by: Emma Esslemont
In just over a week I’m heading overseas for a 6 week Central American adventure…. Yep it’s pretty exciting… and when I say pretty what I really mean is I actually cannot think about anything else!
Taking a break from work and the goings of everyday life is such an important aspect of your health and well-being. For some, holidays are all about drinking, eating and partying, and yes I’ll be doing my fair share of that BUT that doesn’t mean you have to throw all your healthy habits out the window. A few weeks break isn’t always an excuse to treat your body like crap. It should be an opportunity to unwind, relax and recharge, whilst enjoying a few indulgences along the way.
There are a few things I always try and do when I head off on holidays to make sure I don’t completely de-rail all the hard work I put into my health.
1. ENJOY THE OUTDOORS: Wherever you go there will always be a heap of cool adventure activities you can get involved in. We have a shitload of awesome adventurous things planned from canopy zip lining, volcano boarding, surfing, and jungle hikes. Not only is this incidental exercise at its best BUT it’s also one of the most incredible ways to explore a new place.
2. START THE DAY WELL: I always feel better if I kick-start my day in the right way. A bottle of water, coffee (obviously), and a healthy, nutritious breakfast which almost always involves eggs & bacon. This sets me up for the day ahead and gives me a heap of energy to get out and see the sites.
3. WALK WALK WALK… everywhere! If you don’t need to take the bus then don’t. You will be amazed at the cool little things you stumble across in foreign cities when you are on foot!
4. WATER: Hydration is always important BUT it’s the key if you hit the cocktails a little hard the evening before! Most cocktails have a heap of sugar from fruit or flavour syrups, that’s why they taste sooooo damn good! The best fix for a sugar hangover is a heap of water! I often add extra electrolytes with hydrolyte tablets to my water bottle (that’s for when I’m feeling really average).
5. EXERCISE….. a little (at least). I’ll be honest, I find it pretty hard to go an entire week without doing some form of exercise & this doesn’t really change just because I’m on holiday. It doesn’t mean go searching for the gym and slog it out all day, a quick 20 minute workout every other day is all you need whether it’s a jog on the beach or a high intensity body weight circuit in the park. It doesn’t have to eat into your day & don’t stress if you miss a few days here or there!
6. WATCH FOR THE HIDDEN NAUGHTIES: There is nothing I love more than tasting different cuisines… Mexican & central American food is one of my favourites so it’s safe to say I have the tendency to go overboard BUT there are a few things I often do to make sure my food choices are still a little on the ‘healthy side’.
- I always ask for dressing on the side, most are packed full of sugar not to mention I would prefer my salad not to be drowned in dressing!
- Watch out for sauces & salsas as these are often highly processed and full of sugar too
- Portion size… this is especially relevant in America (from experience) where main meal is fit for 2. You do not have to eat everything on your plate!
- Go easy on the fruit. I love me an ice cold coconut or a bowl of fresh watermelon BUT don’t forget fruit does contain sugar. Try and stick to 1 piece per day!
Obviously, as always, the most important thing is always to HAVE FUN & RELAX.
About the Author
Em is a sports physiotherapist & personal trainer who loves just about anything related to fitness & food. Her website ‘Your Sports Physio’ has articles dedicated to health and wellbeing as well as information about common sports injuries, their management and how they can be prevented! Check it out at www.yoursportsphysio.com. You can also follow her on instagram @emesslemont.
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