For most people, the holiday season is a time to bond with loved ones over travels. To some, it may be a yearly tradition to go to Boracay, for instance, as the year ends. This 2020, however, vacation plans will be looking a lot different than the past years.

Travel, as we know it, has changed drastically over the last months, as the pandemic continues to rage on. Even as quarantine measures ease and borders open, or a vaccine becomes available, the emphasis on safeguarding one’s well-being is likely to remain.

It’s no secret that travel--along with the fun and enjoyment it brings--carries risks, as well, such that they could not just spoil the trip, but also cause overwhelming stress.

This is why being extra safe during vacations is more important now more than ever. If you’re planning to celebrate the holiday season on your favorite island destination, below are some health-and-fitness tips to follow:


Before the Trip: Boost your immune system

1. Take some Vitamin C

Vitamin C strengthens your body's defense against infections and illnesses. In fact, some medical experts recommend high doses of Vitamin C to reduce severe symptoms in COVID-19 patients.

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As such, before going on a trip, include food rich in Vitamin C such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet and white potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach in your meal plans.

This is especially important when you have a very active lifestyle since Vitamin C helps in workout recovery. This balance of good diet and exercise can boost your immune system.

2. Get enough rest

In the same way, sleep supports the immune system and reduces the likelihood of catching viruses. Ironically, though, getting enough rest isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a crisis. You may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious with everything that’s happening, especially with all the travel plans you’re making.

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Aside from creating a sleep schedule and ritual, be active. Running, brisk walking, biking, and other aerobic exercises that increase your heart rate can improve sleep quality.

The good thing is that you can easily do these fitness activities for an active vacation in Boracay. One physical fitness tip to remember is to work out during the day instead of in the evening. Exercising close to bedtime will keep you up at night.

3. Stressed? Breathe

When you're stressed, your immune system weakens. This is why as much as you have a number of details to iron out in your travels, you need to make every effort to release that tension from your body and mind. Breathe.

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As mentioned, getting enough sleep is important, but you should also practice the two other R’s: recreation and relaxation, doing things outside of work, and not doing anything at all.

One good example of the former is working out. An everyday fitness tip that can help you stick to your exercise routines daily is exercising with someone.

4. Stay hydrated

While drinking more water may not kill COVID-19, per se, remember that your body needs water to work properly.

During a health crisis, staying hydrated is what you need the most. As you make yourself more active, it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Throughout your workout routines -- before, during, and after exercise -- take time to drink water in between.

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One quick fitness tip that can help you remember to hydrate is to time your workouts. Experts recommend drinking every 15 to 20 minutes.


During the trip: Enjoy but be cautious

5. Wash your hands always

The Department of Health (DOH) urges the public to regularly wash their hands to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

The proper way involves cleaning the palm, fingers, and the back of your hands for at least 20 seconds. You should be able to do this every now and then during your trip.

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If a restroom isn’t available in your itinerary, say, when exercising by the beach, use isopropyl alcohol. This health-and-fitness tip can help reduce your risk outdoors.

6. Get some Vitamin D

Walking or running along the beach is a good workout, not only because it helps improve the quality of your sleep, but it also gets you a dose of the ‘sunshine’ vitamin D.

This vitamin helps prevent a variety of illnesses and supports immune functions. Prioritizing fitness and health, you’ll be able to protect yourself further from illnesses you may catch during your holiday vacation.

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7. Stay active

On days when you don’t feel like working out outside, you can keep doing your routines even in your hotel room. Back in May, the government introduced a home fitness campaign, urging the public to stay active even while cooped up indoors.

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When you don’t feel like going out for a walk or a run, go for low-impact exercises such as pilates, yoga, and tai chi which you can easily do in your room without any equipment needed.

Remember, how to be fit and healthy can be this easy.

8. Feast, but don't overeat

It’s hard to skip the sweets and the fatty snacks during the holidays, especially when you’re on vacation; but strive to keep consumption in moderation.

One way you can avoid unhealthy meals is to visit vegetarian-friendly food stops in Boracay. Discovering clean yet equally delicious bites will help you say no to junk food. You’ll get proper nutrition, plus you won’t feel guilty breaking off from your diet.

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If you’re thinking of preparing your own meals, make sure to clean your ingredients thoroughly, especially raw meat.

9. Limit alcohol consumption

The World Health Organization says that drinking alcohol, especially heavy substances, can weaken the immune system and reduce the body’s capacity to fight off infections.

While the holidays may be calling for some boozy shots, strive to skimp on the booze at least for this year. Go for some mocktails, instead. Or, better yet, stick to good old water; so you can maintain your healthy diet.

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After the vacation: Keep the healthy lifestyle going

10. Unpack your clothes

Separate clean from dirty clothes once you get home from your holiday vacation. Remember that respiratory droplets carrying coronavirus can land on clothes and remain there for a few days. This is why it’s important to clean and disinfect, especially your workout clothes.

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When washing, it's okay to use ordinary laundry detergent, but consider soaking your dirty clothes, first. Use warm water with a temperature between 60 to 90 degrees Celsius.

11. Go back to a healthy routine

Sure, your vacation may be fun and adventurous, but upon returning home, you might find yourself tired from all the hustle and bustle.

It’s important to let your body recuperate. Get enough sleep before going back to work, and make sure to stick to your fitness and health habits.

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Pay attention to your body’s cues, as well, observing any COVID-19 symptoms. If ever you experience fever, dry cough, body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, and shortness of breath, call your family doctor and set up a teleconsult appointment, as soon as possible.

A holiday vacation this year will surely be different from all the health safety measures that need to be observed. Yes, it may cause some inconvenience in your trip, but it’s all for everyone’s well-being. Don’t overlook these health-and-fitness tips mentioned, and don’t let health risks spoil your vacation.