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Our Top 5 Tips For Staying Healthy On The Road

By:
Joanna Hall
 

Without access to your favourite workout DVD or an organic supermarket, many health-conscious people feel forced to abandon healthy habits when they travel, especially overseas. Just because you’re hitting the road, or taking to the high seas, however, you don’t have to leave all your healthy habits at home. It is possible to eat well and stay active while on holiday with a little forward planning. Here’s our top tips.

1.  Get A Checkup 

If you have an existing medical condition, or you just haven’t seen a doctor in a while, having a checkup to make sure you are in good shape a few weeks to a month before you head off is a good idea. This is especially important if you are travelling to an exotic or third-world country where medical facilities may be limited or not as good as what you’re used to at home. Also check to see if you need to have any vaccinations or specific travel medications such as anti-malaria pills for your trip. Options include seeing your GP or visiting a specialist travel medicine clinic for this advice, but remember that that some vaccinations and malaria medications may need to be administered or started at least several months before leaving home to be effective. 

2.  Take Medications From Home And Prescriptions With You 

Counterfeit medicines are a serious problem worldwide, and getting prescription refills in some countries can be risky - even through an authorised doctor. The World Health Organisation has estimated that around 10 per cent of all medicines available today are fakes, from over-the-counter remedies for traveller’s diarrhoea to antibiotics. Make sure any prescriptions for essential medicines you take are up-to-date and refilled before you leave home. Also take copies of each one, and enough to cover you for your entire trip, plus some more for insurance in case of any unforeseen delays. Also consider taking a basic medical kit with you containing over-the-counter pain relief, antacids, and any other remedies you use frequently, especially if you are travelling to a third-world country or somewhere remote. 

3.  Plan Your Diet 

If you are travelling to an unfamiliar country for the first time, check out the type of food you are likely to encounter so it won’t come as a shock to your system. If you are travelling to countries where food hygiene is a problem, avoid drinking tap water and eating any raw foods including fresh fruit and salads, and stick to food which is cooked. Another great tip is to keep a few healthy snacks from home on hand, such as low fat crackers or cereal bars, so you avoid getting hungry and resorting to unhealthy snacks. If you have any significant allergies or food intolerances, or any kind of medical condition which requires a special diet, talk to dietitian or nutritionist before you head off just to be safe. Discuss in detail where you will be visiting, where you will be staying, and the cooking facilities and types of food which are likely to be available. 

4.  Keep Active 

Being on holiday is no excuse for becoming a couch potato unless that’s your goal. Most hotels, resorts and cruise ships have at least a swimming pool and a fitness centre, and there’s no better way to explore a new destination than on foot or on a bike. Do some research about the place you are travelling to before you leave home, see what’s available, and use your new environment to your advantage. If you are up for a lot of walking, consider investing in a good pair of shoes and top quality socks if you don’t already have some, and break the shoes in properly before you hit the streets on holiday. Another tip is to pack resistance bands, or a workout DVD for yoga or pilates, to use in your hotel room or cruise ship stateroom, or download an app to your smartphone to guide you through an in-room workout. 

5.  Expect The Unexpected 

Although no one wants to become ill or injured while on holiday, both can happen without warning. Aim to travel comfortably, don’t be too adventurous if you have physical limitations, do your research so you go as prepared as possible, and make sure you are as fit and healthy as you can be before you set off. It’s also important to make sure that both you and your possessions are well insured. This will not only give you peace of mind, but if something unfortunate should happen to you on your travels you will get the help you need without having to worry about who pays the bill.

 

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