Tips for a stress-free summer vacation | Health
Summer is the perfect time to hit the road and get away from it all. Whether you are planning a quick weekend getaway or a longer family vacation, experts suggest following a few simple tips to make your time off healthy, enjoyable and stress-free.
EATING RIGHT: Many people put their healthy eating habits on hold when they are on vacation. New locales, different foods, and eating out can often lead to over-indulging. Here are some suggestions for staying on track when it comes to eating right.
• Pack healthy snacks for the plane or car. Good choices include fresh or dried fruit, energy or granola bars, pretzels, trail mix, and nuts and seeds.
• Schedule your meals. Plan to eat small meals and snacks every few hours.
• When dining out, opt for diet-friendly cooking methods – grilled, baked or broiled – instead of fried foods. If you are experiencing new cuisine, try new fruits or vegetables. Go easy on appetizers and desserts – consider sharing with your tablemates. And watch out for calorie-laden tropical and mixed drinks.
• Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water, especially if you are spending time outdoors.
• Find a grocery store in the area to stock up on healthy foods and snacks when you reach your destination. Even if you can’t cook in your hotel room, grocery stores often have healthier on-the-go options than restaurants.
DON’T STRESS OUT: Taking the time to plan ahead and decompress when you reach your destination can make for happier travels.
• Making a to-do list is an easy way to make sure you don’t forget anything. Check off the items as you plan and pack. Take the list with you so you don’t leave anything behind before you return home.
• Breathe. Crowded airports, traffic jams and antsy kids are the perfect recipe for frazzled nerves. Take a few moments to do deep breathing exercises.
• Exercise. Take a walk; do some yoga – anything to keep you moving will help cut down on stress.
• Get plenty of sleep. It’s typical to want to pack in as much as possible while on a trip, but keep in mind that adults usually need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. School-age children and teens need at least 9 hours, and younger children should sleep 10 to 12 hours a night. Newborns require 16 to 18 hours of sleep a day.
STAY SAFE: Nothing derails a good time faster than getting sick when you are on vacation, especially if you are in an unfamiliar place. Follow these guidelines for keeping you and your family safe.
• Pack your medicines and keep a list of what you take in case of an emergency. Keep the list separate from your medications in case they get lost.
• If you have specific health issues, talk to your doctor before leaving for vacation and consider finding a doctor at your destination. Research this before you leave.
• If you are traveling to a foreign destination, make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Research the local conditions for any health risks or hazards.
• Be ready for fun in the sun by keeping plenty of sunscreen on hand and know what the remedies are in case you do get sunburned. Hats, sunglasses and umbrellas are also good ways avoid harmful rays.
• Supervise children and weak swimmers at all times at the beach, lake or pool.
• Don’t drive drowsy. If you begin to feel tired, find a safe place to pull over and get some rest.