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How to have a healthier holiday

Holidays are a time to relax, have fun and let your stresses disappear. But lazy days and temptations to overindulge in food and alcohol can mean you come back from holiday with a lot more than just a bag full of dirty washing. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

A healthier holiday, however, doesn’t mean signing up for a yoga retreat or spa getaway, nor does it mean ruling out all treats. There are smaller steps you can take to benefit physically and mentally from your time away.

Balance the treats

Having the occasional ice cream or cocktail won’t do any harm – the trick is not to overindulge. Consider an 80:20 rule and eat healthily 80 per cent of the time; or plan in a treat day towards the end of your week away – see it as a reward for being self-disciplined and really savour the cake or cocktail you give yourself.

Keep active

A break from routine and more spare time can make holidays the perfect opportunity to get more active. So pack your fitness gear and seize the chance to take a 20 minute run before breakfast – it will set you up for the rest of the day.

Plan in some fun activities too. Ditch the boat cruise and hire a kayak instead. Or put on your walking boots and explore the local area – it’s a great way to tick both things off your holiday to-do list.

Stay safe in the sun

Protecting your skin is vital if you’re able to head somewhere hot this summer, or if you’re lucky enough to get sunshine in the UK. Liberally apply suncream before you head out and reapply every four hours.

Limit your alcohol intake

Watch the amount of alcohol you have – it can be laden with sugar and calories, as well as dehydrating for your body. Swapping a beer for a shandy mixed with sugar-free lemonade will save you 200 calories per glass.

It is very important to understand your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Our simple online health check takes just a few minutes. The Healthier You programme is free to join and you can sign up without visiting your GP. The sessions are now available with a British Sign Language Interpreter if BSL is your first or preferred language.

Use our online checker to find out if you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes:

It might be the most important thing you do today.

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