The holidays are an insanely busy time. With so much happening in such a short amount of time, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy practices.
This is especially the case when long travel is mixed into the equation. Travel stress, limited time, and jet-lag can all play a role when making unhealthy choices.
Here are some simple ways to stay healthy while travelling and prevent jet-lag:
Limit Eating Out
Why: Eating a delicious meal at a restaurant is one of the simplest and most enjoyable pleasures of life. There can, however, be too much of a good thing. When travelling, it's so easy to become reliant on eating out for every meal. It's unlikely you'll be able to get all your needed and recommended nutrients entirely from restaurant meals.
How: If you're staying with family, or at an AirBnB with an available kitchen, take advantage of it! Making time to go to the grocery store to make some home cooked meals are a great way to break up and limit the amount of times you'll eat out on a trip. If cooking is absolutely not an option during your travels, having a supply of healthy snacks like fresh fruit and vegetables is a good option.
Get Enough Sleep
Why: Sleep is absolutely essential to our day-to-day functioning, and it's even more important to be well rested while travelling. A good nights sleep before flying is key to kicking jet-lag, as last-minute change to your sleep routine will make adjusting to new time zones even more difficult.
How: Make getting a good nights sleep your top priority the night before a flight. Feeling rested and energized will go a long way to feeling ready to be active and get out once you've landed.
Why: Your body functions best when it's properly hydrated. When you're dehydrated, your body will have a harder time transporting nutrients across the body, which will make you feel tired, groggy, suppress your appetite, and cause headaches
How: Avoid artificial stimulants like caffeine, energy drinks, or sugary sodas before and during a flight, especially as you adjust to a new time zone. While they will keep you wired and awake for short periods, in the long run, they will dramatically impact your sleeping patterns. You will end up feeling MORE tired and your jet-lag will be even harder to overcome. Bring an empty water bottle with you to the airport and fill it up after you've cleared security so you can make sure you have plenty of hydrating fluids for your journey.
Why: Keeping your body up and moving will help with alleviating the symptoms of your jet-lag, and is a good way to keep healthy abroad. While you will naturally feel tired upon landing at your destination, getting out and moving is the best way to adjust to your new time zone. Doing this will prevent you from falling asleep during your old time zone, forcing you to adjust to the current time.
Staying active abroad is a great way to maintain part of your at-home routine, ensuring you get some exercise throughout the day. Maintaining at least part of your fitness routine while traveling will also help going back to the gym an easier task when your trip is over.
How: Staying awake is the biggest key. While it will be a bit of a struggle to not fall into your body's regular internal clock, and abide by your regular sleep routine, your jet-lag won't last as long. Getting exercise while travelling doesn't have to be the chore it is at home. In fact, it can be one of the most exciting parts of travelling! Walking and exploring your new surroundings is the easiest way to ensure you're keeping active.