The holiday season is upon us once again and it’s time to reconnect with family and friends or take a much-deserved vacation. Looking and feeling your best during the holidays is difficult enough at home, but poses tougher challenges when you travel. You need to find the motivation to stay healthy and make healthy decisions during your time away. The journey can take a toll on your health with the stress of traffic, flight delays, constant luggage, and those not-so-enthusiastic people seeming to be everywhere. Once you arrive at your destination, lavish meals, decadent treats, and festive drinks will surround you most every day. But, you can devise a smart action plan to remain healthy during these busy, chaotic holiday times.
Here are a few guidelines to keep your health, sanity and your waistline in check:
Get your sleep. Hectic schedules, last-minute changes, and long trips usually end up making you sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep can make you overeat, cause dizziness make you sluggish, and can affect your overall mood. A normal period of good sleep is between 6-9 hours a night. If you’re feeling unusually tired and need more rest, take short naps no longer than 30 minutes while on the plane or in the passenger’s car seat. Make proper sleep a priority the night before you leave on your trip.
Manage stress. Plan for and expect situations out of your control such as weather delays. Prepare a list of priorities and expenditures for your travel itinerary to help avoid unnecessary costs. Budget your time…It is important to treat yourself to some alone time to just decompress from spending all day with the family.
Wash your hands frequently. This is flu season at it’s peak and public areas are much more crowded. One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of getting sick while traveling is by regularly washing your hands. Hand sanitizer can also help alleviate the onslaught of germs spread between you and your loved ones.
Holiday eating and drinking. Make sure to eat well while you travel to and from your destination. Prepare and take healthy snacks in small proportions while in travel mode. Save the bulky meals for time spent with family and loved ones. Drink lots of water and take a multivitamin to defend against flu season germs. Skip the in-flight alcoholic drinks and high calorie beverages that are in abundance during the holidays.
Stay active. Getting exercise will boost your energy and improve your mood. Take advantage of filling station breaks or rest stops if traveling by automobile for a burst of fresh air and brisk walks. Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk around the airport instead of sitting at the gate waiting to board. Take frequent trips up and down the aisle during your flight even if you don’t need to use the restroom. Plan family activities around fitness like skating, sledding, dancing, or just simple walks.
Remember to always have fun and appreciate your time with family and friends during the holidays. It may only be a once-a-year event, but make a note to take time to recover from all the food and activities once you’re back home. Healthy happy holidays start and end with a little advanced planning and smart choices.