Getting in the holiday mood

Surely not ANOTHER blog post on the general election? I realise at the time of writing that a resolution has not yet been reached but fear not, I think there is enough being written on this subject at the moment!

 Actually am thinking that as we are approaching summer that maybe this is time to make some changes to our digestive health in preparation for sun, sand and sangria? How many times have we thought about getting ready to look good on the beach and then not quite making it?

Possibly because we’ve been trying too hard to make too many changes? Perhaps for some we’ve not been making enough. But the fact of the matter is, that preparing for holiday season is a little more serious than just getting the perfect figure to show off.

 Why? Well according to a previous Yakult survey, seven out of ten Brits complain of contracting a cough or cold when on holiday. Other people claim to have suffered from headaches, diarrhoea, constipation and stomach bugs with days of holiday spent bed ridden or generally feeling sorry for themselves.

 But according to Dr Tony Leeds, some of the problems people suffer on holiday, particularly the digestive illnesses, could be lessened if we prepare ourselves in advance. Or get ready for change before it happens – am sure a lot of MPs are thinking that now!

 So if you’re heading off on holiday soon, here’s some top tips as to what you can do to help prevent holiday illnesses: 


  • Look after your gut: The majority of your immune system lies within the digestive system., so taking care of the gut really can help your natural defences. Before going on holiday improve the health of your gut through your diet. Eat prebiotic foods like asparagus, onions and artichokes as well as eating a well-balanced diet and take a regular probiotic.  

  • Eat well: Our bodies need a good healthy, varied diet in order to function well. Ensure your routine isn’t disrupted in the build up to holiday and make time for regular well balanced meals. Swap processed junk foods and microwave meals in favour of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, fibre-rich and wholegrain foods.


  • Drink water: Cut down on caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and cola. Instead, drink lots of water, unsweetened fruit juices and herbal teas. Water will flush out your system, and fruit juice is packed full of vitamins and minerals. Stay hydrated throughout your holiday; particularly when in the sun and on the plane where air cabins can dehydrate you.


  • Get moving: Exercising for 30 minutes five times a week will improve circulation helps keep your digestive system and your body’s defences on top form. On the plane get as much exercise as you can to avoid discomfort and sluggishness. When on holiday get double benefit from the pool – while cooling down do a few lengths and keep in shape.


  •  Sleep well: Sleeping is your body’s way of repairing your defences so you’re ready to fight infections. Aim for around 7-8 hours every night, and keep to a regular bedtime, even at weekends. This is especially important for long-haul flights where you can minimise the effects of jet lag by getting a good night’s rest for a few nights running before departure.


  •  Chill out: Stress causes your heart to beat faster and long term is not good for you. So it is important to pace yourself – take time out when you feel the pressure and find ways to manage difficult situations. Ensure there are no last minute panics at work by doing a bit more each day in the build up to your holiday rather than leaving everything to your final day at work.