Holiday health

By admin
22 December 2014

Here are a few tips to help avoid piling on the pounds, missing out on sleep and catching an illness.

The whole point of a holiday is to let your hair down and forget about all the boring stuff that comes with everyday life.

For many of us, this includes eating whatever we want on vacation. But with a recent study showing holidaymakers double their daily calorie intake within the first 24 hours of an all-inclusive break, are we taking things too far? We give you some tips on staying on top of your health if you don't want to let things slip while away.

One of the pitfalls is that we often pre-pay for food and drink while abroad. We're naturally programmed to make the most of 'free' things and could feel we're not getting our money's worth if we don't gorge on everything on offer. Particularly the fact that most hotel packages offer buffets is dangerous - with so much on offer, it's tempting to pile your plate high. But there are other health worries too, such as getting enough sleep and warding off holiday illnesses. So how can you avoid all this?

Plan ahead

Rather than booking blindly, make some enquiries about the food on offer. If you don't want to be tempted by calorific cuisine, see if you can find a hotel that offers healthier options. Grilled meat and fresh fish are popular in seaside places, so should be plentiful. Also ask around with friends and family and see if they have recommendations.

Alternatively, have a look if there are hotels that offer a la carte deals rather than buffets. With a set portion you'll be unable to go back for seconds (and thirds...) And it might be worth going half-board rather than all inclusive. This way you won't be tempted by snacks and free, calorific booze and sugary drinks. Instead, take your own things to nibble on such as nuts and dried fruit.

Disinfect

Most of us will have had a holiday ruined thanks to that dreaded stomach bug or similar illnesses. Of course if you've booked a premium hotel, you shouldn't have to worry about food poisoning or other bacteria. But if you're in a slightly less expensive establishment or renting an apartment, it pays to be careful.

In a hot climate, be wary of food that's been out of the fridge, particularly meats and dairy. Also take your own disinfecting wipes to give surfaces a once over before and after preparing meals.

With so many people under one roof, it can also be a good idea to carry a little bottle of hand sanitizer before you dive into the buffet or other shared spaces. This way you'll minimise the spread of germs.

Get enough sleep

There's nothing more disappointing than returning from a break more tired than you were before. If you know you're a light sleeper and have been put in a part of the hotel that's prone to noise from traffic or loud guests, it's a good idea to have some earplugs to hand. It could also be worth packing an eye mask in case the blinds/curtains aren't doing their job.

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