Whether you are getting away from the home for a weekend, or embarking on an adventure in a foreign country, often your body isn’t your primary concern. Vacations offer many opportunities to overindulge, as you are away from your normal routine and there are so many temptations abroad. Being healthy while away from your home can be a challenge, so here are 6 tips to help you.
1. Protect Against The Sun
Did you know that getting just one sunburn every two years triples your risk of melanoma skin cancer? UV rays from the sun can mutate the DNA in your skin; the combined effect of multiple sunburns over your life greatly increases the risk of skin cancer. Make sure to protect your largest organ with shade, proper clothing, and natural sunscreens without excessive chemicals.
My favorite sunscreens:
Organika Coenzyme Q10 Sunscreen Lotion: A broad spectrum water and sweat-resistant SPF25 sunscreen made with natural ingredients. This sunscreen uses zinc-oxide and titanium-dioxide, two metals that lay on the skin without being absorbed and reflect UVA and UVB rays, which are the main factors in sunburns and accelerated skin aging.
Badger Balm Sport Unscented Sunscreen: This SPF35 all-natural sunscreen uses only 5 ingredients and doesn’t include any added scents. In addition to being waterproof, the sunscreen also nourishes and moisturizes your skin. Badger Balm is committed to lessening their environmental footprint by using a BPA and phthalate-free tube from #2 recyclable plastic and creating their sunscreen from a biodegradable sunflower oil base.
2. Treat Your Skin Right
If you do get sunburnt, you need to pay even more attention to your skin. Help reduce the irritation and speed up the healing process with aloe vera sunburn lotion. Burt’s Bees After Sun Smoother includes natural aloe vera and linden extract to calm your skin and help replenish its natural moisture. Make sure not to pick at the peeling skin because it may cause uneven pigmentation. Let your skin heal naturally with the help of natural products.
Following up with your skin with a natural moisturizer after a sunburn is also important. When a sunburn does occur, more water is sent to the skin, so it’s important to retain that water with moisturizer to avoid dehydration. Moisturizing with coconut oil is an excellent option for your summer skin care regime.
3. Don’t Overindulge
Surrounded by interesting new dishes and flavorful restaurants, there isn’t much of an incentive to cook or eat healthy, and that is fine! Vacations are meant for breaking your diet plan. The mindset that keeps me from overindulging is eating to sample the flavor of dishes, not necessarily to finish every dish. It helps if you are in a small group and can order dishes to share.
Also, don’t skip out on your fruits and veggies, as they are a great source of essential vitamins. Many places you visit will have farmer’s markets where you can purchase fresh fruits and talk to the locals. Experimenting with new food can also include trying local fruits and vegetables!
It is easy to get dehydrated in the summer, when your body loses more liquid from perspiration than normal. You should be drinking 8-12 cups of water per day and even more on warm days where you are moving and in the sun. It’s hard to stay hydrated on vacation, as you may not have easy access to clean water. There are numerous benefits with staying hydrated with alkaline water (water with a pH above 9) and it’s even easier with this convenient hydration bundle.
Maybe you're not a huge fan of plain old water. There are several fruits and vegetables that can help with hydration as well. About 20% of our body’s daily water intake comes from food, including water-rich celery, cucumbers, and strawberries. My personal favorite is watermelon, which is 92% water. Watermelon has the antioxidant lycopene, which is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, vitamin B6 and thiamin.
5. Prepare Your Body
A successful trip takes copious amounts of planning and preparation, including making sure that your body is well-prepared. You want to be ready to have fun when arriving at your travel destination, so you need to ready your body for the journey ahead. The worst feeling is when you are stuck in the bathroom with traveler’s diarrhea instead of enjoying your days off. Make sure to keep a good balance of healthy bacteria to prevent traveler’s diarrhea.
Nutritional supplements can also support your body with more energy, which allows you to do more in the summer months. B-complex vitamins help calm the nervous system and help your body deal with the stress of travel. After travelling long distances, the struggle of your circadian system in your body to adjust to the time change disrupts your sleep cycle, resulting in the common feeling of jet lag. Melatonin helps the body fall into a longer and deeper sleep, which helps with resetting your sleep cycle and overcoming jet lag.
6. Keep Active
Vacations are time to relax and enjoy a refreshing new environment, but also an opportunity for people to take the laziest route. Imagine relaxing on a sunny beach or on the dock of a secluded lake. There isn’t much that would compel you to break your stupor. Inactivity is a cause of lower metabolism, and I’m sure that you aren’t planning out every healthy meal while abroad. Try to burn some excess energy by consciously taking walks when you aren’t going too far.
This is less obvious on shorter vacations, where the dangers of sedentary behavior aren’t as pronounced (but it doesn’t mean you should slack on exercise). If you are spending long months abroad, try to keep moving on foot. Instead of taking a car around a new town, explore the town on your feet. You will see more of the town and get a good dose of exercise as well!