If you’re dedicated to a wholesome regime of healthy foods, exercise and good rest whilst you’re at home, there’s no reason to let that slip while you’re on vacation. Here are our top tips on how to stay healthy when you’re travelling.
Rock climbing in Krabi is a fantastic way to make the most of the splendid scenery.
Whether or not you stick to a day-to-day food and exercise routine back at home, a few too many helpings of creamy Thai curry and calorific sunset cocktails might make you feel like you should be. Plus, those that have worked hard to achieve the perfect beach body are probably keen to maintain the sculpted, gym-honed look whilst they’re away.
However, there’s no reason why a wholesome daily routine can’t be followed when you’re on vacation, and Thailand offers up a raft of opportunities for both nourishing food and exercise. This is especially the case if you’re staying within one of the Kingdom’s private villas, with exercise equipment and the services of a professional Thai chef at your fingertips.
Starting from the moment you board the plane, we explain how to stick to a healthy, nourishing regime throughout your Thai vacation.
Start as you mean to go on
Cherries are packed with goodness – including melatonin, which supports good sleep.
As tempting as it may be to gorge yourself on a treat meal and alcoholic beverage at the airport, to kick start your holiday in style, this is probably the worst thing you can do to begin your healthy vacation regime. Airports tend to be packed with fast food outlets, with few nutritious options to choose from. To start your routine off on the right food, it’s worth eating a square meal at home to set you up for the journey.
Oranges are packed with Vitamin C to give your body’s immune system a much-needed boost when you’re flying. They’re also filled with water, which will bolster your body’s defences against dehydration. Cherries are another great fruit to consume before a long-haul flight, as they’re high in melatonin, which will help you sleep on the flight and adjust better to the new time zone at the other end. Yoghurt is loaded with protein that will help to keep you full throughout the flight, so you’re not craving the miniature bags of salted peanuts handed out by the flight attendants! Likewise, lean protein options like chicken, turkey and fish are great to keep you full for long periods of time.
Of course, it’s important to stay as hydrated as possible when you’re on the plane to counteract dehydration. When you finally do arrive in Thailand, beware of jetlag. The symptoms can manifest themselves differently for different people, but they might make you hungry at odd hours. Fight the urge to snack and try to establish a good sleep-wake routine as soon as you arrive.
You are what you eat
Thailand’s local markets are a great place to go to rub shoulders with the locals and pick up your fruit and veggies.
There’s no reason to let your healthy eating routine go when you’re in Thailand, especially with the tempting choice of fresh produce and nourishing locally-sourced cuisine that’s available. Of course, you don’t want to spend the whole time watching what you eat, so schedule in time for indulgent treats. For example, if you know you’re going to be gorging yourself on creamy curries and deep fried fritter-style desserts on one day, pencil in a healthy-eating day after that.
Your quest for wholesome food could even form part of your holiday itinerary. Local markets are a fantastic place to soak up authentic Thai culture, as well as to pick up a rainbow of tasty fruits and veggies. Plus, you might be presented with a selection of produce that you’re unable to get your hands on back home, so it’s a great chance to try something new.
If you’re heading out for a full day of sightseeing, it’s always worth asking your villa’s professional chef to make up a few snacks to take with you. Then you’ll be able to resist the urge to sample each and every naughty street food snack you pass by as you explore. When it comes to mealtimes, the services of a professional chef can be a real advantage. Not only are you able to plan your own nutritious menu with the chef, but you can tailor each dish to satisfy your own personal tastes.
Keep on moving
A morning run on the beach will burn plenty of calories. Not to mention it’s a great way to explore.
As the saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss – which is why it’s worth staying active on holiday to keep from piling on the pounds. That doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the local yoga studio or in your villa’s mini gym – it could even be as simple as exploring on foot or bike rather than booking onto bus or jeep tours.
If you are keen to incorporate a few hard-core workouts into your vacation itinerary, then embrace the new surroundings to inject your normal exercise with a little excitement. If you’re staying near one of Thailand’s iconic white-sand beaches, why not take your daily run there rather than on the treadmill as you normally would back home?
There are plenty of physical activities that can double up as sight-seeing outings as well. For example, Krabi’s world famous craggy cliffs attract climbers and boulderers from around the world – and it’s a great way to get up close and explore the unique surroundings. Likewise, a hike to the hidden jungle waterfalls of Koh Samui or Phuket is a great way to get your pulse rate pumping.
Relax and reboot
A holiday should be about mental wellness as well as physical wellness.
In addition to staying in good physical shape whilst on holiday, it’s important to restore your mental wellness to full strength as well. It’s easy to let stress and sorry take over when back at home, so take advantage of the chance to spend a couple of weeks away from the usual stresses and strains of your day to day life.
First of all, your holiday haven should be a haven of pure relaxation – so keep work away! Resist the urge to check emails and simply focus on having fun. Your work will be waiting for you when you get back, so you may as well arrive back at your desk well-rested, and fully-charged.
If you do suffer from stress or anxiety, why not try some meditation whilst on holiday, too? Thailand is home to a deeply spiritual culture, and the temples and even yoga studios offer the chance to quietly meditate and find some inner peace.
CULTURE TRIP: Muay Thai
Traditional Thai boxing is a great workout – perfect for burning those extra holiday calories.
If you like to get a sweat on, then trying out Thai boxing at a class when you’re on holiday is a great way to try your hand at Thailand’s national sport. Book into a beginners’ class at a dedicated Muay Thai gym to learn the basic moves with a fully-trained instructor. You never know – you might find a brand new passion!
If you’re travelling to a balmy destination like Thailand, ensuring you remain hydrated should be a top priority when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few of our top tips on how to keep your body hydrated:
- Drink plenty of water. Whether you’re out and about or chilling by the pool in your private villa, make sure there’s a bottle of filtered water on hand to sip at all times.
- A coconut a day keeps the doctor away – or at least, it can’t hurt. The water contained in a fresh young coconut is packed with nutrients and electrolytes perfect for keeping your body hydrated.
- Many of Thailand’s tropical fruits are filled with water, too. Watermelon is a particularly thirst-quenching snack that allows you to savour a sweet treat at the same time.