How to Stay Healthy on Holiday

How to Stay Healthy on Holiday

We are on holiday, and so I decided to write a post about how to stay healthy while you are travelling and taking some time to rest, have fun, and experience new things. Yes, I am still posting a blog post. I set a 90-day blog post challenge for myself, and our trip to the Netherlands happened to fall within this time.

Holidays excite me. Especially since we are usually a lot more active on holiday (and I have a desk job back home), so it is an opportunity to get as much movement in as possible.

On our last holiday to Croatia, we walked roughly 25000 steps a day at least, and according to my Fitbit, I burned 2500 to 3000 calories a day on average.

Why gain weight on holiday when you can stay as healthy as possible, perhaps even improve your health in the process, and come home without having to worry about the weight you have gained.

Here are a few strategies that have helped us to stay healthy while on our holiday in the Netherlands:

Rent Bicycles and Explore, and Walk As Much as Possible

As we are on holiday in the Netherlands, I thought it would be best to start with this tip, as cycling is big here. Even before arriving, we decided that we would mostly cycle for transport and also walk in between.

Walking is a lot cheaper than paying for a taxi, and you also have more time to take in the surroundings.

While on holiday, you usually end up eating more and eating things that you normally would not. By being as active as possible, you can help reduce the impact of your holiday diet rather significantly.

See What Fun, Physical Activities You Can Do

If you are going on holiday somewhere where you can go for hikes, swim, try surfing, or even go wakeboarding, then you have plenty of opportunities to be active while having fun. Even going horse riding or going dancing in the evening are great options if available.

A lot of hotels do have gyms, and if you are staying in one where one is available, and you do want to, you can also go to the gym. Although if this is what you normally do back home, you may want to try other ways of staying active.

Consider Reducing Your Meal Frequency

Try not to eat too often on holiday. You would be surprised at how quickly your total calories can add up if you are constantly snacking throughout the day.

Set out times in the day that you will dedicate to indulging, such as at brunch and dinner or the more standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We chose to only eat a maximum of three times a day on holiday for various reasons:

  • It saves you money. The less often you buy food on holiday, the less you have to spend. The cost of snacking can quickly add up.
  • You can eat more at each meal without worrying. I like big meals, so eating less often, but having more at each meal, is ultimately more satisfying. 
  • The less often you eat, the less often your insulin levels rise. When insulin is elevated, it is harder to burn fat for most people, and you will also be more likely to gain weight.

Remember that Alcohol Counts

Alcohol is quite calorie dense. A shot of alcohol or a drink can quickly set you back 150 calories (depending on the type of alcohol) and if you have a sugary cocktail or mix, then the added sugar can also contribute to any possible holiday weight gain.

Make Half of Your Meals Healthy

While you are allowed to indulge while on holiday, you still want to give your body beneficial nutrients. If you try to at least make 50% of what you eat healthy, or perhaps even more, then you at least know that your healthy diet has not become a distant memory.

Make Relaxing a Priority

Obviously, you want to relax while you are on holiday, but travelling can also be rather stressful. This is especially true if you are flying or driving somewhere far, have to worry about making your flight on time, are in a country where you cannot speak the local language and need directions, etc.

One of the best things you can do for your health, whether on holiday or at home, is to try and reduce your stress levels. Start the day off with a relaxing walk on the beach or a stroll in the park, perhaps meditate before you head out for the day’s adventures, get a massage, and try not to pack your schedule full of activities that you feel obligated to do. Your holiday should not be one big to-do list.

These are just a few guidelines that will help you stay healthy on holiday. If you do gain weight, that is okay and you should not be too hard on yourself, and at least you can do a few things to reduce the damage of your holiday indulgences.

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