Whether holiday travel plans, vacation, or work has you on the road, it can certainly disrupt your usual routine and throw you off track. So how do you prioritize fitness and eating right even when you’re miles away from your kitchen or gym?
It's absolutely possible with some intention setting and pre-planning. You may be on the road, but taking the time to take care of yourself is critical no matter where you are. Here are some tips to make it easier.
1. Check out your hotel’s fitness options
Most hotels have fitness centers or swimming pools. Find out what amenities they have before you book and pack any additional gear you’ll need like workout clothes, a swimsuit or resistance bands (my personal travel go-to). If your company is footing the bill, you may not even have a choice in where you stay, but knowing what exercise options are available will allow you to keep a fitness plan while you’re traveling. Should there be no fitness room of any kind, you can stream workouts in your room on your smartphone/tablet, or get in some walking as you explore the area you're visiting. I like to find a local Orangetheory, yoga studio, or Bodypump class and I always end up making fun connections with like-minded locals.
2. Pack plenty of healthy snacks
Don’t assume that you’ll be able to find healthy options in airports or convenience stores. Pack plenty of snacks like nuts/seeds, low-sugar protein bars, nut butter squeeze packs, sliced veggies, grass-fed jerky or salmon jerky, and my personal favorite, a Blender Bottle with individual packets of protein powder and greens powder such as Amazing Grass Green Superfood. If you get stuck without any good options you can always mix up a quick shake with water or ask the closest coffee shop for some non-dairy milk.
3. Learn about the food in your destination
Most places will have healthy eating options, though they might not be as robust a selection as you’re used to. Find out what kind of food is available in your hotel and nearby and try Googling “farm to table restaurants” which usually yields at least a few clean food options in more metropolitan areas. Some hotels have kitchenettes where you can cook your own food, which is an excellent option for making simple, healthy meals and saving some money on food.
4. Don’t just sit there
Long flights mean lots of sitting, but you don’t have to melt into the shape of your seat. Get up and move about the cabin and do some exercises like pumping your calves or squeezing your glutes while in your seat. Delayed in the airport? Get up and walk around as much as possible before returning to the gate. And if you’re traveling internationally, moving more will help you beat jet lag faster. There's plenty to do and see in an airport, so throw on some comfy shoes, have fun exploring, and get those extra steps in.
5. Stay hydrated
Water is essential when you’re flying. It might mean more trips to the lavatory, but it’s better than getting dehydrated which can cause fatigue, headaches, sugar cravings and constipation. No fun! It's easy to slack off of water intake as you travel, but be extra mindful this year of staying hydrated along the way and you’ll feel SO much better.
6. Adapt to the time zone
Even if you’re not flying overseas, changing one or more time zones can take its toll on you. Try to get as much exposure to natural light during the day as you can and go to bed at a reasonable hour in your new time zone. Melatonin is a good option if you need help falling asleep, but start with a low dose like 1 mg at first. It’s also helpful to eat all of your meals at the correct times in the time zone you’re in and if you’re not entirely hungry, eat a fiber or protein-rich snack to help power you through.
7. Mindset is Everything!
No matter where you are, even when your normal routine gets shaken up, always remember that a healthy and fit lifestyle isn’t created overnight. Sometimes life throws you a curveball, so keep your head up, do the best you can and let go of the imperfections. Remaining mindful and flexible will help you make better choices and get back on track more easily after a trip.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself while away, just work on making smarter decisions when possible. Small tweaks to your travel plans can add up and make a big difference so don’t buy into to the "all or nothing" mindset. The sweet spot is right in the middle of all or nothing.