Top health tips
1. Don’t rely exclusively on your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) for all your health cover and related needs. It’s a great system but it’s not designed to replace holiday insurance. Research more on this to satisfy yourself but, for example, the EHIC won’t provide you with transport home if you need medical repatriation.
2. Don’t assume that all natural rivers, streams and spring water sources are fit for human consumption just because they’re in the Alps. Check to be sure that they provide “Eau Potable”. The local tourist offices or the management of your catered ski chalets might also be able to offer you advice.
3. Take a supply of basic medicines and first aid provisions with you just in case of minor accidents or ailments. All the Alpine countries have excellent health services, so don’t hesitate to ask for medical attention if you need it.
4. Whether you've booked into one of the catered ski chalets to enjoy the mountains in winter or in summer, you’ll probably be engaging in more physical exercise than you’re used to. That’s great, but do keep your exercise and sporting endeavours to sensible levels. Massively exceeding your capabilities could lead to injury.
5. Consume alcohol in moderation – perhaps even to a lower level than you normally would consume. Altitude and alcohol can be a potent combination if you’re not used to the two together.
6. Although there is some medical debate on the subject, avoid going directly out and engaging in highly demanding exercise very shortly after you’ve eaten a heavy meal. Your body is diverting blood to your stomach regions to help digestion, so demanding that it also starts to cope with all the extra oxygen and blood flow requirements of exercise stress could cause a variety of problems, including cramps and indigestion etc.
7. Don’t take stimulants and high-energy-boost substances to try and help you to keep going through a 24/7 skiing and après-ski lifestyle. If your body is telling you it’s tired and needs rest, allow it to do so.
8. Depending upon the season, do not pick and consume wild mushrooms/fungi unless you have expert advice and the verification of an expert local pharmacist. Surprising numbers of people are made ill, some seriously, every year by picking wild mushrooms in season and simply 'getting it wrong'.
9. Use plenty of sun barrier cream – whatever time of year you’re visiting. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because it’s cloudy you can’t get burned.
10. If you’re hiking or skiing off pisteFree Web Content, take expert local advice about your planned route and keep people informed as to where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Make sure also that you’re appropriately dressed for the route you’re planning and that you have provisions with you.
The vast majority of visitors who book in to the catered ski chalets in the Alps have no health or safety problems at all when visiting. Following the above tips will help you ensure that you join their number!