Our bodies are excellent at adaptation and the travelling body is no different.
While our body may feel comfortable with routine schedules, it will also put up with changes in sleep, diet, exercise and scheduling. This allows us to still function when we have the holidays filled with late nights, decadent dinners with a few extra wines, days of lying by the pool or going on a spontaneous 4-hour hike. We need holidays to recharge and relax, enjoy time with family and friends, and to remind us that we are supposed to work to live and not live to work! What will make our holiday that much more enjoyable is if we are able to make our travelling body a little more comfortable by unloading some of the stress of change?
When we travel our schedules are anything from normal. We eat and drink more than usual and tend to choose items that aren’t necessarily as healthy as we would when at home. We spend a lot of time in prolonged awkward positions and our level of physical activity tends to be lower as well. We sleep on different mattresses using different pillows with different sleep and wake times, which will reflect on our sleep quality and quantity.
“But Katie, it’s far too difficult to control these things while travelling!”
“Don’t worry, below you will find some easy tips you can try!”
Here are some tips that will help your travelling body deal with your holiday schedule changes!
Bring your own pillow – we tend to have the most comfortable sleep with the pillow we are accustomed to. No matter if you are sleeping in a tent or camper van, backpacking around in hostels, booking Airbnbs or staying at the most beautiful hotels, a change in your pillow height or firmness will greatly influence your neck position and sleep quality.
While you may not be able to change the mattress you are on, you can control your pillow!
Increase your Sleep Frequency – I developed a newfound appreciation for the “siesta” or afternoon nap as we call it, from my Spanish adventure. In Spain, even the shops and restaurants close for a few hours to incorporate this wonderful rest time. Now, even if your holiday doesn’t take you to the land of flamenco dancing and matadors, late nights tend to be a frequent recurrence. Sneaking in a small siesta of 20 minutes to an hour or two in the afternoon will keep you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated despite staying up to the wee hours.
Supplement your Diet – When holidays come around, even the most health conscious among us, enjoy having a little extra fun! A few extra meals out on the town paired with a cocktail or two is great every once in a while, but holidays filled with burgers and chips just don’t provide us with the nutrients we need to stay energised. Alternatively, some places you visit may just not have the wide selection of fruits, vegetables and proteins that we in Australia are accustomed to. Dietary deficiencies and increased alcohol consumption can leave us feeling sluggish, fatigued and bloated. For this reason, I found that taking a multivitamin*, to supplement the basic nutrients** needed, and a probiotic*, to maintain your gut health, may be beneficial over your holiday especially when travelling to different countries. And of course, always remember to stay HYDRATED!
* Speak to your GP to find out which multivitamin and probiotic is right for you
** Multivitamins are not a meal replacement and will not adequately replace all the nutrients your diet is missing.
Get creative with exercise – Holidays are different for everyone. Some people enjoy lounging by the beach or a pool, others love camping and hiking adventures. No matter what your preference is, the trick to any holiday is a balance! While it is highly unlikely that you will stick to your regular physical activity schedule or hunt down a gym, incorporating some sort of activity into your holiday is definitely an achievable goal. Exploring your destination on foot or renting bicycles is a fun way to add a bit of physical activity. Take an easy hike to a local waterfall or beautiful lookout is always rewarding and perfect photo opportunity! Even performing some light stretches while on your train, car or plane commute can help unload your travelling body of some built up tension! Whatever your exercise injection is, your body and your holiday will thank you for it!
Scheduling moderation – Some of us tend to book a holiday with the idea of a fun yet relaxing time ahead — then try to jam as many places, plans and activities into each day as possible. Leaving your poor travelling bodies sore, overexerted and exhausted. This is when we feel like we need a holiday from our holiday. No matter what type of holiday, as long as you give your self enough travel time and plan a balance of exciting activities and much needed downtime, you will end up feeling like you have had a relaxed and satisfying break, and you might even be ready to head back to real life feeling rejuvenated!
For any more information about how you can better manage your travelling body pop in to speak to our team at Hands on Health!
Call Hands on Health Care at (02)9949-3017 or book your next appointment online