Travel calories don’t count, right?
…wrong. Follow these tips to stay on track on vacay
Travelling is one of the best things a person can do. It exposes one to new ideas, cultures, foods and people and helps to broaden one’s horizons. You start to realize just how vast this world truly is. But along with all the amazing things travelling offers, it also tends to disrupt your usual health routine. Your daily trips to the gym might make their way down the priority list and your “eat clean” diet suddenly morphs into a full-blown “treat yourself” all week extravaganza. We’ve all been there and it’s okay. Life’s short, have a goddamn piña colada, but remember these tips to help stay on track while on vacay.
Mix in some exercise
It’s easy to stop exercising while travelling but there are simple ways to keep active and balanced. Krista Ouellette,a public relations student at Mount Royal who has travelled to India and Bali, recommends doing quick workouts in your room in the morning and evening.
“It takes less effort than finding a gym and can easily be fit into any busy day,” she says.
Try downloading the workout app Sworkit if your blanking on moves, The app allows you to workout anywhere from five to 60 minutes and includes cardio, yoga, strength and stretching options.
Ouellette also recommends doing activities that are fun and explorative as well as active.
“Going surfing, practicing yoga, boogie-boarding, swimming, snorkeling and taking a hike are a few of the ways to explore the beauty of foreign lands while keeping your heart rate up and working your muscles.”
Be mindful of what you’re eating
You don’t have to be scrupulous when it comes to this but at the same time it is important to try to maintain a balanced diet as much as possible while travelling.
Lana Ulakovic is a business student at Mount Royal who lives a healthy lifestyle and has travelled to Mexico and Italy. She recommends planning ahead when it comes to meals.
“If you know you have dinner reservations and will most likely indulge, eat light food throughout the day. If you have a full day planned ahead, bring healthy snacks to avoid binging later or stopping for fast food.”
Another food tip to consider while travelling is to watch portion size, restaurant portions are usually more than enough to feed two people so if you’re with a friend splitting an entrée is a good option. You’ll save money too!
Also try not to eat out for every meal. This can be tough if you choose to go all inclusive but getting out and exploring where you are and finding those authentic local markets can be a cool and rewarding experience plus you’ll be supporting small business owners.
Let’s face it, a huge part of travelling and being on vacation is drinking. But this is where the calories will really start to stack up so be wary. Creamy, smoothie type drinks like piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris are best enjoyed in moderation. If you’re looking for a lighter boozy option, try asking for a mojito without the simple syrup and sub the rum for vodka. Other lighter options are vodka or gin with club soda and for the brave: silver tequila on the rocks.
Don’t forget your mental health
This is something that can easily be forgotten but is extremely important when it comes to travel, especially if you’re going to an unfamiliar and potentially stressful place.
Rebecca McElheran is finishing her degree in social work at the University of Calgary. She partook in the 2014 India Field School and recommends homeopathic remedies and essential oils to help cope with travel stress and emotion.
McElheran used formulations as well as single remedies including Now Solutions Essential Oil blends, available at most specialty health food stores.
Ouellete also recommends taking time for yourself to restore your mental health while away from home.
“Travelling with friends can be overwhelming at times, especially if you are sharing your journey with a large group tour,” says Ouellete. “Taking the time to journal, take a walk, read or just simply being alone and taking your own adventure will benefit you mentally.”
So book your ticket, get on the plane and go see what’s out there. Keep in mind the basics of staying healthy and balanced and you will come back from your trip appreciative and feeling great.
Donna Atkinson-Smith is in her final practicum at the University of Calgary for addiction and mental health. Atkinson-Smith has travelled all over the world to places including Australia, Europe, China, Papua New Guinea and India, (so basically she is a travelling queen. Here are some of her go to travelling tips.)