Summer vacation: the weeks you’ve been looking forward to all year long. When you think about vacation, you usually imagine sun, relaxation and tempting food, but it is all too easy to over-indulge. Here we look at ways to enjoy your vacation, without overdoing it.
Limit your exposure to the sun
There is truly nothing more glorious than stretching out on a sun-lounger, soaking up the rays. However, try to limit your exposure to the sun, especially in the first few days of your vacation, or if you don’t usually spend a lot of time outdoors. This is especially important for children; those that have been over-exposed to the sun from an early age are way more likely to develop cancer later in life. Help prevent this by limiting your child’s exposure by spending some time in the shade (take an umbrella with you), ensuring they wear a hat and sunglasses, and are smothered in sunscreen (and this includes you!)
In hot weather, it is very easy for you to become dehydrated, as your body loses a lot of fluid through sweat as it attempts to stay cool. Always have a large bottle of water with you, and try to avoid alcoholic drinks during the day, as this will only increase dehydration (if you can’t resist a lunchtime Margarita, make sure you consume more water to compensate). Similarly, encourage your children to drink water as those packed with sugar can also increase dehydration. Eat foods that are predominantly water, such as melons and cucumber; and remember that thirst can often feel like hunger, so when your stomach rumbles, always reach for a bottle of water first.
Try not to over-indulge
Summer vacations are often synonymous with buffets laden with overflowing goodies, late nights and tempting cocktails. You’re on a well-earned vacation and nobody is expecting you to eat salad all day; however, try not to do anything to excess. Have a combination of early and late nights, alternate alcohol with soft drinks, and limit any over-indulgence to just one meal (choosing healthier options for the rest of the day.)
The temptation to do zilch on vacation is often overwhelming. However, if you do absolutely nothing during your time away, you could end up feeling worse than before your vacation started. Of course you should rest during your time away, but make sure that you combine inactivity with some form of exercise. Take a swim in the pool, or a long walk on the beach. Why not join your children in a game of Frisbee, or see the sights on offer from a bicycle? Get outdoors and explore the nature that surrounds you; studies show that spending time with your family in an outdoor setting can improve family bonding, at the same time reducing stress and boosting spirits.