Physical activities to stay healthy while traveling
A vacation is meant to be relaxing and at the same time should fuel your energy reserves to come back home revitalized. However, many travelers have the urge to detox and relax after they arrive back home, because they have the feeling that the time abroad was exhausting. There are simple ways to make every vacation a great one. It is just important to stick to some simple habits.
While traveling in a new place it can be more difficult to stick to habits. You may travel from one place to another every few days or cross time zones and have to change hotels and find appropriate restaurants. Still this doesn’t mean that you should simply let yourself go. You can be easy with yourself, while still keeping a routine. There is always a way to do your daily exercises. On vacation it is important to make the best of every situation. Sometimes your hotel will have a good gym, then you can use it for weight training or cardio. In other locations, the gym may not be well-equipped, but a wide swimming pool may be available. Sometimes you may find yourself at a sandy beach that is perfect for a run from one end to the other. If footpaths and air quality are acceptable, you can go for a run there. The most important thing is to keep your body and mind active routinely and to not find excuses. On the other side, you should also not exaggerate and think that more is better. Your body needs time to adapt to the new country and surrounding. If you already have a hike up a hill on the upcoming day’s plan, it may not be necessary to additionally go to the gym afterwards. Instead get pampered for example with a soothing massage, visit to a sauna, steam bath, yoga session, meditation or simply a good sleep.
Ways to relax:
Massages are popular all over the world and there are many different types available. Almost all include pressure and strokes by hands and arms or devices such as hot volcanic stones. Stress and pain can be relieved. If reflexology massages are done professionally specific reflex points can be targeted that are connected to certain organs of your body. This can result among others in reducing headaches and stomach problems. Aching muscles can be helped with a sports massage focusing especially on deep tissue and strained nerves.
Attending yoga sessions is becoming more and more common, mainly among women. The exercises are meant to promote relaxation and elevate your inner energy. It may both improve mental and physical well-being. Due to its slow and low-impact movements it is a contrasting program to brisk hikes and cardio exercises.
A steam bath or steam room, sometimes also called hammam is a room filled densely with warm aromatic steam. The humidity in the air is supposed to improve your breathing. The humidity is almost 100 percent and the room temperature is at around 40 degrees Celsius or 105 Fahrenheit.
A sauna has 70-100 degrees Celsius or 158-212 Fahrenheit. There the air is very dry and has only 10-20 percent humidity. A visit to the sauna heightens the skin temperature and raises blood flow and the heart can beat faster. Regularly done, it can improve the cardiovascular system. Sweat production increases as well, therefore everyone should drink enough water before during and after.The sauna can be visited in intervals of 10 to 15 minutes. After this time a cold shower should be taken before returning to the sauna for another 10 to 15 minutes. This can be repeated 2 to 4 times. People with medical conditions and elderly people are advised to consult a doctor before a sauna visit.
Meditation is another act to improve relaxation. It can be done almost anywhere and at anytime, for example at the airport while waiting to board an airplane. It is an active way of exercising psychological presence and being aware of the current moment and what is going on around you. Meditation should not be mixed up with taking a nap. During a meditation session you are supposed to stay mentally present. It can last from one minute up to frequently done 20 minutes or even be up to an hour.
Finally, it is important to get enough sleep. Every person has a different need, but an average of 7 to 8 hours is recommended. It is also good to go to bed and wake up at the same times during your vacation as your body can adjust best to this day-night pattern. Short power naps of around 20 minutes can be done at any time during the day to get an extra shot of energy. When you travel from one time zone to another one, it is advisable to go to bed when it is dark and to wake up when the sun comes up, regardless of the actual day or night time in your home country.
Written by: Benjamin Sydney Pretsch