Staying healthy on an active vacation

An active vacation can take one of many forms. It could involve hiking through breathtaking scenery, or perhaps a cycling tour through varying terrain. You might want to go on an organized adventure trip that incorporates a range of activities from whitewater rafting to mountain climbing. Even a simple walking holiday counts as an active vacation. You might also consider any journey with lots of traveling, particularly if you’re backpacking, to fit the bill.

Whatever the nature of your active vacation, however, it’s important to stay fit and healthy if you’re going to enjoy it fully. Getting out of shape or failing to take care of yourself could lead to illness, injury or worse. Done properly, an active vacation will provide you with plenty of healthy exercise, and you’ll come home feeling fit and well. However, without adequate preparation and care, you could find the trip to be debilitating and a chore.

Vacations for everyone

Anyone can and should be able to enjoy an active vacation, no matter their age, ability or background, but it’s important to be realistic about your capabilities before you commit. Look closely at the physical activities that your vacation is likely to include and consider whether you can realistically manage them. If you’re unsure, consult your doctor. You should probably speak to them anyway, as you may need shots and vaccines before you travel.

Get in shape

If the activity you’ll be undertaking seems a little daunting, don’t lose confidence at this stage and assume that you won’t be able to handle it. Getting in shape beforehand can work wonders, given enough time and self-discipline. Start an appropriate exercise regime, eat healthily, and gradually do a little bit more each day as your vacation approaches. Walking or cycling the same number of miles in a day at home as you plan to do abroad won’t be the same, but it will start to prepare you physically for what’s to come.

Pack appropriate clothing

Dress for the climate and for the kind of activity you’ll be undertaking. Do your research into exactly how hot or cold it’s likely to be, and what extreme weather conditions you might face. Appropriate footwear is essential, and if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking or climbing, Tommie Copper knee sleeves can give extra support to vulnerable joints and muscles. Knee sleeves and other support garments can help prevent injury and also reduce pain from existing conditions when walking or exercising.

Exercise on the trip

You may think that you’re getting quite enough exercise from the active vacation itself, but even if you’re hiking or climbing all day, it’s important to do some warm-ups every morning and to find a way to wind down at night. In fact, it’s extra important, as if you go straight into a long hike without some stretches, bands and light aerobic exercise first, you’re more likely to injure yourself. Regular stretches will prevent you from getting stiff overnight, and some yoga in the evening will help you relax, ready for well-earned sleep.

Eating and drinking

Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fresh, clean water is the number one rule when it comes to an active diet. Avoid too much alcohol and caffeine as these will slow you down and may affect your judgement. Take care when it comes to the local food too. It’s great to sample regional dishes, and these are often appropriate for the climate you’re in, but if your stomach isn’t used to the food or the way that it’s prepared, then you might react badly. 

Listen to your body

It’s in the nature of an active vacation that you’re going to push yourself physically, but don’t overdo it. If you really feel like you’re struggling, don’t feel like you have to continue in order to save face. Travel with people you trust, and who will understand if you say that it’s all getting a bit much. Remember, you’re on vacation to enjoy yourself, not to drive your body to exhaustion and injury.

Wear sunscreen

If you’re going to be outdoors all day in a sunny climate, then plenty of sunscreen is essential. It might seem an obvious point, but many walkers and hikers neglect this simple precaution and find that they are burnt and blistered by the end of their first day. If you’re going to be out in the wind, find something to protect your skin and lips from being chapped by this element as well.

An active vacation should be challenging and fun. With the right preparation, it can be the experience of a lifetime. Look after your body and go for it!