It’s summer, that getaway time of year when we are allowed a bit of an escape from it all. It is the time we want a break, relaxation of the deepest sort, freedom from everything by which we are ordinarily burdened. Not that I foresee any holiday for myself in the near future, but it is precisely the routine burdens of ordinary work life that give rise to the urge for escape and the dreams of an oasis of peace in a hectic life.
When it comes to beauty and health, the best approach at holiday time is to give your body a rest as well as your mind. Now it might sound contradictory to say that getting a lot of exercise is restful, but indeed it is. Ultimately. The most truly relaxing and renewing sort of vacation is one where you use all your muscles in new and demanding ways, developing them and tiring your whole self out to the point where you once again know the meaning of hunger and fatigue. The fresh air of nature and physical exertion are a combination that will return you to yourself.
While your first impulse might be to choose a holiday mode that consists of nothing more than lying around (not baking in the sun, unless you’re dutifully slathered with SPF100), reading murder mysteries and drinking rum punches and going back five times to the all-you-can-eat buffet, I propose that this standard approach to vacation is not what you really need.
Well, not for every vacation, anyway. Some epicurean indulgence is occasionally warranted. If you’re the type that exercises hard all the time anyway, then your orders are different: Do nothing. Simply nothing. And try to enjoy it!
But if you’re going to follow my advice and do something physically exhilarating and active, the simple fundamental rules of good health apply. In some cases they are matters of dire necessity. You need to be attentive to these rules and precautions; take care of them, and then you can embark upon your mission of body-and-soul renewal.
If you’re going to travel to a hot, foreign place, you need to get whatever injections are advised (remember: These may need to be taken several weeks ahead of time) and take along appropriate medicines and health supplies for every eventual need. This list might include the following:
* water purification tablets
* salt tablets
* diarrhea medication
* electrolyte supplement
* insect repellent
* insect-bite medication
* malaria tablets
* high-SPF sunscreen
* sunburn remedy
* mosquito netting
It is wise to check with the consul or embassy of the country you will travel to for their most current medical advice. This often changes, and can be very specific, with different advice for different seasons or areas of a country. Find out before you go whether it is safe to drink the water and bathe in streams and rivers.
If you are advised to take malaria prophylactics, these are also diagnosed specifically for the types of mosquitoes and malaria strains that are prevalent in particular areas. Even if you can get these medications over the counter, it is best to take them under medical supervision (you will undoubtedly be advised to begin a course before departure anyway), because there are possible side effects — some of which can be quite severe.
If you are well-prepared medically for your holiday, and observe sensible precautions during your time away, you should be equipped to handle every eventuality.
If you’re going to try a new sport or do something rigorous in a remote area, be sure to hire a qualified guide.
You’ll notice, perhaps, that I haven’t mentioned beauty yet. That’s because the beauty part will take care of itself. If you’re getting fresh air and tons of exercise, eating tons of wholesome food because you’re ravenous and falling into a deep sleep the minute the sun disappears, you’re going to be gorgeous. No doubt about it.
All you need to remember is the sunscreen.