Life

Nutrition: Some 'holiday habits' can actually help to keep us healthy

Jane McClenaghan

Treat yourself to an extra hour in bed at the weekend

OVER the next week or so I will be taking a break from work to revel in some downtime.

Holidays are a time to reset and re-charge our batteries. To remember what it feels like to rest and chill out.

It is also a time eat ice cream, drink an extra glass of wine or indulge in fish and chips by the seaside. That is what I call a healthy balance. As long as these are not every day habits, but little treats that we enjoy from time to time, then this is a healthy little bit of overindulgence that will not us no harm at all.

Over the last few weeks, I have been catching up with clients who have been enjoying a holiday for a week or two and are now getting back into their regular routine.

How do you feel after a holiday? Do you come back feeling re-energised and ready for a fresh start, or do you feel mad at yourself for the bad habits you have picked up and the extra pound or two that has appeared on the bathroom scales over the holiday season?

What if we could incorporate some of the things we love to do on holiday into real life? The little treats that help us sit down and take it easy, that help us to rest or just make us happy. I don't mean the extra glass of wine or ice cream, but the little habits that help us to switch off and chill out on holiday.

Life has thrown us a few challenges over the last 18 months, and we have all had to change our daily habits in some way. Right now, more than ever before it is so important for us to remember that one of the components of good health is taking time to rest.

Here are some ideas for some healthy holiday habits to bing back with you.

GET OUTSIDE EVERY DAY

Whether you were camping, caravanning, or staying in a luxury resort, I bet a lot of your holiday was spent in the great outdoors. Now that staycations are the new normal, most of us have a decent waterproof coat, so make a promise to yourself to get outside every day, no matter what the weather is doing.

READ A GOOD BOOK

Getting lost in a good book is one way to totally switch off. If reading is not your thing, think about what you love to do on holiday that gets you lost in thought. Puzzles, crafts, art or photography are great for this too.

SIT DOWN AND ENJOY YOUR FOOD

Take time out to enjoy your meals. You'll probably end up eating a little slower and noticing when you have had enough, rather than mindlessly munching your way through meals to fill a hole. It is also well known that if we take our time to eat and enjoy our food, we absorb more nutrients.

EAT A MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Whether you made it to the Med or not this summer, we can all take advantage of the Mediterranean diet. Adding some olives, olive oil, oily fish, nuts, seeds, pulses and a tasty selection of colourful vegetables and salad ingredients to your plate not only tastes great, but it will do wonders for your health too.

After-dinner walks are good for you

GO FOR A WALK AFTER DINNER

This helps maintain a better balance of blood glucose and insulin, as well as aiding digestion.

CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS

When we have time off, we hang out with the people we like. Human connection is essential for good health, so keep in touch with your mates and make the time to do stuff together.

SWIM IN THE SEA

Sea swimming was the big hit from the pandemic, and there are plenty of benefits to cold water swimming (as long as it is done safely). Take a dip or a paddle and get your toes in the sea.

HAVE A LIE-IN

Allow yourself an extra hour in bed over the weekend.

MOVE IT

Keep up your walking, cycling, paddle boarding, kayaking, or whatever activity you enjoy on holidays. Exercise is as important for our mental health as it is for our physical fitness.

TURN OFF THE TV

Go out and do something less boring instead.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access