Tips for staying healthy while on holiday

Don’t let your good habits slide while you’re away. Dubai-based travel and fitness influencer Nadine Du Toit (@glorygirlfit) tells us how to stay healthy on holiday

You know the drill. You’ve been nailing your gym routine and green juicing like a pro, but the second you set foot off the aeroplane, going on a run is the last thing on your mind. While it can be a challenge to stay healthy on holiday, making good choices doesn’t have to mean drawn-out cardio sessions and skipping dessert. Here’s how to enjoy yourself without acquiring any excess baggage…

Perfect the power walk

If you’re off to a destination where there’s plenty to see, ditch taxis and public transport in favour of walking from a to b. It’s a simple fix, but it works. “I normally make a deal with myself that I will walk as much as possible when exploring a new place, as it’s a great way to connect with the environment,” says Nadine. “Quite often, walking means you’ll see and experience things you may have missed if you were stuck in a train or a car. If you like running, consider downloading a local trail map or app and exercise alongside the locals.” Be sure to carry a water bottle when you’re out and about to help avoid dehydration – even when you’re in cooler climes. 

Step out of your comfort zone  

“Create memories –and Instagram moments – by filling your days with fun activities,” advises Nadine. “If you’re close to the ocean, get some vitamin D and test your skills at the watersports on offer, such as windsurfing, or rent a bike and explore the natural beauty spots. Taking part in a new activity or challenge, is great for your fitness levels and helps you feel more connected with nature.” Not only is it lots of fun, but you’ll be surprised how many sleepy muscles you use.

Don’t be afraid of the buffet 

If buffet style meals are a weakness, don’t fret, as you can successfully balance eating well and a healthy dose of indulgence. “Don’t go in with a mindset of avoidance” says Nadine. “Instead, start with a full plate of fresh greens, salad and some fruit. The fibre will fill you up and the enzymes in the fresh produce will prepare the digestive system to fully digest the rest of the meal. Remember that you are on holiday so if you really want to eat something, go for it. Don’t miss out on trying the local cuisine, just exercise some portion control and enjoy it – that’s the most important thing.”

Crunch down your workout

“Whenever you feel like it, grab your earphones, put on your favourite workout playlist and get moving,” says Nadine. “Workouts don’t have to be complicated or involve using large equipment. I love travelling with my skipping rope, as it’s lightweight and doesn’t take up much space.” Even 15-minutes in the gym, or jogging in the local park, is better than nothing. 

“I recommend doing five rounds of three-minute intervals. For example, one-minute skipping, one-minute shadow boxing (trust me, this is hard work) and one-minute abs or core work out,” says Nadine. If in doubt, ask the hotel gym instructor to draw you up a quick and easy 15-minute routine.

Get some shut eye

“Sleep is an important factor for staying healthy while travelling,” says Nadine. “On top of helping you to feel your best, it will encourage you to make better choices the next day when it comes to movement and nutrition.” Of course, when you’re away it can be hard to catch those zzz’s as there’s so much to do but, as Nadine says, “if you can prioritise sleep, it will make a big difference”. Some rules of thumb include setting the thermostat to a slumber-friendly setting (the right temperature for sleep is between 16-18°C), and following your usual wind down routine as much as possible.

Photo: Getty Images

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