Ester Marsh: Flying ‘across the pond’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

It’s that time for me to fly to my home country — The Netherlands (Holland). I am also visiting Germany where my daughter and her husband live and granddaughter who will be turning 1! For the following three Sundays, you have to miss me. I will have limited internet. I appreciate each and every one of you reading my column and the feedback I receive!

Traveling and vacation season is upon us and as most people experience, workouts are different (or gone) and food is increased or changed. I learned long time ago that I needed to watch it while on vacation. Especially missing a lot of Dutch foods, I would eat them just because I couldn’t have them here. I gained weight like everyone else, and when I looked back, I questioned if I really want to eat everything I did. My answer to most was no. The following are some tips when you are on vacation or traveling:

• Be aware what you eat

• Consciously get more steps in

• Plan your exercises ahead

• When on vacation, check if there is a YMCA or gym nearby. The YMCA has the reciprocity program where when you are a current YMCA member you can use any YMCA in the country. There are a few Ys where it might be slightly different so call ahead to make sure.

• Watch your drink intake. Alcoholic beverages pack loads of calories, and drinking a lot of low-calorie beverages can add up.

• Most of all, enjoy your time off! Use it to recharge your battery, clear your mind and relax your body.

I am flying east where they are six hours ahead. So when I arrive at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, it is 3:30 a.m. Eastern U.S. time! This is how I try to deal with it (as mentioned before, my body does not like time changes). I get up at the usual time. If that is 7 a.m., get up at 7. My biological clock says it is 1 a.m. By getting up and starting your day you will get in the swing of things within a couple of days. Of course it helps when it is light outside to start your day early. Do the same at night. In a couple of days (to a week) you will be used to the time change. While traveling, especially in a plane, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Be kind and patient while traveling. And again, enjoy your vacation! I know I will enjoy mine.

Ester H. Marsh is director of healthy living at the J.F. Hurley YMCA.