Five Tips for a Healthy Vacation

By , Category : General Health

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Before you go anywhere, do some research regarding your destination.When you go on vacation, you want to leave your worries behind and just enjoy yourself. But have you ever gone away and felt worse after you came home? That can happen if you’re not adequately prepared for your travels. Here are my five tips for a healthy vacation.

1. Research

How many times have you gone to a distant location and you were not prepared for the food, weather, and customs that you encountered? Before you go anywhere, do some research about your destination. What type of weather can you expect? What kinds of clothing are appropriate to wear? What kinds of food and drinks will you be encountering and what are the risks associated with these dietary changes? You want to check if there are any particular health concerns associated with your destination and if you need any special medical attention before your departure.

It’s also important to know what types of activities you’re going to participate in when you are on vacation. For example, if you are going diving or snorkeling, you want to know if there have been any recent safety problems. You also want to check about general safety issues—like crime—that might affect you and your family while you’re on vacation. Make sure to check online for advice from previous travelers about what you can expect when you arrive at your vacation destination.

2. Food Intake

When you go on vacation, do you eat in a similar fashion compared to when you are at home? I would be surprised if any of you said yes to that question! There is no doubt that the amount and types of foods available to you at a resort or destination are out of the ordinary. However, your approach can make a very big difference in your health and the way you feel and look when you come back.

When I am on vacation at a resort, I typically watch how others act when they are eating. The word competitive comes to mind! Most people in line become somewhat aggressive in their pursuit of filling up their plates. People also take far more than they could possibly eat, filling their plates to such a degree—it’s ridiculous.

Try to take a smaller plate up to the buffet and fill it with healthy vegetables. Ask the cook to bring you an entrée rather than choosing a variety of entrées yourself—this will help you manage your portion size. Try getting your partner to pick a dessert for you if you must have some. Better yet, have raw fruit as a dessert! If you need to go back for more, try to stick with healthier choices, like chicken, fish, and vegetables.

PLUS: Important warnings for travelers

3. Alcohol Intake

Drinking alcohol should be done in moderation but when you’re on vacation, this can get out of control very quickly. Not only is it very unhealthy to binge drink, but you’ll suffer from the effects of doing so long after you arrive back home. My advice here is to use common sense: try not to drink more than you can handle. What I mean is, when you feel a bit tipsy, switch to sparkling water with a lemon or lime slice. If you wish to drink a bit more than usual, try to drink when you are eating and stick to what you can handle. For instance, if you are a wine drinker, it’s advisable not to drink stronger drinks made with liquor.

4. Hydration

Hydrating yourself with water is important to prevent the effects of dehydration from excessive heat exposure, activity, and alcohol or caffeine consumption. I recommend that you consistently drink at least one liter of water every day when you are on vacation. In addition, drinks containing sugar or drinks that are high in fat can add a great deal of calories to your diet during your holiday.

5. Protect your gut

When you are away on vacation, you can be exposed to food or fluid-borne illnesses which can put a damper on your vacation and can continue to bother you after arriving home. My advice to you is that one week before your departure, start taking a high-potency probiotic formula containing a series of healthy bacteria. These bacteria will populate your gut with its normal flora and protect it from the pathogens commonly ingested in the food or water you consume. Supplements containing at least one to two million live culture of acidophilus and bifidum are recommended.

Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Lomax, A.R., et al., “Probiotics, immune function, infection and inflammation: a review of the evidence from studies conducted in humans,” Curr Pharm Des 2009; 15(13): 1428-518.


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Dr. K.J. McLaughlin, BPE, CSCS, MASc. DC

About the Author, Browse K.J.'s Articles

Dr. K.J.McLaughlin is a chiropractor with 27 years of clinical experience. In addition, he has degrees in physical education, nutrition and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with an interest in anti-aging medicine. He has also spent time studying health promotion and the effect that health education has upon health outcomes. Dr. McLaughlin has a diverse professional background which has involved clinical management, teaching, health promotion and health coaching and brings a unique passion to his work.