Unhealthy habits to watch for on your holiday

For those embarking on a holiday this post-festive season, watch out for unhealthy food and fitness traps so you come back rejuvenated and re-energised for the months ahead.

Bingeing on buffet breakfast

Starting right in the morning, you are greeted by an irresistible breakfast spread.

Instead of piling everything on your plate, consider how a regular breakfast for you normally looks like and control your portion.

It is okay to try a few things you normally would not eat, but do not go crazy loading up on all the cheeses, sugary pastries and juices.

Not reapplying sunscreen or using enough

A few drops of sunscreen may be enough for the face, but it does not offer enough protection.

Apply one layer, eat your breakfast and get dressed, then apply a second layer when the first one has dried. Remember to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.

Overdoing the coffee breaks

It is so tempting to pop into a cafe when there is one on every street beckoning with a display case of pretty treats.

Instead of filling yourself up with calorie-dense cakes and caffeine, or sampling every pie you spot, limit your coffee breaks and enjoy a proper meal at the appropriate mealtimes.

Waking and sleeping late

There is much to see and do, but do not stretch out every day so you end up being short on sleep and waking late, which throws your circadian rhythm out of balance.

Instead, adjust to the new time zone in a way that lets you wake up early so you can make the most of daytime.

Getting stressed out

Getting the whole family out of the hotel as soon as possible can be an ordeal, as can trying to navigate the transport system and tackling a long list of things to see and do. Do not put too much pressure on yourself.

If your trip is making you more uptight than your day-to-day life, reassess your plans to see where you can make adjustments.

Not drinking enough water

Drinking water may be pushed out of your mind when you are out and about, but do not wait till you feel thirsty before gulping down water.

Set alarms on your phone to remind yourself to drink water. Soda, coffee and tea do not count, as they will make you even more dehydrated.

Not exercising enough

Just a few days off from your routine is enough to make you feel winded when you next hit the gym.

To keep up your fitness, do a few quick laps in the hotel pool, hit the gym, swim in the ocean or sprint around the neighbourhood. It will get your energy revved up for the day.

Unfortunately, walking all over town does not really count when you are just popping in and out of cafes or indulging in plenty of treats.

This article first appeared in Shape (