
Start the Day Right
I have such a weakness for hotel breakfast buffets. It’s all too tempting to pile up your plate with buttermilk pancakes, sausages, eggs, bacon – the works. But while my kids can’t be persuaded to eat anything but pancakes with maple syrup in a hotel, I try to practise some form of self-restraint and (occasionally) opt for the fresh fruit platter, granola and yoghurt instead.
Pack Healthy Snacks
When you’re constantly on the move, it can be all too easy to grab a bag of potato chips as you board a train, or succumb to a chocolate muffin in the airport departure lounge. Pack a selection of healthy snacks, such as granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit or nuts so that you’re not tempted by all the junk food on offer.
For my kids, I also raid the breakfast buffet for any portable healthy morsels and pack those Ella’s Kitchen fruit pouches, so at least I feel like they are getting some form of goodness in them to go alongside all the fish & chips, pizza and chicken nuggets they inevitably choose off the children’s menu.
Pack your trainers and training gear and hit the hotel gym, go for a run around the local neighbourhood, or explore your destination on foot or by bike – it’s a far better way to get to know the place than through the window of a taxi or bus anyway.
I have also recently discovered an awesome fitness app for my smartphone that I’m telling everybody about: the 7 Minute Workout. This high intensity workout takes you through 12 exercises (jumping jacks, abdominal crunches, press ups, plank, squats, lunges etc). Training at high intensity with very little rest in between each exercise makes this workout the equivalent of a 30+-minute traditional resistance-training session. And it only takes seven minutes, making it ideal for a vacation workout.
We have a new rule on holiday now: nobody gets to indulge in a happy hour mojito until they have completed their 7 Minute Workout – you’ve never seen me exercise so much on holiday!
Try it for yourself – Download the 7 Minute Workout here.
Do Your Research
A bit of research before you go can save you a world of pain – is the water safe to drink in your destination? What about the street food? Salads and raw vegetables? Do you need innoculations? Malaria tablets? Where is the nearest hospital?
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