Staying happy, healthy and fit during the holidays!
December 1, 2014
Holiday season is upon us and many will be traveling home or on vacation. As a doctor in a travel vaccination clinic, Pilates instructor and someone who went for her year end vacation early, here are some tips on hindsight about what should have been done.
Most of us will spend our time before the holiday trying to finish all our work, which means late nights and irregular meals. All these eventually leads up to a mad rush before your holiday and with all the raised cortisol levels (stress hormones), you inevitably end up feeling not at your best during your holiday.
Work aside (because we know that no matter how hard you try there always end up with more work than you bargained for), there are some things that can be do to help boost your immunity.
Some people think it’s voodoo magic, but if you’re not eating well, you better be getting your nutrition from elsewhere. Probiotics are also great to prevent traveler’s diarrhea. It helps boost gut health so it makes you less susceptible to microbials. Ideally they should be started at least 2 weeks prior to travel.
2. Travel vaccinations
Get your flu vaccination if you’re prone to flu, traveling to somewhere cold (all those moist water droplets in the air are full of viruses and bacterias!) or have conditions such as asthma or COPD that makes you more prone to respiratory illnesses. Also all that recycled air in the plane? Disgusting. Find out what vaccines you might need in certain areas and get them. Do note that most vaccinations need at least 2 weeks before they work so it’s good to get them done sometime before the day you’re flying.
3. Travel insurance
Travel insurance covers delayed flights, missing luggage, doctor and hospitalisation bills etc. While you hope you never need to use the insurance, I think it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. I’m a bit of a paranoid person, but if you’ve ever worked in a hospital and seen the hospital bill, you really would buy insurance all the time. ONE hospitalisation bill would be equivalent to 250 trips of travel insurance. Do the math.
During the holiday
1. Fit in an exercise class
Whether you’ve been doing yoga, Pilates, crossfit or bootcamps, fitting in a session during your holiday is a great way to find out more about a city. It will also help you to avoid that jarring inertia when you are back after your holiday to get back into the routine. It is always fun to check out what other people in the world are up to, plus if you are visiting friends or relatives, it is also a brilliant activity to do together!
2. Eat one healthy meal a day
If you traveling around a new country, we always end up wanting to try everything that it has to offer. Most of the time, it’s probably not stuff you would end on a regular basis while back home. Avoiding local food is also a ridiculous advise, so try to incorporate at least one clean meal a day. That still gives you 2 meals a day to indulge! Don’t forget to load up on fibre as well. Try a cup of psyllium husk or chia seeds in the morning, if you’re not a huge veggie eater, to keep bowel movement healthy
3. Drink tons of water
By the time you’re thirsty, you’re dehydrated! While traveling we may not have the luxury of access to portable water all the time. So don’t forget to carry a bottle around with you to refuel. Or if you’re too lazy to carry a bottle, try to buy bottled water at meals instead of opting for tea/coffee (that actually dehydrate you) or sugared drinks!
So that’s it! Six easy tricks to help you enjoy the holiday season more. Have a blessed Christmas and a glorious New Year.
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