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The travel health risk you can't afford to take

Most Australians don’t need an excuse to travel and can easily list plenty of reasons why venturing out into the world is good for the mind, body and soul. However, UTracks, the active European specialist, is today warning that too much of the wrong type of travel can also be a health hazard.



UTracks General Manager, Kate Baker is not talking about the widely reported risks which are normally associated with travel such as accidents, food-related illnesses and infectious diseases. 


Instead, she wants to educate the travelling public about the downside to watching the world go by from the seat of a tour bus or the deck of a large boat. 


It’s what Kate likes to call the “click and tick” travel experience, where you take the photo and tick the destination off your bucket list with the minimum physical effort required.


While Kate believes that relaxing is a crucial part of travel, she’s a strong advocate of ensuring that activity forms a major part of the experience. 


“I’m not talking about just taking a stroll around a village or town each day or having a quick dip in the hotel pool. I’m talking about the type of activity that gets your legs moving and your heart pumping,” she said. 


“The beauty of active travel, whether it’s walking, cycling or a boat-based itinerary, is that training for the trip is a great way to get fit,  you can maintain your fitness while travelling, you can travel at your own pace and you can still sample the local food and wine without putting on the kilos.


“We’ve all fallen into the holiday trap of eating and drinking too much, doing too little and coming home to find that our clothes are a tad too tight.


“When you take an extended break, there’s also the danger that being inactive can lead to unhealthy weight gain, increased blood pressure or high cholesterol.


“With baby boomers (aged in their 50s, 60s and early 70s) now touring the world in record numbers, for extended periods of time, it’s never been more important to educate travellers about the need to remain active when they are on holiday.”


Kate’s warning comes off the back of a just published American study that has found that not exercising enough puts us at greater risk than smoking, diabetes or even heart disease. 


Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic studied more than 122,000 patients who participated in treadmill testing between 1991 and 2014. Results showed better cardio-respiratory fitness was linked to living longer, while extreme aerobic fitness provided the greatest benefits, especially to patients over 70 and patients with hypertension.


The study (published in the American Medical Association Journal) found that there is no limit to how much exercise is too much – which is great news for those who enjoy staying active (and need another reason to book that next walking or cycling holiday).


“Baby boomers would remember the ‘Life. Be In It’™ campaign launched by the federal government in 1975 encouraging Australians to be more active,” Kate said.


“We’re taking that to the next level and saying ‘Travel. Be In it’.”


Find out more about UTracks active European holidays at or call 1300 303 368.


Published: 26 October 2018

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