Staying healthy on holidays

Read our tips on how to prevent holiday kilos by Kirsten Braun.

woman on stand-up paddle board

For many women holidays are a rare break from the usual routine; a time to relax and unwind. Holidays can, however, also be a time when women overindulge in food and/or alcohol and forgo their usual exercise regime. Here are seven ways to keep healthy on holidays:

Pack your exercise wear

If you pack your sneakers and at least one exercise outfit, you increase your chances of staying active during your holiday. Also remember your favourite work-out music and other accessories such as a water bottle.

Make use of the hotel gym/pool

When booking accommodation, check to see if there is a gym and/or pool available. Swimming a few laps or having a run on the treadmill keeps women in the routine of doing some sort of regular exercise and can also be a motivator for healthy eating. Those with a gym membership can check to see if their gym has reciprocal membership arrangements. Some larger gym chains let you visit any gym location in Australia with your membership.

Avoid the buffet

Many hotels offer all-you-can-eat buffet style dining and this can be very tempting for people to overindulge. A buffet style breakfast, for example, might include deep fried options such as hash browns, processed meats (bacon, sausages), pastries and muffins. If you do have buffet style food included with your accommodation, try limiting the amount of times you go back to the buffet and make sure you include a large proportion of salads, steamed vegetables and/or fruit.

Limit the alcohol

Cocktails by the pool are a lovely way to relax but the alcohol content and sweet soft drink or juice mixes can contribute significantly to one’s daily kilojoule intact. If you must indulge choose drinks that include plenty of ice, soda water and smaller amounts of alcohol rather than those that are heavily sweetened and with many alcoholic shots. Alternatively, alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic, low-kilojoule drinks.

Explore on foot

One of the best ways to include incidental exercise is to explore your destination on foot. Walking also provides a great way to get your bearings in a new place and to experience the local sights and sounds. Walking might also mean you discover a great restaurant, café or place of interest close by.  

Carry healthy snacks and water

The types of food you encounter when travelling to your destination tend to be high in kilojoules and low in nutrients (think vending machines, airport food, some plane snacks). It is much healthier to travel with your own snacks, although check what food substances you are allowed to carry if you are travelling internationally or even interstate. Nuts, dried fruit, wholegrain crackers and fresh fruit that travels well like apples or oranges are a great choice. Eating these snacks will help ward off hunger through the day and provide you with sustained energy for your holiday activities. Drinking water will prevent dehydration, combat the side effects of the sun and prevent buying other options like sugary drinks.

Incorporate exercise-based activities

When at your destination look for fun holiday activities that incorporate a level of exercise. You could try joining a guided walk or hire a bike to explore further afield. If going on a beach holiday, try a learn-to-surf class or hire a paddle-board or kayak for the day. Incorporating these types of activities is not only great fun but is an easy way of upping the activity levels.  

Last updated: December 2016

© Women’s Health Queensland Wide Inc. This article was written by Kirsten Braun and reviewed by the Women’s Health Queensland Wide editorial committee. It was published in Health Journey 2016 Issue 4..



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