By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
Summer is officially here, and there is nothing more exciting than planning a little getaway or traveling somewhere during the warm weather. Traveling is a time to enjoy yourself, take a break from your usual routine, and make lifelong memories. While everything is fine in moderation and it’s important to enjoy yourself, there are simple things that you can do to stay healthy even when you travel. Here are some tips for staying healthy while traveling this summer.
Explore the area you are visiting by foot or on a bike. Wherever you travel this summer, there will be plenty of sights to see and places to explore. If you’ll be visiting a city, instead of driving or taking a bus, try walking around the city and exploring on foot. If the city is bike-friendly, you can rent a bicycle and explore even more that way. Sometimes, this is the best way to discover new places, and you’ll be getting some exercise while you’re at it!
If the place you’re traveling to isn’t very walkable, or if you’ve decided to have a relaxing day, try to fit in a workout in the morning. There are plenty of quick 5 or 10 minute exercise routines that you can do on your floor with no equipment. Working out in the morning is best when you’re traveling because you can get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of your day. If you are staying in a hotel, most have a fitness room or a pool.
Stock up on some healthy food staples. Whether you’re staying in a short-term rental with a full kitchen or a tiny hotel room, you can always keep some basic healthy foods in your room. Hotel rooms usually have a mini-fridge where you can at least store some fresh fruits or pre-made salads. If not, bananas, apples, and oranges don’t need refrigeration, and make healthy snacks when you are on the go. Some other food staples are nut butters, snacks such as trail mix or protein bars, and quick oats. All hotel rooms typically come with a coffee machine which can be used to heat water, so you can easily make healthy oatmeal with fruits and nuts for breakfast if there are no breakfast options where you are staying. Try to make at least one of your meals healthy each day. You could also aim to always carry some healthy snacks with you in your bag when you are out enjoying the day.
Stay hydrated throughout the day. Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. If the place you’re traveling to doesn’t have drinkable tap water, you may have to buy water bottles. At the very least, remember to order a glass of water with all your meals. You need to stay hydrated, especially if you are spending all day exploring outside. If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll end up dehydrated, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and even dizziness— none of which you want on your vacation! Be sure to also eat hydrating fruits and vegetables throughout the day whenever possible. Watermelon, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, berries, pineapple, peaches, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes are all great options.
Get enough sleep. Your travels are a time to have fun and let loose, which sometimes means staying up late, and not getting enough sleep. While it’s fine to have sleepless nights once in a while, continuous lack of sleep is going to catch up to you, and depending on the length of your vacation, may make for some unpleasant vacation days. Lack of sleep can lower your immune system, cause bloating and digestive discomfort, and leave you feeling sluggish and exhausted. If you can’t get enough hours of sleep during the night, at least try to take a nap the next day.
Plan excursions that get out outside enjoying nature. We don’t get enough sunlight during most of the year in the northeast, so now is the time to really enjoy the summer sun. It is important to get some direct sunlight every single day without sunblock/sunscreen so that your body can properly make vitamin D. The best time to do this is early morning after the sun rises, or late in the evening before the sun sets. Plan some nature hikes, bike rides, and beach visits around these times of the day. You may need to get to bed a little earlier for those early morning excursions, but it will be well worth it!
Whatever your summer plans, please remember to take a few extra minutes to plan ways to make your excursions even healthier! When you feel well, you enjoy what you’re doing more than if you’re feeling off or even sick. So go start making some plans, even if you can’t work in a full vacation, and get out and enjoy the summer months!