Easy tips to stay healthy when you travel – look after your body and mind, wherever you are!

Whether its a work trip, a holiday with friends, or simply a few days away on a staycation, it IS possible to enjoy a healthy holiday.

In fact, staying healthy whilst travelling can make your trip even more enjoyable. After all, feeling well can help us to conquer each day!

Try these simple tips to stay healthy on the move and make your trip one to remember…

Stay active

If youre someone who exercises regularly, then youll have already noticed the many benefits of regular movement. However, even the most active people can struggle to maintain an exercise routine when theyre out of their usual environment. Plus, without the gym for motivation, or some at-home workout equipment, it can be a struggle to even know what to do!

Good news though; staying active when youre away doesnt have to mean hours on the treadmill, or spending ages following a rigid weights routine. The simple act of walking is a great way to incorporate movement into your day.

Be sure to pack a pair of comfortable trainers, clothing and a cap so that you can keep up your exercise while outside in the sun. Walking is a great way to improve your heart health, burn calories and simply become healthier[1].

Other ways to incorporate more movement include skipping the lift and taking the stairs instead, avoiding cab journeys if the distance is walkable, and even packing a pair of light resistance bands into your case or a skipping rope for a quick cardio workout.

A word of warning: if youre exercising outside in a hotter, sunnier climate, be sure to wear sun cream and try to head out before the heat gets too intense.

Hydration is important - bottled water only

Whilst theres nothing wrong with cocktails round the pool, be sure to maintain healthy levels of H20. The UKs NHS recommends drinking 6 to 8 cups or glasses of fluid every day[2].

If youre flying to a destination, maintain healthy levels of hydration whilst in the air too; you may find that the air that circulates in aeroplane cabins is quite dry which can lead us to feeling more dehydrated than usual[3].

Watch for ice

Dont forget; the ice when you travel, will often be made from tap water. So, to be safe, ask for your drinks without ice. Be wary of salads too; particularly leafy salads, which will have often been washed with tap water[4].

Sleep

Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, with children needing 9 to 13 hours per night[5]. Why so much sleep? Its during these hours of rest that our body and mind gets a recharge, ready for the next day. Our brains need sleep to function properly, and our body needs sleep to keep it healthy and to support our immune system in fighting off potential illness[6].

It can be easy to skimp on sleep when you head off on a trip, however, ensuring you get enough good quality shut eye could be the key to making your trip even more enjoyable!

If you travel across time zones, jet lag can also cause disruption to sleep patterns. Be sure to get plenty of sunlight when you can in your new destination, as this helps to regulate the internal body clock.

You could also try changing your watch to the time of your destination before you set off to try and adjust your body clock to the new time zone.

Wash your hands!

Make hygiene a priority, at home and when on-the-go. Did you know that the average persons hands come in contact with around 10 million bacteria every day, and the average person touches their face 16 times per hour!?[7]

Washing your hands might seem like such a simple act, yet its one that can help prevent spreading illness such as food poisoning. Worryingly, research has found that only 39% of people wash their hands before eating food[8].

Its recommended to wash your hands regularly, and for around 20 seconds each time[9]. Need a snack for on the move? Why not opt for a pre-packaged snack such as an Eat Natural bar?

If youre flying to your destination, you might want to consider washing your hands even more frequently, or taking a hand sanitiser gel with you. It turns out that the aeroplane tray table is covered in bacteria![10]

Care for your skin

Heading somewhere sunny? Be sure to wear sunscreen when youre out and about. Look for a sunscreen that contains at least SPF 30 and cover up accordingly/find shade when the sun is at its hottest[11] between the hours of 11 and 3. so be savvy and take the appropriate steps to care for and protect your skin.

Stay on top of your vaccines

You wont always need vaccinations when travelling, but its best to stay safe. If you think you might need a vaccine, or you might need to update a vaccine, visit your GP at least a couple of months before your trip to enquire[12].