Tag Archives: health

5 Ways Health & Traveling Abroad Go Hand in Hand

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You’re going away on a long trip, which means one thing: healthy habits are taking a backseat. The thought of spending a couple months traveling the world is incredible but it’s also not great for the body, right? After all, you’ll be eating and drinking whatever you like with little to zero exercise. Put these together and it’s easy to see why your health may take a hit.

However, the truth is that travel and well-being go hand in hand as long as you can approach both from the right place and are willing to try new things. If you’re curious, here are five reasons to consider.

Less Calorific Diet

A standard American diet includes lots of carbs and refined sugars, both of which aren’t so great for the body when eaten in large quantities. But, that’s not the norm when looking at other cuisines around the world. Take Asia as an example. In the likes of Vietnam and Japan, the locals slurp down delicious soups. Or, there is Thailand where the spicy curries speed up metabolism while tasting amazing. In Brazil, the mix of rice and beans create a perfect protein without a piece of meat touching your plate.

The point is that you’ll eat like a queen without having to worry because you won’t be consuming all the empty calories we’ve gotten used to here in the States. Just remember, wherever you are, eat like a local!

More Active

Going to the gym four times a week doesn’t make you active. It means you like working out, yet your lifestyle may not be very busy other than your exercise regime. Do you sit in front of the TV a lot and do nothing? Do you spend a lot of time sitting on a chair behind a desk staring at a screen? If the answers are yes, you’re living a fairly sedentary life.

Traveling is the solution because there is no time to sit back and relax. From the early morning to the late evening, there is plenty to see and do. Not only will you constantly be on the move, but the likelihood is you’ll be doing a TON of walking. Let’s not forget about the amenities either. In hotels, guests have access to the gym and it’s complimentary. As well as excellent machines, there is a laid back atmosphere as there aren’t hundreds of people vying for the same equipment. 

Plenty Of Z’s

In a nutshell, sleep is the solution to health. When you get plenty of rest, the body gets to recover from the day before and plan for the day ahead. As well as a boost to your metabolism, there are mental health impacts too. For example, tiredness could prevent you from working out or lead you to swap out a healthy meal for an unhealthy one.

Although it’s tempting to think sleep is easy to come by at home, it’s not always the case. Sure, the bed is comfy and it might not be as noisy in your bedroom, yet you’re still on the clock. Maintaining a regular lifestyle means you need to get up to eat breakfast and get off to work on time. Traveling is all about what you want to do and when, so if you fancy a sleep in, it’s not a problem. There’s no reason to lie in bed until the early afternoon, but an extra hour may be the difference between feeling tired and refreshed.

Healthcare Options

America is infamous for its privatized healthcare system. Without insurance, it’s often difficult to get the treatment you need. So what happens if you’re abroad and your health takes a turn for the worse? Our neighbors around the world don’t share the same values about turning away folks without coverage–and many times treatment is free. Yep, it’s the case even if you’re visiting the country on a tourist visa. In the UK, the NHS will help anyone who needs urgent care so there’s no reason to worry.

Also, there are surgeries which are performed abroad that aren’t as common or accessible here. Cosmetic surgery is widely available across the globe for half the price, and it’s not a hatchet job. (Any nose surgery video will put your mind at ease.) Mental health-wise, there are many great services out there these days, like BetterHelp and TalkSpace, that allow you to meet with a therapist remotely.

The Drinking Culture

Okay, you’re on vacation. It’s not surprising that you’ll want to spend time drinking, partying, and meeting new people. This doesn’t mean travel and health can’t still co-exist. You want to be able to enjoy yourself…and maybe throw a few shapes on the dance floor. However, the way many folks approach alcohol consumption in America just won’t cut it elsewhere. 

We tend not to have a beverage all week and then let loose at the weekend. Like, really let loose. Go ahead and forget this culture of binge drinking as soon as you board the plane. The good news is that other countries drink alcohol differently. Share a few beers at the pub with your new friends. Have a glass of wine with your dinner. Don’t limit yourself to the weekend and you probably won’t end up in an all out binge-fest. Enjoy a drink each evening (that you want to) and really take your time to enjoy it. You’ll take pleasure in the atmosphere and the process way more than the drink itself. And you won’t wake up with a headache!

How do you stay healthy while traveling? What hacks have helped you in the past?

P.S. Is packing in a 19 liter backpack possible for winter travel?

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The Healthy Habit of Hydration

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We all strive for good health. We drag ourselves to hit the treadmill even when our every instinct screams at us to crawl back into bed. We eschew unhealthy foods and make the effort to cook nutritious yet delicious meals, even when we’ve had a hard day’s work and the allure of the take-out pizza is almost impossible to resist. We do our best to get the sleep our bodies and minds need to function optimally. 

There is, however, one aspect of our health that many overlook. Something that’s an intrinsic part of overall health. Staying hydrated. While many of us understand the importance of hydration, fewer of us take active steps to ensure that we’re hydrated. Quite simply, most of us aren’t drinking enough water.  

Let’s chat about it…

But water is so boriiing!

It’s generally recommended that we drink 2 liters of water per day. While other beverages contribute to this, one must bear in mind the caloric content of the non-water options and how these may offset an otherwise balanced diet. Just as we can make poor dietary choices when we’re hungry, we can also make poor choices with our drinks when we’re thirsty, reaching for a sugary juice or a diet soda (which has health issues of its own) to quench our thirst. The best way to remedy this is to invest in a reusable water bottle and keep it by your side at all times. Keep it on your desk at work and top it up every half hour (it’ll do you good to get out of your seat once in a while anyway). 

“But water is so boriiing!” I can hear you all thinking! Well, the good news is that if the idea of drinking plain old tap water is anathema to you, there are plenty of flavored waters which use natural ingredients and eschew the harmful additives that make diet soda so problematic. (This watermelon water is a fave.)

When you glug your way to 2 liters a day you will reap a wide range of health benefits, including…

Healthy immune function

We’re surrounded by many kinds of bacteria. Most of them are fairly benign, but some can lead to serious health problems. As the weather gets colder, many of us will be at risk of exposure to a nasty array of bugs and viruses. Fortunately, good hydration supports healthy immune function through the production of lymph. This fluid runs through your body collecting bacteria and transporting them to the lymph nodes where they are duly eradicated before they can cause harm.

Ridding your body of toxins

Another way good hydration keeps us healthy is by supporting kidney function. As most of us know, kidneys are vital in flushing toxins out of your bodies through your urine. Thus, the more water you drink, the better equipped you are to rid your body of potentially harmful toxins. This also helps to boost your immune system as your bodies’ resources aren’t getting used up helping out your kidneys.

Facilitating cognitive function

We all know that mental fugue that comes with not drinking enough water. Staying hydrated allows for better conduction of electrical impulses through the body, especially within the brain. When we stay hydrated our brains feel more alert and aware. Thus, staying hydrated is essential for those whose jobs require them to be alert and make quick decisions. (I would argue this is all jobs, right?)

What’s more, regular hydration helps to boost your brain’s production of melatonin; an essential hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps regulate sleep and wakefulness. So, the more water you drink, the more restful your sleep.

So, there you have it. Get in the healthy habit of remaining hydrated wherever you go and your body will thank you!

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? My mom is coming to visit on Friday!!! We’ll be showing her around our new town and hanging out in the backyard. Ah, Summer! Hope you have a great one, and here are some internet gems for your mid-week pleasure…

The difference between being broke and being poor.

How our body’s circadian clocks affect our health beyond sleep.

I was pretty crushed by the passing of Anthony Bourdain this past week. Here are a couple articles related –

Thank you, Anthony Bourdain.

Anthony  Bourdain and the power of telling the truth.

Plus, this piece Bourdain wrote about his father in 2012 is worth revisiting.

Can’t stop watching these “Vocal Coach Reacts…” videos.

I recently got one of these minimalist wallets and I would highly recommend!

Why are Russians so good at ballet?

On time management – “People will come to you with their problems and imply that you’re the only one who can solve them. This is almost never true.

Check out Serena Williams’ new fashion line.

Love a funky pair of yoga pants.

This community activist pushes the food justice movement beyond raised beds, food pantries, new supermarkets, and white leadership.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Empowerment Walking and 8 Tips for Settling Into a New Home.

Current Podcast Subscription List

Last night, as I cleaned up the kitchen and loaded the dishwasher, I did what I always do during chores these days. Popped in my earbuds and played a podcast. Do you do this? Ever since starting this ritual, I find myself looking forward to doing the dishes. *gasp* It’s almost like the doldrums of domesticity masquerading as pleasant self-care. Highly recommend!

Anyways! Here’s my current line-up, in case you’re curious:

And I just started Britney’s Instagram and Embedded (after finishing Dirty John).

What’s on YOUR subscription list? There are so many good podcasts out right now, I might have to start doing more daily chores! 😉 

P.S. I asked 9 friends, “What’s your favorite podcast?” and here’s what they had to say.

mid-week round-up

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!! Did you BBQ? Pop fireworks? Sing patriotic songs while you packed for upcoming travel?! *raises hand for that last one* I’m on my way to Kentucky today! I’ll be hanging out with my Mom for the next couple days and I can’t wait. (I have an embarrassingly long list of food you can only get in Lexington that I want to consume during my short visit.) Hope everyone’s day is peachy and here are a few links for your amusement…

Central Americans, scared of what’s happening in the U.S., stay put.

The U.S. already has a high quality, universal childcare program — in the military.

The problem with writing about Florida.

9 fun activities that also happen to be exercise.

Related: Ballin’ on a Budget — Ditch the Gym Membership

Monthly art projects sent to your door!

35 cheap recipes that will help you stick to your budget.

Related: How to Eat on a Shoestring Budget

Um, a 40 of ROSÉ? Yes, please!

Make the bread, buy the butter.

Ghostwriting for social media stars is the secret new Millennial It-career.

Long absent from discussions about employment, the retail workforce is taking matters into their own hands.

How to think about Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show.

Q&A: WTF is gut health? 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — My Top 4 Healthy Lifestyle Intentions and TV Recommendation: Westworld.

mid-week round-up

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What’s new with y’all on this lovely Wednesday evening? Personally, I’m pretty excited that my dinner is cooking away in a crock-pot (#setit #forgetit) and that there are old seasons of Hell’s Kitchen on Hulu. If you’re in the mood, here are some links for you to EXPLORE!

Obamacare repeal threatens health benefit to Black Lung survivors.

So you want to be an ally? Check out Safety Pin Box.

Audiences of the final Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shows are being treated to this quintessential circus song (which has been missing from the bands repertoire for years).

Related: 50 circus animals need new homes! 

This lamp would make a cool, dramatic statement in a living room. I love the marble base!

Who killed Julian Pierce?

Quiz: What’s your email patronus?

Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world.

Abducted at birth and found 18 years later.

The scam that fooled Arthur Conan Doyle.

How a grad student found spyware that could control anybody’s iPhone from anywhere in the world.

Alternatives to Resting Bitch Face.

Now this is an idea I FULLY endorse!

P.S. A few posts from yours truly — A Book Wish-List and Strike a (Power) Pose!