Happy, healthy holidays

Ensure that you enjoy good health during your travels with our expert tips

Many of us look forward to jetting away somewhere hot and sunny during the summer for a well-earned break. But, staying healthy when you are away from home isn’t always easy. Don’t let potential holiday hazards such as digestive health issues, jetlag or sunburn get in the way of your enjoyment. Our expert tips are sure to help!

Look after your gut
“If you are suffering from digestive issues such as IBS, constipation, diarrhoea or unexplained health issues, then you could have picked up some unwanted guests in your digestive tract,” explains Caroline Harmer, education director at Renew Life, the UK’s digestive care and cleansing experts (www.renewlife.co.uk). “Symptoms of parasites include (but are not limited to) digestive issues, dark circles under the eyes, acne and skin issues, teeth grinding, sleep issues, food cravings and a lowered immune response. So, sadly if you do have parasites, you are also more open to being infected by parasites again – especially when travelling abroad. When preparing to travel abroad, sort out your digestive health issues before you go, and do a parasite cleanse. Health experts recommend doing a herbal parasite cleanse once a year. Look for a broad spectrum cleanse that includes both capsules and tincture that works to destroy all parasites throughout the whole body. It will also include antifungal and antibacterial herbs to treat Candida, yeast and bad bacteria at the same time. And if you are affected by ‘travellers’ tummy’ while on holiday, be sure to complete a herbal parasite cleanse programme when you get back.”

Don’t forget!

The stress of holiday prep combined with new foods, local water and alcohol can alter the balance of our gut bacteria and affect our bowel movements. Try taking a multi-strain probiotic two weeks before, during and two weeks after your holiday.

Ask in your local independent health food store.

Be prepared
“Take some healthy snacks with you on your travels,” says Tara Jackson, a holistic wellness and self-care coach and author of Healthy Sunshine Holidays (www.tarajackson.co.uk). “Good choices include nuts, health bars (be on the lookout for added sugar in these), fruit, dried fruit and seeds. This means you won’t have to worry about making unhealthy choices while you’re travelling. Find out how far away the nearest supermarket is so you can stock up on healthy snacks, water and teas. Also, be prepared for eating out. Look in to what restaurants are in the area and what their menus include, so when and if you do go out to eat you can choose somewhere with healthy food options.”

Have a healthy flight
“It’s easy to get dehydrated when flying, so do drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol as this is dehydrating in itself,” says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com. “If you see some coconut water for sale at Duty Free, stock up on that as coconut water may be helpful alongside water for quenching your thirst and helping to stop your skin drying out.” If you are prone to travel sickness when flying, Shona recommends ginger, which is a traditional remedy for motion sickness and other types of nausea. She says: “Try taking one to two ginger capsules a couple of hours before you travel, and again during your flight if necessary.”

Get sun-savvy!
“Out of all of the sunscreens to choose from this summer, organic SPFs will give you the best protection in the healthiest way,” says Rebecca Goodyear, marketing consultant at Kinetic, distributor of natural beauty brands JĀSÖN and Alba Botanica. “Other sunscreens have unnatural ingredients and chemicals that can harm your skin. When shopping for an organic sunscreen some ingredients to look out for include titanium dioxide, stearic acid and caprylic/capric triglycerides. The titanium dioxide comes from the natural oxidation of titanium, stearic acid is a fatty acid that comes from shea butter and caprylic/capric triglycerides are fatty acids from coconut and palm oil.” Rebecca recommends applying your sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sunshine, and reapplying at least every two hours. If you go swimming, reapply after drying yourself down with a towel.

Soothe your skin
“Aloe vera gel is a must-have for sun holidays, to soothe and calm any sunburn,” says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “Due to its high vitamin content (A, B1, B2, B6, B12), aloe vera can rejuvenate and reach deep into the skin helping to heal micro-wounds, including sunburn and acne scars. Apply often, especially in the evening, after a day in the sun.”

Combat jet lag

Travelling to new places and countries can be interesting and exciting but jetlag can be a downside of long-haul travel. Help to optimise your resistance to the challenges of flight travel with these key nutrients or herbs suggested by nutritionist Shona Wilkinson:

Vitamin B complex B vitamins such as B12 and B6 help support a healthy immune system, which may become vulnerable if we have jetlag, as well as helping us with good energy and recovery from tiredness and fatigue. Look also for a B complex with vitamin C.

Magnesium Magnesium is the energy mineral and not only helps us recover from tiredness and fatigue but also supports the health of the nervous system. This makes it ideal for anyone who gets nervous from flying, is prone to ‘jangled’ nerves and generally feels worn out.

Rhodiola This herbal remedy is used for the relief of mental and physical symptoms of stress and overwork, such as fatigue, exhaustion, irritability and tenseness. These are all common symptoms many of us can experience from travelling and experiencing jetlag.

Yoga on holiday

Keep up your fitness levels with the following simple yoga sequence devised by Jennifer Ellis, founder of The Yoga Wellness Company (www.theyogawellnesscompany.com). Focus on even, deep breathing through the nose throughout the sequence to help heat up and open your body as well as calm the mind. Please note: the poses are not intended to be a replacement for medical advice. Please consult your doctor if appropriate.

Child’s pose –
Remain in the pose for several minutes.

Downward facing dog pose –
Hold for 30 breaths.

Plank pose –
Hold for five to 10 breaths.

Staff pose –
Hold for five to 10 breaths.

Cobra pose –
Hold five to 10 breaths.

Downward facing dog pose –
Hold for 10 to 30 breaths.

Lunge pose (R) –
Hold five breaths.

Warrior I pose (R) –
Hold 10 to 30 breaths.

Warrior II pose (R) –
Hold 10 to 30 breaths.

Triangle pose (R) –
Hold 10 to 30 breaths.

Half moon pose (R) –
Hold for five to 10 breaths.

Forward bend –
Hold for five to 10 breaths.

Child’s pose –
Drop to Child’s pose for 10 to 30 breaths. Repeat on the left side and then repeat the whole sequence twice.

Corpse pose –
Roll down on to your back, close your eyes, let go and relax. Remain in this pose for three to 10 minutes.

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