Time for you

If you’re due for some time for yourself, an action holiday might put the spring back in your step.

Words: Toni Jordan

When you’ve spent the whole year working hard, it can be tempting to just laze by the pool on your holidays. Yet there’s nothing more invigorating than learning a new skill and raising your fitness levels. Just ask Bill Buckle, 55, who found time recently for a two-week surf camp on Nias Island, off the coast of Sumatra.

“I like doing active things when I’m on holiday,” says Bill. “I don’t like sitting around and doing nothing.”

For Bill, active holidays have built-in benefits for health and fitness. He was aware of the need to improve his fitness before the holiday started so that he’d be in good shape to enjoy the active trip as much as possible. Then, of course, there was the holiday itself.

“Four to six hours of surfing a day really kicks your fitness up a notch, and also you’re eating really good food,” Bill says. The added bonus is that this boost in fitness can become part of a new routine when the holiday ends.

But active or adventure holidays are not for everyone. Dr Sonny Lau, travel medical expert, says that depending on the level of difficulty associated with the trip planned, it’s recommended that would-be adventure travellers get a medical clearance and, if required, immunisation against infectious diseases from a local doctor prior to travelling.

“For example, if you are planning to climb Mount Everest or hike the Kokoda trail, it’s best to screen first to ensure your health and fitness levels are up to the task,” he says. “You can’t really screen for susceptibility to altitude sickness but you can ensure your overall physical and mental health levels are adequate before undertaking such a trip.

“It’s also important to exercise caution in the case of pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes. Travellers should also double check that their pre-existing medical conditions are covered by their travel insurance provider for the type of travel they plan to undertake.”

According to seasoned action traveller Bill Buckle, moving your body can be more relaxing than doing nothing. He suggests people who have been considering an active holiday should just get out there and do it. “You’re here for a good time, not a long time!”

Stay healthy. Get rewarded
Australian Unity offers covers that include Travel Vaccinations to make sure an avoidable illness doesn’t ruin your trip. It is important that you discuss your travel plans with a health professional so they can determine the correct vaccinations. Make an appointment with your GP or travel clinic for at least six to eight weeks before you are due to depart to discuss your vaccination needs. To claim, just send a copy of the prescription for your travel vaccinations with a completed claim form to Australian Unity. 

View more information on travel vaccines or call us on 13 29 39.

Information provided in this article is not medical advice and you should consult with your healthcare practitioner. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest.