High school and college students look forward to spring break every year. Although it is a fun holiday, it is known to be extremely unhealthy. Between binge drinking, junk food eating and lack of sun protection, spring break can be overly dangerous to our bodies. Are there ways to keep spring break fun, but more on the healthy side? According to Alabama Extension Community Health Specialist Kathleen Tajeu, there are many ways to make spring breaks healthy.
During the week-long vacation it is sometimes hard to reach for an apple or orange instead of a bag of Doritos sitting on the counter, but filling our diet with fruits and less junk food is a great way to stay healthy. Fruits are quick and easy snacks that can be great snacks by the beach or pool. Other easy snacks could include fat-free yogurt or a sandwich on wheat bread. Both options provide nutrients that we need.
With an entire week to relax, spring break is a good time to try new and healthy recipes. Gather with a group of friends and each bring a dish to the table. If you are not a cook, eating out is also a viable option. Seafood, a healthy alternative to a hamburger or chicken fingers, is easy to come by in many spring break destinations. As long as you are adding variety to your diet and not eating the same meal every day, you are making a positive step toward healthy eating.
(Used with permission: Photo by Scott Bauer)
The most important aspect of a healthy diet is water. Spending too much time in the sun and drinking a large amount of alcohol can quickly lead to dehydration. To avoid this, drink water throughout the day. Try to substitute sodas or energy drinks with a glass of water. Another option is using flavored water packets or adding lime or lemon slices to spice up your water.
Water can also come in handy when consuming large amounts of alcohol. Spring break is often known for a week-long marathon of binge drinking. If you do plan to drink, remember to add a glass of water between every alcoholic beverage and keep your stomach full. If you are with a large group of friends, make a pact to look out for one another and keep each other safe. Never operate a motor vehicle while under the influence. Unfortunately, alcohol related driving incidents occur every other minute, according to DUIlifetips.com. Don’t let a reckless decision on a spring break trip ruin your life; drink responsibly.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting a little sun can have some benefits, but excessive and unprotected sun exposure can lead to premature aging, changes in skin texture, and skin cancer. The easiest way to protect yourself from the sun is to apply sunscreen regularly. Often, sun screen is added first thing in the morning and forgotten about for the rest of the day, but this is the easiest way to fall victim to the sun. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially if you are in the water or sweating. And don’t forget about your eyes. Always wear sunglasses when outside in the sun for long amounts of time.
Lastly, be active. Spring Break is a great time to try a new fitness routine. From light activity to heavy exercise, any activity can be positive. It can be easy to go into a week long hibernation after a tough few months from school and work, but try to find a way to stay active during your break.