To Your Health
July, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 07)
If your hotel offers all-you-can-eat buffets or continental breakfast, don't binge on pancakes, waffles, hash browns and pastries just because they're free. Choose fresh fruit, whole-grain cereal and some form of protein to get your day started right.
If your hotel room has a kitchenette, consider preparing your own breakfast and lunch. And whatever you do, stay away from the hotel minibar!
Especially in the summer months, drink a glass of water per hour when you are active. Dehydration is a common source of sickness and exhaustion when traveling, so stock your hotel room with bottled or filtered water. People also are less likely to consume enough fiber to keep their systems functioning properly on vacation - all the more reason to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Back to Reality
This may be a rough day. Your impending return home means getting back to housework, cooking meals, school schedules, and worst of all, work! According to one study, 43 percent of Americans return home feeling overwhelmed by the work they have to do.
In order to get back into a healthy routine as quickly as possible, try to allow one day at home before returning to work for running errands, resting and stocking up on healthy meal options. Plan to exercise within one to two days of your return home. It may motivate you to meet a friend at the gym and catch up on your vacation stories.
Jet lag can make your return home even more difficult. If you've crossed multiple time zones, your internal body clock (known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus) will likely be out of sync with your daily schedule. Symptoms of jet lag, including fatigue, irritability and difficulty sleeping, are generally worse when traveling east, but should only last two to three days at most.
You can minimize the effects of jet lag by getting a good night's sleep just before and after traveling. Eat only light meals, drink water, wear loose clothing, and boost your circulation by doing ankle twists, knee lifts, and neck and shoulder rolls in your seat.
Letting go of your worries is part of the allure of vacation. But letting go of your health should not be an option. By building healthy meals and physical activity into each day of your vacation, you will make the most of your travel time and your continuing efforts to stay healthy. This summer, don't leave your health at home - take it on the road.